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Socuéllamos (Municipality, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain)

Last modified: 2019-09-17 by ivan sache
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Flag of Socuéllamos - Image by Ivan Sache, 9 June 2019


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Presentation of Socuéllamos

The municipality of Socuéllamos (12,268 inhabitants in 2018; 37,410 ha; municipal website) is located on the border with the Provinces of Albacete and Cuenca, 120 km east of Ciudad Real.

Socuéllamos was granted after the Christian reconquest to the Priory of Uclés, ran by the Military Order of Saint James. To face the powerful Council of Alcaraz, the Order established the towns of Ossa, Villanueva de la Fuente, Alhambra, and Villarejo Rubio, which was the first capital of the district. Villarejo Rubio, in spite of being much less important than in the Roman and Muslim periods, kept a strategic significance, as an outpost located close to the border, river Córcoles.

In 1256, Alfonso X the Wise granted to Pedro Fernández, Commander of Segura for the Order of Saint. James, the Abeyazat tower; located one league from Socuéllamos on river Záncara, the tower was originally erected by the Muslims, who named it for one of their rulers, Aben Zeyat. The old village of Villarejo Rubio, split, its well included, since 1294 into two parts ruled by the Order and the Council, respectively, declined. In 1298, a Royal Order prescribed its suppression and transfer to Socuéllamos. Juan Osórez, Master of the Order (1294-1321) granted privileges to the new settlement: anyone who built a house and planted two rows of grapevine was free of all tax but the tithe paid to the Ucl├ęs convent. The exemption, confirmed by Infante Henry in 1440, by the Catholic Monarchs, and, lastly, by Emperor Charles V in 1527, boosted the development of the town.

In the aftermath of a revolt that broke out in 1468, Commander Lorenzo Mexía abandoned the old Muslim tower and moved his residence to the Commandery Manor still standing in Socuéllamos. In the 15th century, the Commandery of Socuéllamos had the highest grain production in all the Province of Ciudad Real; high-rank nobles were appointed Commanders, such as Iñigo López de Mendoza, first Captain General of Granada, and Antonio de Mendoza, first Vice Roy of Mexico and second Vice Roy of Peru. Among their successors were Luis Manrique de Lara, Marquess of Aguilar de Campo, the Marquess of Cortes, the Dukes of Peñaranda de Duero, and Infante Francisco de Paula.

In the middle of the 16th century, water level increased in the Ruidera marshes, which flooded the town's oldest chapel and the parts of the town built near the river. In 1708, the whole town was transferred to a safest site, which stopped its decline.

Ivan Sache, 9 June 2019


Symbols of Socuéllamos

The flag of Socuéllamos (photo, photo, photo, photo, photo, photo) is prescribed by an Order issued on 20 June 2005 by the Government of Castilla-La Mancha and published on 29 June 2005 in the official gazette of Castilla-La Mancha, No. 129, p. 12,933 (text).
The flag is described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular panel, in proportions 2 in width on 3 in length, divided into four parts by the two diagonals, the upper part, blue, the lower part, green, the hoist part, white, and the fly part, red. The hoist part charged in the center with the coat of arms of the municipality, with the Royal crown.

The coat of arms of Socuéllamos is prescribed by a Decree issued on 16 December 1955 by the Spanish Government and published on 2 January 1956 in the Spanish official gazette, No. 2, p. 25 (text).
The coat of arms is not described in the Decree.

The coat of arms is "Per pale, 1. Vert a castle or masoned and port and windows azure, 2. Azure a Cross of Saint James. Grafted in base, Gules a bunch of grapes or leaved vert."

The arms were designed by Julio Mata Vázquez (the parish priest) and José Giménez López, upon request of Mayor Anibal Arenas Díaz-Hellín.
In the 1st quarter, the castle is a symbol of loyalty, in relation with the origin of the Vegezate tower (today known as the Tower's House), around which Socuéllamos thrived. The green background is a symbol of hope, faith, friendship, service and respect. Those bearing the green color on their arms had to support farmers and workers, especially the orphans and poor who were oppressed. The green color was retained since most of the inhabitants of the town are workers and farmers.
In the 2nd quarter, the Cross of St. James recalls that Socuéllamos was located in the territory ruled by the order. The blue background is a symbol of justice, zeal, truth, loyalty, beauty, eulogy, perseverance, nobleness, sweetness, vigilance and recreation. Those bearing the blue color on their arms had to support at any time their prince without financial reward. The blue color was retained since these are the characteristics of most inhabitants of the town.
In the base, grapevine is represented as the sole and main source of income in Socuéllamos; right of wine-making was granted to the inhabitants by the Order of St. John at the foundation of the settlement: anyone who built a house and planted two rows of grapevine was free of all tax but the tithe. This exemption was confirmed by the Tordesillas General Chapter in the time of the Catholic Monarchs. The privilege was so attractive that the small hamlet soon turned into a reach, growing village. The red background is a symbol of strength, triumph, audacity, highness and ardor. Those bearing the red color on their arms had to be strong and resist adversity, and to be heroic and audacious for the profit of their village. The red color was retained as a faithful historical reflect of life in Socuéllamos, which experienced episodes threatening its existence but always faced innumerable floods, epidemics, wars etc.
[Francisco Bello Honrado. 1961. Análisis de Socuéllamos. Cuadernos de Estudios Manchegos 11,39-89]

Ivan Sache, 9 June 2019


U.D. Socuéllamos C.F.

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Flag of U.D. Socuéllamos C.F. - Image by Ivan Sache, 9 June 2019

Unión Deportiva Socuéllamos Club de Fútbol (U.D. Socuéllamos C.F.), established in 1924, played for three seasons (2014-2017) in the 4th league (3rd Division).
The club's flag (photo, photo) is horizontally divided blue-white with the club's badge in the center.

Ivan Sache, 9 June 2019