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Santa María Ribarredonda (Municipality, Castilla y León, Spain)

Last modified: 2019-01-13 by ivan sache
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Flag of Santa María Ribarredonda - Image from the Escudos y Banderas de la Provincia de Burgos website, 25 February 2014

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Presentation of Santa María Ribarredonda

The municipality of Santa María Ribarredonda (113 inhabitants in 2009; 1,101 ha) is located 60 km of Burgos.

Santa María Ribarredonda was mentioned for the first time on 1 July 957 in a document kept in the San Millán de la Cogolla monastery, as Riparretunda, meaning "a circular hillside"; the name of the village's patron saint was subsequently added to the village's name. The full name of Santa María Ribarredonda appeared on 1 March 1058.
Santa María Ribarredonda is the birth place of the musician Lucas Ruiz de Ribayaz y Foncea (1626-?), known only by the Luz y Norte Musical treatise (1677), a book of 168 pages including scores for guitar and harp (canarios, folías, gallarda, j‡caras, mariona, matachín, pavanas, villanos, zarabandas...), as well as technical explanations.

Ivan Sache, 7 February 2011

Symbols of Santa María Ribarredonda

The flag and arms of Santa María Ribarredonda, adopted on 23 August 2000 by the Municipal Council, are prescribed by a Decree adopted on 28 May 2000 by the Burgos Provincial Government, signed on 8 January 2001 by the President of the Government, and published on 22 January 2001 in the official gazette of Castilla y León, No. 15, p. 1,463 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: Quadrangular flag, with proportions 1:1. A green field. In chief, a blue stripe of 0.2 [of the flag's hoist] charged with three stars placed per fess, the first star or, the second star argent and the third star faceted red. In the middle of the flag is placed the municipal coat of arms.
Coat of arms: Per pale, 1. Gules a Gothical arch florety covering a column with Corinthian base and capital or in chief three bezants or per fess, 2. Azure a two-storey bell tower argent with two bodies and three bells proper 1 + 2. The shield surmounted with a Royal crown closed.

The symbols were designed by Friar Valentín de la Cruz, Official Chronicler of the Province of Burgos (document dated 4 July 2000). On the coat of arms, the arch, taken from the village's monumental church, is a tribute to the local art and strength; the church was built from 1518 to 1583. The three bezants mean the valiant geographical location of the village, the fecundity of its fields and the nobleness of its inhabitants. The bell tower with the three bells symbolizes the three primitive St. Clement, St. Anthony and St. Cross monasteries.
The original proposal of coat of arms included over the bells a hoe argent charged with three spikes or, symbolizing grain cultivation in the municipality; this detail is not mentioned in the official description of the arms. There is indeed an error in the official text, since those elements do appear on the images of the coat of arms.

The Royal Academy of History stated that "various reasons prevent the approval of the proposed project". "A Gothic arch flory covering a column with Corinthian base and capital" does not comply with the good practice of heraldry. The superimposition of the sickle to the spikes is not of good style, either, beside the triteness of the figure. The Academy recommended to simplify the shield, whose first qualities should be legibility and limpidity.
Accordingly, the flag proposal, which includes the rejected coat of arms, should be amended too.
[Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia, 2002, 199, 2: 291]

Ivan Sache, 5 March 2015