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Zarzalejo (Municipality, Community of Madrid, Spain)

Last modified: 2016-05-26 by ivan sache
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Presentation of Zarzalejo

The municipality of Zarzalejo (1,583 inhabitants in 2014; 2,063 ha) is located in the south-west of the Community of Madrid, 60 km of Madrid.

In 1653, King Philip II decided the building of the monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial. The village of Zarzalejo was selected as the site for the new monastery. The tradition says that the villagers opposed so fiercely that the upset king said they were "more untamed that the Caribbean Indians", therefore their nickname of caribes.

Ivan Sache, 7 August 2015

Symbols of Zarzalejo

The flag (photos, photo, photo, photo) and arms of Zarzalejo are prescribed by a Decree adopted on 22 October 1987 by the Government of the Community of Madrid and published on 18 February 1988 in the official gazette of the Community of Madrid, No. 41, p. 4 (text), and on 12 March 1988 in the Spanish official gazette, No. 62, pp. 7,993-7,994 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: Plain white. Charged in the center with the coat of arms of the municipality. The proportions shall be 2:3 (one and a half time longer than wide).
Coat of arms: Per pale, 1. Or a bramble eradicated and perforated vert and two mounts, 2. Gules a two-storeyed aqueduct argent on ten rocks of the same The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed.

The Royal Academy of History validated slightly different arms. The proposed arms recall that Zarzalejo once belonged to the Community of the Town and Land of Segovia, using the arms of the Community that feature the Roman aqueduct of Segovia, and the name of the town, derived from zarza, "a bramble". They are described as "Per pale, 1. Gules a two-storeyed aqueduct argent on ten rocks of the same, 2. A bramble vert flowered". The coloured drawing attached to the submission does not match the description, showing in the first quarter the flowered bramble ensigned by two tools recalling stone extraction in Zarzalejo, and the aqueduct in the second quarter. The Academy recommended to keep the aqueduct in the first quarter and the bramble in the second.
The Academy recommended among the proposed flags a white flag with the municipal coat of arms in the center.
[Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia, 1987, 184:3, 565-566]

Ivan Sache, 7 August 2015