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La Palma del Condado (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2016-12-20 by ivan sache
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Flag of La Palma del Condado - Image from the Símbolos de Huelva website, 3 September 2016

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Presentation of La Palma del Condado

The municipality of La Palma del Condado (10,662 inhabitants in 2015; 6,100 ha) is located 40 km north-east of Huelva and 50 km of Seville.

Ivan Sache, 3 September 2016

Symbols of La Palma del Condado

The flag of La Palma del Condado (photo, photo, photo, photo, photo), adopted on 25 April 1988 by the Municipal Council and validated on 28 October 1988 by the Royal Academy of History, is prescribed by Decree No. 336, adopted on 20 December 1988 by the Government of Andalusia and published on 13 January 1989 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 3, p. 79 (text). This was confirmed by a Resolution adopted on 30 November 2004 by the Government of Andalusia and published on 20 December 2004 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 246, pp. 28,986-29,002 (text).
The flag is described as follows:

Flag: Red and white, "separated by the diagonal running from the lower left to the upper right corner". Charged in the center with the local coat of arms bordered in black.

The flag was adopted on 25 April 1988 by absolute majority of the Municipal Council (9 positive votes and 1 abstention). The proposal, validated in 21 April 1988 by the Culture Commission, was presented by Josá Miguel Casado Flores, Municipal Delegate for Culture. The flag was designed from scratch, since no evidence of historical flag was found.
Red and white were selected as colours traditionally used in the town and adopted in 1915 by the newly founded football team. Mr Lagares, a Municipal Councillor representing the CDS (Centro Democrático y Social) abstained from voting, arguing that the proposed flag is not based on any local tradition and that a more comprehensive study is required. Mr. Moreno, spokesman of the PSOE group, replied that there was indeed no tradition but the adoption in 1915 of a red and white shield by the football team.

The flag was first hoisted on 2 December 1988, the 10th anniversary of the Spanish Constitution, on the balcony of the Town Hall. Its proportions, not mentioned in the Decree, are 10.8 x 18.
The description of the flag submitted on 10 December 1987 to the Royal Academy of History, more wordy, gives the size of the flag as 2 m in length on 1.20 m in width. The Academy validated the flag, which was, however not compliant with the subsequent Andalusian legislation on local symbols (1995) since it features a coat of arms that had not been registered yet.
[Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia 1989, 186: 2, 317]

The coat of arms of La Palma del Condado, submitted on 3 March 2009 by the Municipal Council to the Directorate General of the Local Administration, is prescribed by a Resolution adopted on 9 March 2009 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration and published on 20 March 2009 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 55, p. 78 (text).
The coat of arms is described as follows:

Coat of arms: French shield. Argent a palm tree proper surrounded dexter by two caldrons in pale and sinister (at the viewer's right) by two arrows in bend sinister. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown open [description skipped].

he arms are a "rehabilitation" of the arms designed by Manuel S. Lao, from Madrid, unofficially used since then. The shield is of "whimsical, hybrid" French-English shape, with purple, green and pinkish lambresquins. The arrows are fimbriated proper to respect the "no tincture on tincture" rule. On the original design, the palm tree stands on a mount proper, while the shield is surmounted by a Duke's coronet.
La Palma de Condado was one of the few municipalities in the Province of Huelva that did not register in the project of "rehabilitation" of coat of arms organized in 1994-1998 by the Provincial Council.

Lao's original painting of the arms, shown in the Town Hall, is captioned as follows:

In the today's nobiliary and very respectable chronicles, written by Mellado, Silva, Mailae and others, the foundation of the town is reportedly so old that it was credited to Hercules. The Romans, when exploiting the rich mines of Río Tinto, re-settled the area, which was of great significance during the Muslim rule, as part of the Kingdom of Huelva. The arms are a genuine summary of the history of the town, since the palm tree placed on a field argent was its primitive Muslim emblem. Reconquerred, together with the neighbouring settlements, by Pérez Correa, Grand Master of the Order of Saint James, La Palma was one of the most important places in the County of Niebla, where two companies (100 soldiers and 50 riders) were stationed; accordingly, the caldrons symbolize on the arms its status of feudal domain. The Catholic Monarchs granted to La Palma the title of villa de fuero real (town of Royal right), with the mention of loyalty, as a reward for the local regiments that contributed to the seizure of Granada. The arrows recall that the harquebushers of La Palma were particularly skilful. Emancipated from the Order of Saint James, the town offered a long list of intrepid seamen, whose names enlighten our history. La Palma is today a town of high moral and material culture.

The explanation of the arms is typical of the style of Lao, one of the founders of mercantile heraldry. All his designs of municipal arms are supported by a local, stainless history, built by valiant people, and a bright present. The legendary origin of several places is highlighted.
Roman pottery inscribed with Palma Vrianorum was indeed found in the neighborhood, while remains of a medieval watch tower have been excavated on the hill of El Castillito de la Reina. La Palma, together with Almonte, was transferred in the 14th century to the Pérez de Guzmán, alguaciles mayores of Seville, represented on the arms by the caldrons.
The palm tree (palma) makes the arms canting.
[Juan José Antequera. Principios de transmisibilidad en las heráldicas officiales de Sevilla, Córdoba y Huelva]

Ivan Sache, 3 September 2016