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Salamanca (Municipality, Castilla y León, Spain)

Last modified: 2017-03-21 by ivan sache
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Flag of Salamanca - Image by Antonio Gutiérrez, 21 February 2003

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Flag of Salamanca

The flag of Salamanca is prescribed by Article 5.3 of the Municipal Constitution (text) as "crimson red with the municipal coat of arms on it".
The flag (photo, photo) has 2:3 proportions, the coat of arms is centered, in height half the flag's hoist. The shade of red is similar to that in the Spanish flag.

Santiago Dotor, 21 March 2002

Coat of arms of Salamanca

[Coat of arms]

Coat of arms of Salamanca - Image by Antonio Gutiérrez, 21 February 2003

The coat of arms of Salamanca is prescribed by a Decree adopted on 11 June 1996 by the Presidence of the Government of Castilla y León and published on 20 June 1996 in the official gazette of Castilla y León, No. 118 (text).
The coat of arms is described as follows:

Per pale: 1. Dexter argent a stone bridge masoned Sable on which dexter a bull passant statant sable and sinister an erradicated fig tree vert, 2. Sinister or four pallets gules on a bordure azure eight crosslets potent argent; on a chief mantled argent two demi-lions mornés [without tongue or claws] respectant issuant from the flanks proper. The shield surmounted by an open Spanish Royal crown with no arches.

The same description appears in Article 5.2 of the Municipal Constitution (text).

The Decree prescribes a "rehabilitation" of the arms of the town, that is, an officialization of arms previously used (for a long period of time, usually more than 100 years) without any legislation involved. This implies that a very wide range of drawings of the same coat of arms was used through the years, with minor differences (images). The coat of arms was, for instance, used with dog's, mastiff's, snakes' or lion's heads. The "rehabilitation" of the arms fixes them definitively.
However, the main change is the swapping of the two vertical fields of the arms. Older representations of the balzon (Diccionario Enciclopédico Espasa Calpe, 1978; Enciclopedia Larousse; street name plaques in the old downtown; stamps) had the quarter with the red pallets placed dexter. The reasons for the change is unknown.

The new blazon contains mistakes:
- a bull cannot be passant and statant at the same time. My personal opinion is that whoever wrote the description used "statant" as a (correct) adjective for the bull's stance and "passant" as a previous, incorrect adverb for the bull's position (as opposed wrongly to affronty).
- the blazon states "an open crown with no arches", when all open crowns are archless.

The dexter part of the shield shows the four symbols of the town: river Tormes, the Roman bridge, a bull (representing the Celtiberian verraco placed nowadays on the bridge) and an holly oak, very common in the region.
The left part of the shield recalsl that King Alfonso VI commissioned Vela to resettle Salamanca; Vela was of the lineage of the Counts of Barcelona, therefore the Catalan pallets, and "earned" the crosses shown on the bordure of the arms in the Holy Land.

Santiago Dotor, Ivan Sache & Antonio Gutiérrez, 20 June 2011