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Numancia de la Sagra (Municipality, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain)

Last modified: 2020-04-04 by ivan sache
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Flag of Numancia de la Sagra - Image by Ivan Sache, 10 September 2019

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Presentation of Numancia de la Sagra

The municipality of Numancia de la Sagra (4,846 inhabitants in 2018; 2,963 ha) is located 40 km north-east of Toledo.

Numancia de la Sagra was originally known as Azaña, from an Arab word meaning "a noria". On 19 October 1936, one day after the fall of the town to the Francoist troops, Jesús Velasco, commander of the Numancia Regiment, "appointed" eight villagers to organize the new administration of the "liberated" town. They were forced to sign a document stating that "the town shall be renamed to Numancia de la Sagra for the transcendental fact to have been reconquered by the glorious squadrons of the Numancia Regiment on the unforgettable morning of the 18th day of the month."
The reason behind the change was not mentioned on the document; nobody probably dared explaining the commander how absurd it was. Azaña was not named for President of the Republic Manuel Azaña by a decision of the Republican government so hated by Velasco. The name of the town was indeed first recorded on a document signed by King Sancho III in 1158.

Antonio Martín Serrano, chronicler of the town and the son of Enrique Martín, the secretary who was forced to write the document dicted by Velasco, has been attempting for decades to have the name of he town restored as Azaña, to no avail. The three successive Socialist President of Castilla-La Mancha never "moved a finger" to have the Municipal Council, when ruled by a Socialist majority, to address the issue. Quite ironically, the only serious attempts were made by Clemente Serrano, Mayor of the town for the Partido Popular for more than one decade.
Alberto González, a Galician living in Numancia for 14 years, founded, with Antonio Martín Serrano and Clemente Serrano, the Fazaña association some ten years ago, in the aftermath of the promulgation of the Law on Historical Memory. The Law forced several municipalities to suppress visible signs of the Francoist regime, including place names honoring the Caudillo and his generals. The association recently submitted a motion to all political groups represented in the Municipal Council, to no avail. Paraphrazing Cervantes, González said: "We live in a place of La Mancha whose name we have renounced to remember."
[Atlántica XXII, 15 May 2018]

On 19 October 2018, the Azaña Day was officially organized by the Municipal Council, upon request of Fazania and the local section of Izquierda Unida, as a celebration of the history of the town, with a tribute paid to the 23 inhabitants of the town still alive who were born before the name's change.
[CMM, 20 October 2018]

Ivan Sache, 10 September 2019

Symbols of Numancia de la Sagra

The flag of Numancia de la Sagra (photo, photo, photo) is prescribed by an Order issued on 4 January 2005 by the Government of Castilla-La Mancha and published on 20 January 2005 in the official gazette of Castilla-La Mancha, No. 14, p. 816 (text).
The flag is described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular, in proportions 2:3 with a red cross throughout whose arms are 1/5 of the panel's width, white in the upper hoist and lower fly and yellow in the two other parts. Superimposed in the center with the crowned coat of arms.

The coat of arms of Numancia de la Sagra is prescribed by Decree No. 109 issued on 4 December 1985 by the Government of Castilla-La Mancha and published on 10 December 1985 in the official gazette of Castilla-La Mancha, No. 49, p. 1,835 (text).
The flag is described as follows:

Coat of arms: Per pale, 1. Argent a noria vert on waves azure and argent, 2. Or a patriarchal cross flory gules. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed.

The Royal Academy of History found the proposed arms, supported by selected bibliographic sources, "viable". The noria recalls the etymology of Azaña, the Arab word "as-sinaya". The cross recalls the connection of the town with the Archbishop of Toledo.
[Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia 182:3, 571. 1985 ]

Ivan Sache, 10 September 2019