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Calañas (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2016-12-20 by ivan sache
Keywords: calañas | la zarza-perrunal |
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Flag of Calañas, left, as used; right, as prescribed - Images by Ivan Sache, 19 August 2016


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Presentation of Calañas

The municipality of Calañas (4,238 inhabitants in 2015; 28,300 ha; municipal website) is located 70 km north of Huelva. The municipality is made of the town of Calañas and of the villages of La Zarza, El Perrunal, and Sotiel Coronada.

Calañas was already settled in the Roman times; fragments of amphorae and stones, as well as coins, were found on the probable site of a villa in El Morante. During the Muslim period, the town was part of the Cora of Niebla. After the Christian reconquest, the area was granted to Alfonso Pérez de Guzmán, Count of Niebla and Duke of Medina Sidonia.
Abandoned after the fall of the Roman Empire, the pyrites mines of Calañas were reactivated in the 19th century. Mining caused a demographic boom, the population of the municipality increasing from 2,000 in the late 19th century to 8,307 in 1900 and 12,707 in 1910. The Gilded Age of the town ended in the 1960s when the mines were closed, causing massive emigration.
Calañas is the cradle of the traditional hat known as Sombrero de Calañas, produced in the town at least since the 18th century.

Ivan Sache, 19 August 2016


Symbols of Calañas

The flag of Calañas (photo, photo, photo, photo, photo, photo) was adopted on 30 March 1998 by the Municipal Council. The registration process does not appear to have been completed yet.
The flag is described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular (11 x 18), divided into three horizontal stripes, the first and the third stripes, white (2:9) and the central stripe, blood red (5:9). Charged in the center with the municipal coat of arms.

The flag was proposed on 17 April 1998 by Juan José Antequera. On the flags in actual use, the three stripes have the same width.
Red and white are the unofficial colours of the town; their arrangement on the flag is derived from the banner used at least since the 18th century by the Brotherhood of Nuestra Señora de la Coronada, the patron saint of Calañas. The addition of the coat of arms highlights the transformation of the banner of the brotherhood into a flag shared by all citizens of Calañas.
[Calañas, un trozo de Andévalo, 14 July 2011]

The coat of arms of Calañas is prescribed by Decree No. 1,853, adopted on 15 June 1972 by the Spanish Government and published on 28 June 1972 in the Spanish official gazette, No. 154, p. 11,666 (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 coat of arms is described as follows:

Coat of arms: Per pale, 1a. Gules a castle or masoned sable port and windows azure, 1b. Agent a lion rampant purpure langued and armed gules crowned or, 2. Azure a Cross of St. James gules fimbriated or ensigned by a crescent reverted argent surmounted by three stars or in fess in base a crescent argent. The shield surmounted by the Spanish Royal crown.

The "rehabilitated" arms were proposed on 8 May 1971 by Vicente de Cadenas y Vicent, King Chronicler of Arms.
Argote de Molina presents the arms of Calañas as featuring the arms of Castile and León and the Cross of St. James. Although not mentioned in the documents of the Order of St. James kept in the National Historical Archives, Calañas was actually granted to the Order, after having been reconquerred by Grand Master Pelayo Pérez Correa.
For a century, the municipality has been using arms requiring "rehabilitation", that is, the use of a Royal crown closed.
[Calañas, un trozo de Andévalo, 14 July 2011]

Ivan Sache, 19 August 2016


La Zarza-Perrunal

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Flag of La Zarza-Perrunal - Image from the Símbolos de Huelva website, 9 September 2016

The submunicipality of La Zarza-Perrunal (1,521 inhabitants; municipal website) is part of the municipality of Calañas.
La Zarza-Perrunal was established on 30 March 1993 as the merger of the mining boroughs of La Zarza and Perrunal. Silos de Calañas was renamed La Zarza on 19 February 1991. The process of separation from Calañas to establish an independent municipality is on-going.
[Andévalo Noticias, 28 January 2015]

The oldest mining record in La Zarza is dated 6 July 1564, with two sites, Los Silos and El Becerrito. Abandoned for centuries, the mines were re-discovered in 1853 by the French engineer Ernest Deligny. The Société Française des Pyrites de Huelva was granted in 1900 a concession for the systematic exploitation of the pyrites mines. A cemetery is recorded in 1905 in Silos-Perrunal, which indicates the presence of a stabilized settlement. A casino was built in 1919; a post of the Civil Guard was operated from 1921 to 1963. The mine was subsequently transferred to the Tharsis Sulphur and Copper Co. Ltd. Damaged in 1949 by a blaze, the mine was closed in 1969.

The flag and arms of La Zarza-Perrunal were adopted on 30 April 1998 by the Municipal Council of Calañas. The registration process does not appear to have been completed yet.
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular, in proportions 11 x18, white with 11 blue gyrons covering the third of the flag closest to the hoist. Charged in the center with the local coat of arms.
Coat of arms: Azure thorns or surrounded by two dogs argent collared gules in base a pickaxe and a shovel or hilted argent in saltire. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed.

The symbols were proposed in 1997 by Juan José Antequera, who was commissioned on 25 July 1994 by the Village Council of La Zarza. The thorns (zarza) and the dogs (perros) make the arms canting. The mining tools recall the past of the village.
This superseded an earlier proposal of arms, "A French shield. Quarterly, 1. Azure a mount gules ensigned by a pine proper, 2. A lamp or; 3. A pickaxe and a shovel or crossed per saltire, 4. Azure a miner's helmet gules. The shield surmounted by an atypical crown inscribed with 'La Zarza' and surrounded dexter by the national flag and sinister by the Andalusian flag."
[Juan José Antequera. Principios de transmisibilidad en las heráldicas officiales de Sevilla, Córdoba y Huelva]

Ivan Sache, 9 September 2016