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Móstoles (Municipality, Community of Madrid, Spain)

Last modified: 2020-10-08 by ivan sache
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Flag of Móstoles - Image by Ivan Sache, 16 July 2015

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Presentation of Móstoles

The municipality of Móstoles (205,712 inhabitants in 2014, therefore the 2nd most populous municipality in the Community; 4,536 ha; municipal website) is located 20 km south-west of Madrid. The municipality experienced a demographic boom in the last three decades of the 20th century, its population increasing from 17,895 inhabitants in 1970 to 196,524 in 2001. M—stoles is divided in five districts: Center, North-University, South-East, West, and Coimbra-Guadarrama.

Móstoles was already settled in the Roman times. Excavations started in the 1930s by Fidel Fuidio, the "patron saint" of archeology in Madrid, have provided evidence of the presence of a nucleus located in the west of the today's town, either a vicus (rural nucleus) or a mansio (post along a road), and of various villae (rural estates) established in the 3rd-4th century near brooks. The Antonine Itinerary shows that the area was crossed by four important roads: No. XXIV (Toletum [Toledo]-Segovia), No. XXV (Emérita Augusta [Mérida]-Caesaraugusta [Zaragoza] via Complutum [Alcalá de Henares]), No. XXIX (Asturica Augusta [Astorga]-Corduba [Córdoba]), and Valentia [Valencia]-Salamantica [Salamanca].
In his record of the roads of Al-Andalus, the geographer Al-Idrisi (12th century) mentions M'stāl, a place located on the road connecting Toledo and Burgos via Segovia, which has been identified with Móstoles. The village belonged to the citadel of Calatalifa.

Móstoles was first mentioned on a donation made in October 1144 by Alfonso VII to the cathedral of Segovia, as the tower of Monstoles, located on the road of Madrid to Olmos. The town was allocated in 1202 to the Council of Segovia, to be subsequently transferred, for a yet unknown reason, to Toledo. The first known lord of Móstoles is Pelayo Daza, who was succeeded in the 14th century by his children, Diego González and Marina Páez. Among the subsequent lords were Gutierre Gómez, Prior of the Order of St. John in Castile and Adelantado of the Kingdom of Murcia, and his brother, Diego Gómez, Alcalde Mayor of Toledo. At the end of the 15th century, the delimitation of Móstoles, still a dependency of Toledo, from Madrid was initiated.
Móstoles was granted the status of villa in 1565 by Philip II, separating from Toledo.

On 2 May 1808, an insurrection against the French invaders broke out in Madrid. Juan Pérez Villamil and Esteban Fernández de León met in Móstoles with the two Mayors of the place, Andrés Torrejón and Simón Hernández, who were convinced to sign the Bando de Independencia (Ordinance of Independence). Spread all over Spain, the "Ordinance of the Two Mayors" contributed to the general uprising that broke out on 25 May. The subsequent mythification of the event, presented as a "declaration of war to Napoléon" written by an obscure Mayor in the south of Spain, significantly distorted the historical facts. Móstoles remained at war with France until 1985, when peace was eventually signed in an official ceremony attended by the French ambassador.

Ivan Sache, 16 July 2015

Symbols of Móstoles

The flag (photo, photos, photo, photo) and "rehabilitated" arms of Móstoles are prescribed by a Decree adopted on 29 April 2004 by the Government of the Community of Madrid and published on 30 April 2004 in the official gazette of the Community of Madrid, No. 102, p. 20 (text-). The symbols, originally approved on 15 and 25 March 2004 by the Municipal Council, were validated on 14 April 2004 by the Royal Academy "Matritense" of Heraldry and Genealogy.
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: Vertically divided (1:5), at hoist, crimson red; at fly, Prussian blue, divided in three horizontal stripes, the central twice wider than the lateral, by two yellow stripes, in width 1/30 of the fly. On the central stripe, tierced at hoist, is placed the municipal coat of arms of the town.
Coat of arms: Per pale, 1. Or a Blessed Virgin holding Baby Jesus in her arms proper supported by a crescent argent and orled by a capital letter "D" gules, the Marian invocation "Tota pulchra est Maria" in letters or, 2. Gules three fesses azure fimbriated or the uneven fesses charged with the anagrams "ON", "PHI", "LIPE" and "II", respectively in letters or. The shield surmounted by a Royal Spanish crown.

On the flag, red is a symbol of the Community of Madrid. Prussian blue is a symbol of the identity of the town and of European Union. Yellow is a symbol of prosperity, aspired by the inhabitants of different Spanish regions who moved to the town in the 1970s.

The coat of arms is a "rehabilitation", in compliance with the norms of modern municipal heraldry, of the historical coat of arms of Móstoles, granted in 1565 by Philip II.
The arms feature the Virgin of the Saints (presentation), the town's patron saint. The Virgin has been venerated for centuries in a dedicated chapel, known by written sources since the 16th century. The co-patron of the town is St. Simón de Rojas (1552-1624, canonized on 3 July 1988 by Pope John Paul II), known as the "Apostle of the Ave Maria". His mother, Constanza de Roja, offered the family house in 1602 to increase the chapel that had been erected on the place where children had found the miraculous statue of the Virgin. The origin of the advocation of the Virgin is disputed: some claim that the children say "There is a Virgin with a Saint", while other claim that the advocation was randomly selected among several proposals.


Other flag of Móstoles - Image by Ivan Sache, 16 July 2015

The flag also exists with the red stripe wider (1/4) than prescribed (photo). Such a flag was used by the Móstoles-based mountain climbers Juan García Arriaza, who hoisted it on two out of the seven highest mountains of each continent he climbed upon in the "Proyecto 7 Cumbres Solidarias" (here the seven highest mountains of each continent) operation (photos - Aconcagua and Carstensz Pyramid, Indonesia - no longer available).


Other flag of Móstoles - Image by Ivan Sache, 16 July 2015

The mountain climber hoisted a blue flag charged with the historical coat of arms of Móstoles (image) on another two peaks (photo, Elbrus; photo, Mt. McKinley).

Ivan Sache & Santiago Dotor, 16 July 2015