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Miranda del Castañar (Municipality, Castilla y León, Spain)

Last modified: 2015-01-17 by ivan sache
Keywords: miranda del castañar |
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Flag of Miranda del Castañar - Image by Ivan Sache, 1 May 2011

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Presentation of Miranda del Castañar

The municipality of Miranda del Castañar (527 inhabitants in 2010; 2,107 ha) is located in the south of the Salamanca Province, 80 km from Salamanca. A local tradition says that "If the Sierra de Francia were an egg, Miranda del Castañar would, undoubtedly, be its yolk".

Miranda del Castañar was the capital of a territory resettled in 1188-1230 by King Alfonso IX of León. At the end of the 13th century, the village, protected by a four-gated wall, housed Christians, Jews and Moors. The castle of Miranda (unofficial website) was built in 1451 by Pedro de Zúñiga (d. 1454), a Castilian noble descending from the Kings of Navarre, as engraved on one of the sides of the donjon. In 1453, Pedro de Zúñiga was involved in the fall and subsequent execution of Álvaro de Luna.
On 9 February 1457, Diego López de Zúñiga was made Count of Miranda del Castañar by King Henry IV. The Duchess of Alba and 19th Countess of Miranda del Castañar offered in 1954 the castle to the municipality. The village was registered as an Historical and Artistic Monument in 1973.

Ivan Sache, 1 May 2011

Symbols of Miranda del Castañar

The flag of Miranda del Castañar is prescribed by a Decree adopted on 19 September 1997 by the Salamanca Provincial Government, signed on 24 September 1997 by the President of the Government, and published on 8 October 1997 in the official gazette of Castilla y León, No. 193, p. 6,164 (text).
The flag is described as follows:

Flag: Quadrangular flag, with proportions 1:1, tierced per pale white, red and white, the red part being three times (3:5) bigger than the white parts (1:5) on the flanks. In the middle of the flag is placed the municipal coat of arms in full colors.

The coat of arms of Miranda del Castañar (image) is prescribed by a Decree adopted on 25 October 1996 by the Salamanca Provincial Government, signed by the President of the Government on 30 October 1996 and published on 25 November 1996 in the official gazette of Castilla y León, No. 193, p. 6,164 (text).
The coat of arms is described as follows:

Coat of arms: Per pale, 1. Or a chestnut [castaña] eradicated vert, 2a. Argent a bend sable in orle a chain or with eight links (Zúñiga), 2b. Checky eight pieces argent seven pieces azure (Toledo). The shield surmounted with a Royal Spanish crown.

The Royal Academy of History did not accept the coat of arms. While the chestnut is acceptable to make the arms canting, the use of the Zúñiga and Toledo arms is "evidently inadequate": the Counts of Miranda del Castañar always used the arms of the male branch of Zúñiga, the Avellanada wolves, while the arms shown on the proposed municipal coat of arms represent another branch of the Zúñiga lineage. The personal union of the County of Miranda and of the Duchy of Alba is not a sufficient reason to use the Toledo / Alba arms on the municipal coat of arms.
The proposed arms are not based on the medieval seal of Miranda, while they should, and there is no reason to invent new municipal arms. A bronze matrix of the seal, dated from the 14th-15th centuries, is kept in the Lázaro Galdiano Museum of Madrid; it shows a five-arched fortified bridge over waves, in chief two wolves affronty. The use of appropriate colors will provide Miranda del Castañar with arms based on a "solid tradition and perfectly matching the best style" (Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia, 1998, 195, 2: 370).
The Academy did not check the proposed flag, since it included a previously rejected coat of arms (Boletín de la Real Academia de Historia, 1999, 196, 2:347).

Ivan Sache, 15 February 2014