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El Berrueco (Municipality, Community of Madrid, Spain)

Last modified: 2016-05-15 by ivan sache
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Flag of El Berrueco - Image by Ivan Sache, 30 June 2015

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Presentation of El Berrueco

The municipality of El Berrueco (634 inhabitants in 2014; 2,880 ha) is located in the north of the Community of Madrid, 70 km of Madrid.

El Berrueco was probably named for the granitic rock located in the north of the village; berrueco literally means "a rocky spur". The village is located on the road connecting Madrid and Burgos; until the 18th century, the only stone bridge allowing the crossing of river Jobalo was the El Berrueco "Roman" bridge. The Moors erected in the 9th century a watching tower (atalaya), still standing 2 km of the village.

Ivan Sache, 30 June 2015

Symbols of El Berrueco

The flag and arms of El Berrueco are prescribed by a Decree adopted on 29 December 1992 by the Government of the Community of Madrid and published on 18 June 1993 in the official gazette of the Community of Madrid, No. 143, pp. 14-15 (text) and on 8 July 1993 in the Spanish official gazette, No. 162, p. 20,783 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: In proportions 2:3. Red panel, of the same shade as the flag of the Community of Madrid, charged in the center with the municipal coat of arms in full colours.
Coat of arms: Per pale, 1. Or a pillory standing on three stairs with two lions accosty all proper, 2. Or five eight-pointed stars azure per saltire. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed.

The flag in actual use (photos, photo) features the coat of arms with the field of the 1st quarter gules instead of or, which is indeed the coat of arms currently used by the municipality.
The pillory (photo), a symbol of municipal liberty, is the only original one preserved in the Community of Madrid. Erected in 1593 when the village was granted the status of villa, the pillory reused as capital a stone engraved with an inscription dated from year 1000.

The Royal Academy of History recalled that El Berrueco has been officially using arms of unknown origin since the beginning of the 20th century. Accordingly, there is no historical reason to add new elements, as proposed. Moreover, the harmonious composition of the old arms requires the whole area of the shield to be adequately displayed. Accordingly, the Academy proposed to adopt "Or a pillory standing on three stairs with two lions accosty all proper."
[Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia, 1992, 189, 1: 153]

Ivan Sache, 30 June 2015