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El Almendro (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2016-12-06 by ivan sache
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Flag of El Almendro - Image from the Símbolos de Huelva website, 17 August 2016

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Presentation of El Almendro

The municipality of El Almendro (847 inhabitants in 2013; 17,061 ha; municipal website) is located 50 km north-west of Huelva, on the border with Portugal. El Almendro forms a single urban nucleus with the neighbouring municipality of Villanueva de los Castillejos

El Almendro was established around 1290 when King Alfonso X the Wise resettled the Sierra de Niebla. Originally known as Osma. the village was mostly settled by shepherds coming from Soria. Due to its strategic location between Huelva and Portugal, Osma was fiercely disputed between the Council of Niebla and the Cerda, lords of Gibraleón, who expected to rule the region of Niebla and control trade with Portugal. Surrounded by fortresses manned by the Cerda, Osma resisted, with the help of the other villages depending on Niebla, especially Alfayat de la Peña, which was protected by the castle of Aguila. In the second half of the 14th century, Niebla became the capital of a county erected for the powerful Guzmán lineage. When the Stuñiga lineage took the control of Gibraleón, resettled Villanueva de los Castillejos and founded El Granado, the Duke of Medina Sidonia ordered the transfer of Osma to El Almendro. The transfer, official on 22 March 1519, was officially caused by the unhealthy location of Osma; in fact, El Almendro was established to challenge Villanueva de los Castillejos.

Ivan Sache, 17 August 2016

Symbols of El Almendro

The flag and arms of El Almendro, first adopted on 6 October 1996 by the Municipal Council, validated on 8 June 1995 by the Royal Academy of Córdoba, and eventually adopted on 31 January 1997 by the Municipal Council, are prescribed by Decree No. 96, adopted on 19 March 1997 by the Government of Andalusia and published on 15 April 1997 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 44, pp. 4,557-4,558 (text). This was confirmed by a Resolution 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 described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular, in proportions 2 x 3, made of a diagonal stripe running from the hoist's lower angle to the fly's upper angle, white with the municipal coat of arms, in height half of the flag, the triangle at hoist, blue, and the triangle at fly, green.
Coat of arms: Vert an almond tree or surrounded by two towers argent port and windows gules masoned sable on rocks proper. The shield surmounted by a Royal Spanish crown closed.

The symbols were proposed on 30 May 1996 by Tomás Rodríguez Peñas.
The flag merges the colours of the flags of Huelva (blue and white) and Andalusia (green and white).
The coat of arms is a "rehabilitation" of the proto-heraldic, canting emblems featuring an almond tree (almendro) surrounded by two towers standing on rocks, used by the municipality since the 19th century. On 17 September 1879, Francisco Martín wrote that the seal had been used since 1851. The rocky base represents the Peña Maya, a group of rocks of 100 m in height that dominates the village. The rock was once the site of a chapel dedicated to St. Sebastian and of grain mills, of which a few remains are still visible.
[Juan José Antequera. Principios de transmisibilidad en las heráldicas officiales de Sevilla, Córdoba y Huelva]

Ivan Sache, 17 August 2016