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Andalusia (Autonomous Community, Spain): Municipalities

Last modified: 2016-06-04 by ivan sache
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See also:

External site of interest:

  • Símbolos de las Entidades Locales de Andalucía (presentation) - 2nd edition (23 November 2009) compiling the municipal symbols officially registered as of 15 September 2009
  • Símbolos de Andalucía by F.M. García Farrán & José Manuel Erbez

Law on the local symbols (2003)

The norms regulating the adoption, modification, rehabilitation, use and protocol of the symbols of the Local Entities in Andalusia are prescribed by Law No. 6, adopted on 9 October 2003 by the Government of Andalusia and published on 31 October 2003 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 210, pp. 22,730-22,734 (text).

Title I. Of the symbols of the Local Entities in Andalusia
Chapter 1. Purpose, domain of application, definitions and symbols of the Local Entities
Article 1. Purpose
1. The present Law establishes the norms regulating the adoption, modification, rehabilitation, use and protocol of the symbols of the Local Entities in Andalusia, encompassing the graphic symbols of verbal, vexillological and sound expression, as well as those of distinct nature.
2. The present Law establishes the norms of honorific titles of the Local Entities in Andalusia.
3. The present Law also establishes the Andalusian Register of Local Entities.

Article 2. Domain of application
The present Law shall apply to the municipalities, provinces and other territorial Local Entities of the Autonomous Community of Andalusia.

Article 3. Definitions
a) Graphic symbols: the coats of arms, emblems, logotypes and other graphic elements considered by a Local Entity as its symbols.
b) Symbols of verbal expression: the mottos, apothegms, anagrams and other symbols considered by a Local Entity as its symbols.
c) Vexillological symbols: the flags, ensigns, standards, banners and other emblems made of a piece of fabric and considered by a Local Entity as its symbols.
d) Sound symbols: the anthems and any musical composition, with or without lyrics, considered by a Local Entity as its symbols.

Article 4. Symbols of the Local Entities
1. The Local Entities can adopt the representative symbols they consider appropriate, provided the symbols and their process of adoption, modification or rehabilitation are compliant with the prescriptions of this Law.
2. The symbols that include acronyms, anagrams or logotypes of political parties, unions, professional organizations, associations of private entities are forbidden, as those violating the constitutional principles or jeopardizing the fundamental rights.
3. The symbols initiating or boosting violence under any of its manifestations are forbidden.
4. The symbols identical to other registered symbols or causing confusion with them are forbidden./P>

Chapter 2. Process of symbol adoption or modification
Article 5. Initiation
The process of symbol adoption or modification can be initiated officially, or, in the case of the symbols of municipalities or autonomous local entities, upon popular request.

Article 6. Official initiation
1. The process shall start by an agreement adopted by the highest collegial body of government of the Local Entity.
2. The agreement of initiation of the process of adoption or modification of the symbols shall include symbol proposals or a call to proposals.
3. When an initiation agreement includes a symbol proposal, the file shall include a memoir contributed by an expert in the matter of the symbol.
4. When an initiation agreement includes a call for proposals for the adoption of modification of a symbols, it shall include:
    a) the proclamation of the contest as open and public.
    b) the appointment of the members of the Jury commissioned to select the symbols, composed of an odd number of members, no less than three and no more than five, with a majority of members experts in the matter. In all cases, the Secretary of the Local Entity or his representative shall act as the Secretary of the Jury, with the right of speech but not of vote.
    c) the deadline for the submission of proposals, not earlier than two months and not later than four months after the call.
    d) if appropriate, the prize or prizes to be awarded.
    e) the transfer of intellectual property rights on symbols derived from submitted proposals that would awarded, as a prerequisite to answer the call.

Article 7. Initiation request
1. The popular request shall be submitted by at least one per cent of the legal population of the municipality or autonomous local entity, with a minimum of 30 applicants, and shall express the request in all clarity.
2. The higher body of government of the Local Entity shall accept or reject the request within one month. If accepted, the agreement shall be considered as a full agreement of admission.
3. When the request includes a symbol proposal, a memoir contributed by an expert in the matter shall be appended. If no proposal is included, a call for proposal shall be initiated as prescribed in Article 6 of the present Law.

Article 8. Publication of the initiation agreement
The initiation agreement, or the admission agreement, shall be published in the official register of the Local Entity and in local radio and television channels, if any.

Article 9. Public information and audit
1. A period of public information shall be initiated for 20 days, starting 15 days:
    a) after the admission agreement or the initiation agreement, if it includes a symbol proposal.
    b) after the deadline for proposal submission.
2. The period of information shall be publicly announced in the same media as the initiation agreement referred to in the previous Article, as well as in the official bulletins of the Government of Andalusia and of the relevant Province.
3. The opening of the period of information shall be explicitly announced to all the local associations and those whose social aim is directly connected with the conservation and promotion of the historical, artistic or cultural heritage of the Local Entity, as inscribed on the relevant register.

Article 10. Content of the administrative file.
The file to be submitted to public information shall contain, at least, the following items:
    a) The initiation agreement.
    b) When including a symbol proposal, the memoir supporting it.
    c) When resulting from a call for proposals, all the submitted proposals.

Article 11. Process of the call for proposals
Without prejudice that it could be declared null and void, the call of proposals shall be assessed by the Jury within one month after the deadline for proposal submission.

Article 12. Municipal audit
After the closure of the public information, for the symbols of Autonomous Local Entities or Entities of territorial rank lower than a municipality, the municipality to which the entity belongs shall audit the file for no longer than 15 days.

Article 13. Report by the administration of the Government of Andalusia.
Before the completion of the process, the administrative file shall be forwarded to the Ministry of Government, which shall release a legal report on the file within two months. If the report is not provided in due time, the process shall be continued.

Article 14. Completion
The completion of the process shall be the duty of the highest collegial body of government of the Local Entity. The approval of a symbol requires the favourable vote of two thirds of the present members, and, in all cases, of the absolute majority of the legal members of the highest collegial body of government of the Local Entity.

Article 15. Duration of the process and silent approval
The duration of the process, until the notification of the final resolution, shall not be longer than 12 months after the process initiation. The lack of completion in due time shall be considered as rejection of the application. The lack of completion does not exempt the Administration from the obligation to solve the case.

Chapter 3. Process of symbol rehabilitation
Article 16. The process of rehabilitation of symbols that have been historically used shall be the same as for adoption of modification, without the possibility of a call for proposals.

Chapter 4. Inscription on the Andalusian Register of Local Entities
Article 17. Symbol inscription and publication
1. After the approval of the symbol adoption, modification or rehabilitation, a certified copy of the agreement shall be forwarded to the Andalusian Register of Local Entities at the Ministry of Government.
2. The Director General of the Local Administration, within 15 days, shall release a Resolution accepting or rejecting the symbols. If the Resolution is not released in due time, the request for inscription shall be considered as accepted.
3. The request for inscription shall be rejected in the following cases:
    a) When the legally established process of adoption, modification or rehabilitation had not been followed.
    b) When the symbol breaks the prohibition rules listed in Article 4 of this Law.
4. The Resolution of the Director General of the Local Administration shall be published in the official bulletin of the Government of Andalusia.

Chapter 5. Regime of use of the symbols and legal actions of the administration of the Government of Andalusia.
Article 18. Regime of use of the symbols
1. The use of the symbols of the Local Entities is privative. Any other use of symbols inscribed on the Andalusian Register of Local Entities is forbidden without the explicit consent of the higher collegial body of government of the Local Entity.
2. The official communication and documents of the Local Entity shall include only the symbols approved and inscribed on the Andalusian Register of Local Entities. No use that would jeopardize the dignity of the symbols shall be allowed.
3. Symbols that have not been inscribed on the Andalusian Register of Local Entities cannot be used.

Article 19. Legal actions of the administration of the Government of Andalusia
The administration of the Government of Andalusia, in relation with the agreement of the Local Entities on the adoption, modification or rehabilitation of their symbols, can exert legal processes prescribed by Law No. 7 of 2 April 1985 regulating the bases of local regime.

Chapter 6. Symbol protection
Article 20. Symbol protection
1. The inscribed and published symbols of Local Entities are placed under the protection of the Laws, to be reinforced by the relevant entities, as prescribed in Article 68 of Law No. 7 of 2 April 1985 regulating the bases of local regime.
2. The inscription of the symbols on the Andalusian Register of Local Entities grants them with presumption of legality and validity. According to the present Law, the inscribed symbols shall have precedence on those inscribed in other registers.
3. The existence of identical or potentially confusing symbols not inscribed in the Andalusian Register of Local Entities cannot be appealed against the valid inscription of the symbols.

Article 21. Competence, offence specification and penalties
1. The competence to punish the offences specified in this Article are exerted by the President of the highest collegial body of government of the Local Entity.
2. Written, verbal or factual offence or outrage to the symbols of Andalusian Local Entities committed in public is a very severe offence.
3. Any use by any means of the symbols of the Local Entities without previous written permission and for profit making is a severe offence.
4. Any use of the symbols of the Local Entities without previous written permission is a benign offence.
5. The local ordinances shall modulate the severity of the penalty, taking into account the perpetrator's intentionality, recidivism, expected profit and damage caused to heritage, according to the following scale:
    a) for benign offence, fees of 60 to 3,000 euros.
    b) for severe offence, fees from 3,001 to 15,000 euros.
    c) for very severe offence, fees from 15,001 to 30,000 euros.

[...]

Title III. Of the Andalusian Register of Local Entities
Article 23. Establishment, nature and organic description
1. The Andalusian Register of Local Entities is established, as an official and public instrument of proof of existence of the Local Entities located on the territory of the Autonomous Community of Andalusia and of repository of the most relevant data of physical and judicial organization of those entities.
2. The organization and functioning of the Andalusian Register of Local Entities shall be established by a Decree of the Council of Government.
3. The Andalusian Register of Local Entities shall depend on the Directorate General of the Local Administration of the Division of Government of the Government of Andalusia.

Article 24. Subjective delimitation
1. The present Law considered as Local Entities those qualified by Article 3 of Law No. 7 of 2 April 1985, regulating the base of local regime, and those that could be established by the Andalusian legislation in the exercise of the exclusive competencies of the local regime.
2. The consortiums established as prescribed by Articles 33 and following of Law No. 7 of 27 July 1993, establishing the municipal delimitation of Andalusia, compliant with Article 36.2 of that Law, shall also be inscribed on the Andalusian Register of Local Entities.

Article 25. Objective delimitation
Without prejudice of legal data, the inscription relative to each entity shall include its environment, denomination, constituting entities, official symbols, area, cartographically delimited territory, dependencies, and population.

Article 26. Partnership with the Andalusian Register of Local Entities
In compliance with Article 3.2 of Law No. 30 of 26 November 1992, of the legal regime of public administrations and general administrative procedure, the relevant mechanisms of partnership shall be established to share the data of the Andalusian Register of Local Entities with the state Register.

Provisional Clauses

First: Ongoing processes
The processes of adoption, rehabilitation, or modification of coat of arms, flags and other symbols of the Local Entities initiated before the date of effect of the present Law shall follow for their resolution the procedure described in this Law, without prejudice of the use of acts officially adopted during the process.

Second: Inscription of pre-existing symbols
1. The symbols of Local Entities that have been adopted before the date of effect of the present Law shall be inscribed within one year on the Andalusian Register of Local Entities; an illustration, as well as the approval norms, shall be supplied.
2. The Local Entities that use traditional symbol in accordance with custom shall apply to the Andalusian Register of Local Entities, provided the certification prescribed in Article 17.1 via a supporting historical study is supplied, as well as certification of actual use.

Exemption Clause

This clause demeans Decree No. 14 of 31 January 1995, regulating the procedure of approval and rehabilitation of coat of arms, flags and other symbols of the Local Entities of the Andalusian Autonomous Community; the Order of the Division of Government of 12 May 1995, appointing the Royal Academy of Sciences, Letters and Arts of Córdoba, to assess the files on coats of arms, flags and other symbols of the Local Entities of the Andalusian Autonomous Community; and all prescriptions that oppose to those included in the present Law.

The symbols of Local Entities that have been adopted before the adoption of the current Law were inscribed on the Andalusian Register of Local Entities by a Resolution adopted on 30 November 2004 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration and published on 20 December 2004 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 246, pp. 28-986-29,002 (text).
The Appendix to the Decree lists the Local Entities and the original legal texts of symbol adoption. The distribution by provinces is the following:

Province		Flag and arms	Flag	Arms	Total

Almería		              39         1	 20	 60
Cádiz		              13	 1	  5	 19
Córdoba		              21	 0	 13	 34
Granada		              25	 1	 29	 55
Huelva			      44	 5	  6	 55
Jaén		              10	 2	  7	 19
Málaga		              11	 4	 35	 50	
Seville			      19	 3	 24	 46

Total			     182	17	139	338

Ivan Sache, 13 February 2016