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Andalusia (Autonomous Community, Spain): Former legislation on the local symbols (1995)

Last modified: 2016-07-02 by ivan sache
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Decree on the local symbols

Before the adoption of Law No. 6 of 9 October 2003, the procedure of approval and rehabilitation of the coats of arms, flags and other symbols of the Local Entities in Andalusia was prescribed by Decree No. 14, adopted on 31 January 1995 by the Government of Andalusia and published on 9 March 1995 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 38, pp. 2,020-2,022 (text).

Article 1.
The Municipalities and other Local Entities of the Autonomous Community of Andalusia can adopt a coat of arms, a flag and other symbols, modified those already established, and rehabilitate those of historical use, in compliance with the prescriptions of the present Decree.

Article 2.
1. The highest collegial body of government of the Local Entity is in charge of the adoption of the agreement(s) regarding the initiation of the rehabilitation, adoption and modification of the flag, of the coat of arms or of other symbols.
2. The adopted agreement shall be displayed for public information, for 20 days, through publication in the official gazette of Andalusia and in the Register of acts of the Local Entity.
3. At the end of the period of public information, the file shall be submitted to the Directorate General of the Local Administration and Justice at the Division of Government. The file shall include any document considered of interest, and, in all cases:
    a) a certified copy of the agreement(s) by the Local Entity.
    b) appeals submitted during the period of public information by citizen's associations, institutions or private persons.
    c) A memoir that shall include, at least, the following elements: description of the antecedents in the historical archives of the corporation; a detailed record of the bibliographic, archivistic, monumental, etc. sources consulted, demonstrating that the investigation was as exhaustive as possible, and a description and justification of the proposal, with attachment of a drawing of the proposed coat of arms, in which the colours are clearly defined, and, in the case of flags and seals, the dimensions are clearly stated.
4. After reception of the file, the Institute of the Academies of Andalusia shall release a recommendation within two months. If no recommendation is released in due time, the recommendation will be considered as favourable and the file shall be further proceeded.
5. When the recommendation is favourable, the Directorate General of the Local Administration and Justice, within 10 working days, shall submit a proposal of Decree to the Division of Government, to be forwarded to the Council of Government for approval.
6. When the recommendation by the Institute of the Academies of Andalusia is not favourable, the Local Entity shall be notified of the objections. The Local Entity shall adopt a new Agreement, taking into account the rejection, and submit a certified copy of it to the Directorate General of the Local Administration and Justice for inclusion to the file. The new Agreement shall be submitted within five months, otherwise, the file will be considered as null and void. 7. The Council of Government of Andalusia is in charge of the definitive resolution of the case, upon proposal by the Division of Government, within eight months. If no agreement is released in due time, the request is considered as approved.
8. The agreement of the Council of Government shall be notified to the Local Entity and published in the official gazette of Andalusia.

Article 3.
The technical criteria to be considered when elaborating coats of arms are presented in Appendix I of this Decree.

Article 4.
The flag shall express conceptual richness, simplicity, and an harmonic and visible organization, particularly for the sake of visibility and differentiation from a distance. It must be compliant with the vexillological art and science, as explained in Appendix II to this Decree.


Provisional Clause
The processes of rehabilitation, modification, or adoption of coat of arms, flags and other symbols initiated by the Local Entities before the date of effect of the present Law shall follow for their resolution the procedure described in this Law, without prejudice of the validity of acts passed until now in compliance with the previous legislation.

Appendix 1. Technical criteria for the elaboration of coats of arms.

1. The coat of arms shall not result in a multicoloured composition of specified size, but in an archetypical model used to produce numerous replicas in different sizes and materials, lacking irrelevant documents proper only to specific situations. The use of double arms or arms potentially confusing with already existing ones is not permitted. The arms shall be compliant with the art and science of blazoning.
2. The shield shall be rectangular, oblong and rounded-off in base, in proportions 6 units in height on 5 units in width, compliant with the graphical model attached to this Decree [Appendix IV].
3. For the sake of aesthetics and heraldry, the composition shall be as simple as possible, taking into account that a municipal coat of arms cannot include a compendium of the complete local history; in contrast, it shall concentrate on a few proper elements, representative of the place, of its environment and history.
4. The arms shall be preferentially organized in a single quarter, or, two, provided that this division reflects the juxtaposition of the arms once belonging to different lineages. It is acceptable to use the arms of the old feudal lineage, provided they are not altered and not confused with those of the municipality. If so, the shield shall include another quarter featuring elements proper to the municipality.
5. The reproduction of specific monuments shall be avoided, since they are objects formal specificity very dubious, disputable and difficult to identify by anyone, to be substituted by symbolic, sketchy and generic representations; this criteria shall be applied to landscaped representations.
6. The figures shall be turned dexterwise on arms designed from scratch; no other disposition shall be admitted unless justified by significant, traditional use.
7. The field of the shield shall not be charged with inscriptions, which shall be placed on the bordure if considered as essential.
8. The tinctures shall form the chromatic contrast that historically characterized heraldry, allowing quick differentiation of the elements of the shield from a distance or on small-sized copies.
9. The shield shall be surmounted by a Royal Spanish crown closed [detailed description skipped], in compliance with the model presented in Appendix IV.
10. The arms shall not be ornamented with lambresquins, phylacteries, mantels, supporters, decorations, distinctions, mottos, trophies etc., unless explicitly granted and of documented use.

Appendix 2. Technical criteria for the elaboration of flags

1. The flag shall be in silk or taffeta, in compliance with the official model, rectangular and moderately long, extending from the hoist to the fly. A certain autonomy is allowed to fix the exact proportions, which, by default, shall be one and a half longer than wide. Other proportions supported by a long use shall be admitted.
When the flag is a translation of the municipal arms, it shall reproduce them in full and accurately, although it shall be admitted that the flag can reproduce only the main chromatic areas - or, to increase visibility - include only the main charge of canting arms, in the same colours, but only when there is no risk of confusion with the arms of any other municipality. In this case, the charge shall be in proportion 3:4 and located in a prominent place, that is in the center of the flag or with its geometrical axis fitted to the third part closer to the hoist, to which it shall be turned if an animal or a person.
If, however, the flag is mostly a combination of coloured area without direct connection with the fields and tinctures of the arms, it shall feature the full representation of the crowned coat of arms, its geometrical axis fitted to the flag's center or the third part closer to the hoist,
It is not permitted to use two different symbols for the same municipality. The use on the flags of coat of arms lacking official approval is not permitted either.

Ivan Sache, 13 February 2016

Order commissioning the Royal Academy of Córdoba

The Royal Academy of Sciences, Letters and Arts of Córdoba was commissioned to release recommendations on the proposed flag and arms by an Order adopted on 12 May 1995 by the Government of Andalusia and published on 26 May 1995 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 76, p. 4,880 (text).
This followed a request by the Institute of the Academies of Andalusia, which stated that the Royal Academy of Sciences, Letters and Arts of Córdoba was the only Academy with a Section of Historical Sciences and an Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies.

The Royal Academy of Córdoba (Real Academia de Ciencias, Bellas Letras y Nobles Artes de Córdoba; website) was founded on 11 November 1810 by Manuel María de Arjona y Cubas, Penitentiary Canon of the Cathedral of Córdoba, as an outfit of the Real Sociedad Patri—tica de Amigos del País (Royal Patriotic Society of the Friends of the Country, established in 1779). The title of "Royal" was granted by a Royal Decree signed on 9 July 1915 by King Alfonso XIII.
The Statutes of the Academy were last revised on 2 May 1990, as prescribed by an Order of the Government of Andalusia adopted on 15 January 1992 and published on 6 February 1992 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 11, pp. 754-755 (text).
Like the Decree on the local symbols, this Order was demeaned by Law No. 6 of 9 October 2003.

The Academy is composed of 35 regular members and another 35 corresponding members living in Córdoba, and of an unspecified number of corresponding members living outside the town. The Academy is divided into five sections:
1. Moral an Political Sciences
2. Historical Sciences
3. Mathematical, Physical, Chemical and Life Sciences
4. Letters
5. Art.
The Academy counts four institutes: Instituto de Estudios Heráldicos y Genealógicos, Instituto de Estudios Califales, Instituto de Estudios Gongorinos, and Instituto de Estudios Escénicos.
The Academy owns a library of 300,000 volumes, including old Arab manuscripts and 600 books from the 16th-18th centuries.

Ivan Sache, 13 February 2016