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Umbrete (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2020-04-25 by ivan sache
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Flag of Umbrete, two versions - Images after the Símbolos de Sevilla website, 27 May 2014

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Presentation of Umbrete

The municipality of Umbrete (8,512 inhabitants in 2013; 1,190 ha; municipal website) is located 15 km of Seville. The municipality includes the exclave of Lópaz (415 ha).
The municipal territory was increased by an area of 206 ha, made of the boroughs of Consolación, Los Pintores (part of), Buenavista and Cercado Grande, and the adjacent plots, previously belonging to the municipality of Bollullos de la Mitación, as prescribed by Decree No. 21, adopted on 1 February 1994 by the Government of Andalusia and published on 10 February 1994 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 16, pp. 985-986 (text). The increase of the municipal territory was required on 18 December 1991 by the Municipal Council of Umbrete, arguing that the claimed boroughs belonged to the urban nucleus of Umbrete while located on the territory of Bollullos, which caused several administrative problems to the inhabitants. After months of bitter dispute, the Municipal Council of of Umbrete accepted the proposal made by the Government of Andalusia. On 7 October 1993, the Municipal Council of Bollullos appealed several points of the proposal, the proposal being eventually validated on 28 December 1993 by the State Council.

Umbrete was identified by Serrano Ortega and his followers with the Turdetani town of Osca, described in Ptolemy's Cosmography, which remains a mere speculation. There is a probable confusion with the Roman town of Osca, once located in the Province of Huesca, known for coins (1st century BC). The modern town might originate in a Roman villa named Umbretum, "a shady place". Known to the Arabs as Umbret, Umbrete was reconquered by King Ferdinand III the Saint and transformed in an alquería, which was divided in the 14th century into three sectors limited by the roads connecting the village to Benacazón, Sanlúcar la Mayor and Bollullos, respectively. Umbrete was subsequently disputed between the Council and the Archbishop of Seville, being eventuallly granted on 1279 to the Archbishop, who would rule the town until the suppression of the feudal system. The population of Umbrete increased from 94 inhabitants on 1534 to 300 in the middle of the 17th century.

Umbrete is the birth town of the church sculptor Antonio Illanes Rodríguez (1901-1976; biography), who was awarded in 1927 the First Prize in Sculpture by the Ateneo of Sevilla and in 1929 the Civil Order by Alfonso XIII, as a reward for his work during the Iberoameican Fair. He designed several statues of the Christ and of the Blessed Virgin in Seville and San Roque.

Ivan Sache, 27 May 2014

Symbols of Umbrete

The flag (photo, photo, photo, photo) and arms of Umbrete, adopted on 16 April 1998 by the Municipal Council and validated on 4 March 1999 by the Royal Academy of Córdoba, are prescribed by Decree No. 124, adopted on 16 May 1999 by the Government of Andalusia and published on 10 June 1999 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 66 (text). This was confirmed by a Decree adopted on 30 November 2004 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration and published on 20 December 2004 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 246, pp. 28,986-29,002 (text).
The symbols are prescribed as follows:

Flag: Rectangular, in proportions 11 x 18, with three parallel stripes perpendicular to the hoist, the first and the third, of 1/8 the flag's hoist, purple, and the second (central) stripe, of 6/8, yellow.
Coat of arms: Purpure a crozier or surrounded dexter by bunches of grapes argent and sinister by a mitre-like striped acorn of the same. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed.

Until 1999, Umbrete used oval arms charged with a holly oak surrounded by a wheat spike and a branch of olive. The shield was surmounted by a rising sun, copied from the arms of Sanlúcar la Mayor, the capital of the judicial party to which Umbrete belonged. Previous seals varied in shape and featured different charges: a French-shaped shield featuring a tree and surmounted by a rising sun was used in 1873, the shape being changed in the 1920s, while a wheat spike and a branch of laurel were added in the 1940s. Modern reproductions have a celestial blue field and charges proper. The tree was locally identified as either a holly oak or a pine; not specific of the place, the tree is not relevant on municipal arms. Pine woods existed in the municipal territory, but long before the use of the seal, while the holy oak evokes, in a synthetic manner, a popular species of tree. As a foreign emblem, the sun of Sanlúcar had to dropped, too.
The brand new arms proposed by Juan José Antequera Luengo recall the old rule of the Archbishop of Seville over the town and grapevine cultivation; the mitre-shaped striped acorn is a botanic oddity locally recalled by a nice legend. Antonio Hernández Parrales (El señorio arzobispal de Umbrete. Estudio socioeconómico, 1987) recalls that in 1793 Archbishop Alonso Marcos de Llanes, once resting under a holly oak, met a shepherd and asked him whether he knew all his ewes by her name. The shepherd answered that he did, which was interpreted by the Archbishop as a call not to remain idle and to visit his diocese every day. The acorns produced by the oak were striped like a mitre.
[Juan José Antequera Luengo. Heráldica oficial de la provincia de Sevilla]

The flag used inside the Town Hall (photo, photo) is charged with the municipal coat of arms.

Ivan Sache & Klaus-Michael Schneider, 27 May 2014