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Fuenteheridos (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2016-12-20 by ivan sache
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Flag of Fuenteheridos - Image from the Símbolos de Huelva website, 24 August 2016

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Presentation of Fuenteheridos

The municipality of Fuenteheridos (641 inhabitants in 2015; 1,091 ha; municipal website) is located 120 km north of Huelva.

Fuenteheridos was established in the late 13th century by colonists from León. The historian Rodolfo Recio explains that the village was first named Fonte de los Feridos; Fonte / Fuente means "a fountain", referring to the place where the settlement was founded. In El Bierzo district, a ferido is an irrigation schedule.
The village was granted to the Council of Seville; as a hamlet depending on Galaroza, it was successively ruled by Fadrique (1559-1621), the Count-Duke of Olivares (1621-1645, together with Aracena), and the Marquis of Astorga (1645-1716), until granted the status of villa. The General Archives of Simancas, dated 1752, lists the villa of Fuentes Heridos la Real.
The emblem of the town is the Twelve Pipes' Fountain (Fuente de los Doce Caños), built on the source of river Múrtiga.

Ivan Sache, 24 August 2016

Symbols of Fuenteheridos

The flag of Fuenteheridos was proposed on 27 October 1994 by Juan José Antequera, together with a coat of arms (see below), as follows:

Flag: Rectangular, in proportions 11 x 18, made of a panel vertically divided in two equal parts, the first part itself horizontally divided into two equal parallel parts perpendicular to the hoist, the upper yellow and the lower white, the second part red. Charged in the center with the municipal coat of arms.

The coat of arms was adopted on 23 October 1990 by the Municipal Council, sticking to the blazon originally designed in June 1987 by Amador Rubio Molina:

Coat of arms: Per pale 1. Azure a chestnut tree flowered proper, 2. Argent a lion purpure armed langued and crowned or. Grafted in base per pale argent and azure allover a hank or. A chief vert a twelve-piped fountain proper. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed. Beneath the shield a scroll or inscribed with "Fonte de los Feridos".

Juan José Antequera proposed on 27 October 1994 a revision of the design, which was deemed flawed. The partition of the shield is shamelessly inspired from the national coat of arms, but only the second quarter has been kept. The "no tincture on tincture" rule is broken. The arms of León could be used by other places, as could be - erroneously - the wool hank by all the towns once part of the Kingdom of Seville. The inappropriate base per pale argent and azure represents the town of Huelva. The writing should be placed on the bordure of the shield, if deemed necessary for the sake of philology. Antequera proposed a much simpler design, "Gules a twelve-piped fountain argent (six pipes visible) ensigned by a chestnut or".

On 11 January 1995, the Mayor of Fuenteheridos informed the Provincial Council that the proposal had been rejected. The Mayor considered that the design was representative of the local historical traditions and should not be changed, excepted heraldic errors to be corrected. This was based on a rebuttal to Antequera released on 9-10 October 1994 by a local historian, Rodolfo Recio Moya, who supported the adoption of the original design. The historian explained that the Twelve Pipes' Fountain, as the origin of the town, had to be represented on the arms as the "natural symbol" of Fuenteheridos, and, therefore, as it stands, that is with a row of twelve pipes instead of the six recommended by Antequera. The arms of León recall the specific, non Castilian, origin of the early colonists of the place. The chestnut is the "king tree" of the town, being the only tree still cultivated; chestnuts were originally planted by the colonists to replace the oaks cut to build the vessels of the Royal Navy. The symbol of Seville recalls that Fuenteheridos belonged to the Council of Seville. The colours of Huelva recalls that the municipality was incorporated to the Province of Huelva in 1833. The historian concludes that compliance with the norms of heraldry would be the ice on the cake, the most important points being the local identity, history, mind and idiosyncrasy. Abstract symbols, "more or less heraldic", would be considered afterwards.
As expected, the non-heraldic explanation of the arms triggered an infuriated rebuttal by Juan José Antequera, who proposed on 11 July 1995 an amended design, "Gules a chestnut tree eradicated or fructed argent the trunk superimposed with a twelve-piped fountain argent pouring water azure".

The proposed symbols (Recio's coat of arms and Antequera's flag with Recio's coat of arms) were subsequently submitted to the Royal Academy of Córdoba, which, not too unexpectedly, rejected them on 1 March 2001.
The Academy repeated, more or less, Antequera's critics of the proposed arms. The Academy stated that it was clear, at first sight, that the author of the design had no knowledge in heraldry. The coat of arms was deemed "spurious and extravagant, totally non compliant with the heraldic tradition and authentic style". The design lacks chromatic contrast because of the use of too many charges, represented proper and in non-heraldic style. The design abusively encompasses too many charges, such as the local fountain, a chestnut and emblems of the old kingdom of León, of the old Council of Seville and of the town of Huelva. The three latter charges are inappropriate and unsubstantiated.
The Academy rejected the proposed flag since it includes the rejected coat of arms.
[Juan José Antequera. Principios de transmisibilidad en las heráldicas officiales de Sevilla, Córdoba y Huelva]

The municipality appears, however, to use the rejected symbols (photo, photo).

Ivan Sache, 24 August 2016