Last modified: 2011-01-07 by eugene ipavec
Keywords: villamandos | leon | lion: rampant (purpure) | vair | bordure: gyronny |
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image by Ivan Sache, 17 Oct 2010, modified from municipal website
The municipality of Villamandos (416 inhabitants) is located in the south of the Leon Province, 50 km from the province capital. The municipality is made of the villages of Villamandos proper (322 inh.) and Villarrabines (94 inh.)
The name of the municipality indicated a Roman settlement ("villa"), probably inhabited by veterans of the 7th Legion. After the Muslim invasion, the region, totally deserted, was a buffer zone separating the Christian and Muslim territories. To prevent further progress northwards by his enemy Almanzor (938-1002), King of Leon Alfonso V the Noble (994-1028) decided to develop the region, granting in 1017 the Franchises of Leon ("Fuero de León") and promoting resettlement of the deserted area. The village that developed around the site of the commanding structure ("mandos") of the Christian army was named Villamandos.
Villamandos was incorporated into the County of Benavente, erected in 1164 by King of Leon Fernando II (1157-1188). Villarrabines, then known as Rabines, belonged to the County of Coyanza. The resettlement of the region was considered as achieved under King Sancho IV the Brave (1284-1295); Villamandos was then inhabited by 20-30 families. Later on, different feudal lords competed for the rule on Villamandos, the eventual winners being the Counts of Valencia de Don Juan.
Source: Municipal website
Ivan Sache, 17 Oct 2010
The flag and arms of Villamandos are prescribed by a Decree adopted on 23 September 2010 by the Municipal Council, signed on 30 September 2010 by the Mayor, and published on 11 October 2010 in the official gazette of Castile and Leon, No. 197, p. 76,723. Based on the supporting memoir submitted by the historian and heraldist Laureano M. Rubio Pérez, the symbols are described as follows:
Flag: Rectangular, in proportions 2:3, made of four horizontal stripes in respective proportions 1/2, 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 [2:1:1:1], the upper vert [sic], the second and the lower gules [sic], and the intermediate white, the first two stripes separated by a golden fimbriation.
Coat of arms: Per pale, 1. Gules two sticks argent crossed per saltire cantoned with two masks of the same and two columns or, 2a. Vert a capital letter "V" or surmounted by two pennants gules, 2b. Argent a lion rampant purpure crowned langued and armed or. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed.
There is no explanation given for the symbols. While the sinister part of the shield must allude to the strategic, border location of Villamandos in Leon, the dexter part must allude to some local tradition. The municipal website says that the St. Blaise Festival, held in February to celebrate the village's patron saint, ends with a costume ball.
The flag was unveiled during the St. Blaise festival, months before its official adoption, as evidenced by an article (with photo) published in "La Crónica de León," 4 February 2010, archived on 5 February 2010 in the "VexiLeón" blog.
The image of the flag and arms shown on the municipal website does not completely match the official description, while the photo confirms that the real flag does:
Source: http://www.villamandos.org/bandera.html, http://www.villamandos.org/fotos%20ayuntamiento%20002b.jpg (bigger image)
Ivan Sache, 17 Oct 2010