Last modified: 2020-02-12 by ivan sache
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Flag of Alustante - Image by Ivan Sache, 6 September 2019
The municipality of Alustante (186 inhabitants in 2014; 9,304 ha; municipal website) is located in the extreme south-east of the Province of Guadalajara, on the border with Aragón (Province of Teruel), 190 km of Guadalajara and 60 km of Teruel.
The former municipality of Motos was incorporated to Alustante by Decree No. 448, adopted on 12 February 1970 by the Spanish government and published on 24 February 1970 in the Spanish official gazette, No. 47, p. 2,981 (text).
Alustante was established in the 13th century around a small castle. The village was first documented in 1363 in the last will of Countess Blanca Alfonso, 5th Dame of Molino and Mesa. Alustante was part of the Common of the Villages of Molina de Aragón until the suppression of the feudal system. Sancho Lópes de Alustante, Procurator of the Common, contributed to the delimitation of the territories of Molina and Albarracín, in 1402-1407. In the 16th century, the village, known as Allustante, was the capital of a "sexma" (administrative division) of the Common.
Ivan Sache, 6 September 2019
The flag of Alustante (photo), is prescribed by a Decree issued on 13 November
2007 by the Government of Castilla-La Mancha and published on 27
November 2007 in the official gazette of Castilla-La Mancha, No. 247, p.
The flag is described as follows:
Flag: Rectangular panel, in proportions 2:3, blue with two lions rampant affronty. The lion at hoist looking to the fly, the lion at fly looking to the hoist, in between close to the lion's heads a white snail looking to the fly.
The "rehabilitated" coat of arms of Alustante is prescribed by a Decree
adopted on 24 July 1989 by the Government of Castilla-La Mancha and
published on 1 August 1989 in the official gazette of Castilla-La
Mancha, No. 33, p. 2,176 (text).
The coat of arms is described as follows:
Coat of arms: Per fess, 1a. Gules a castle or, 1b. Argent a lion rampant gules, 2. Azure a snail argent passant. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed.
Although the national arms shall not be used on other coats of arms and without authorization, this use is tolerated in this case because of the past use of these arms, for centuries, and taking into account the third quarter of the shield.
The snail represents the spiral staircase (escalera de
caracol, lit. "snail staircase"; photo) of the church tower of Alustante.
Beside its religious function, the tower was used in the past as the
meeting place of the Village Council and as a guidance for travellers
lots in harsh weather. While the building of the staircase was initiated
in 1552 and still in progress in 1563, its exact date of achievement is
not known. Andr&ecute;s Bravo, who made a pastoral visit to the village in
1561, was upset by the building site, arguing that "the church could not
pay for such a work and should allocate funding to affairs more relevant
to the cult than a tower". The Council eventually funded the building of
the staircase, which was achieved during tne reign of Philip IV
(1621-1655), as reported in the Ensenada Cadaster (1752).
The pride of Alustante, the spiral staircase is represented, as a snail flanked by two lions, on the decoration of the public fountain sculpted in 1772. A seal modelled on the sculpture, designed by the municipality in the last third of the 19th century, was used until the 1960s. The design was "rehabilitated" in 1986-1987 by Ramón José Maldonado y Cocat, a corresponding member of the Royal Academies of History and Arts. The fleurs-de-lis that charged the seal were omitted from the new design. The snail, depicted in facial view on the seal, was redrawn as passant.
The flag was designed on the model of the old seal of the village. White and blue are the colours of Molina, as stated in 1975 by the Royal Academy of History when reviewing the arms submitted by Molina.
The "rehabilitation" of the arms was based on research made by Maria
Isabel Mansilla Pérez in the municipal archives. Commissionned by the
Municipal Council on 16 December 1986 to run the "rehabilitation"
process, Ramón José Maldonado y Cocat submitted the supporting memoir on
21 September 1987.
[Ramón José Maldonado y Cocat. 1990. Nuevas aportaciones a la heráldica municipal. Cuadernos de estudios manchegos 20: 237-256]
The Royal Academy validated the proposed "rehabilitated" arms for the
sake of "tolerance" - the recommendation was included word for word in
the aforementioned legal text.
[Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia 1989, 196, 2: 321]
The Royal Academy validated the proposed flag "without inconveniency",
recalling that the original sculpture on the fountain was unfortunately
destroyed in 1965.
The Academy recommended to modify the coat of arms on the model of the flag, since its origin is flawed. In 1879, the municipality used the common seal of the time, oval with the quartered arms of Castile and León with Granada in base, fleurs-de-lis all over and the Royal Spanish crown. On the seal used in 1884, the charges were erased and replaced by the rough representation of a snail. The "rehabilitated" coat of arms is a flawed hybrid of these two seals.
[Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia 2007, 204, 2: 324]
Ivan Sache, 6 September 2019