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Valverde del Camino (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2016-12-20 by ivan sache
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Flag of Valverde del Camino - Image from the Símbolos de Huelva website, 6 September 2016

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Presentation of Valverde del Camino

The municipality of Valverde del Camino (12,766 inhabitants in 2015; 21,870 ha) is located 50 km north of Huelva.

Valverde del Camino emerged in the Middle Ages, as a hamlet named Facanías. Valverde was granted the status of villa in 1731 by Philip V.
The town boomed in the 19th century when English companies re-activated mining in the Province of Huelva. The English period is recalled by the railway station, inaugurated on 28 July 1868, and the headquarters of the Compañía Inglesa de Minas and of the United Alkali Company Limited (1912), all built in Victorian style.
[Huelva Buenas Noticias, 21 June 2013]

Valverde is a main centre of shoe-making industry. The town once produced one million pair shoes every year; in the aftermath of the economical crisis, the production was divided by two. Shoes are still manufactured by 18 shoe-making companies and 29 related companies, which all together employ 450 workers. Two-thirds of the production are exported, Valverde industry representing the third most important exporter in the province.
[Es Valverde, 7 August 2013]

Ivan Sache, 6 September 2016

Symbols of Valverde del Camino

The flag of Valverde del Camino (photo, photo, photo, photo, photo, photo, photo) was adopted on 17 January 2011 by the Municipal Council. The registration process has not been completed yet.
The flag was inaugurated on 25 February 2011.
[Es Valverde, 25 February 2011]

Valverde del Camino was the last municipality in the Province of Huelva lacking a proper flag.
The flag was proposed on 22 November 2010 by the Expert's Commission that had been appointed on 4 November 2010 by the Mayor. The flag is green with the municipal coat of arms in the middle and a wavy white line in its lower part.
The green (verde) field recalls the name of the town. Green is also present in the municipal coat of arms, being the colour of the snakes on the caldrons taken from the arms of the Dukes of Medina Sidonia.
The white wavy line represents a road (camino), recalling the strategical location of the town at the foot of the Sierra de León. White is also present in the municipal coat of arms, being the colour of the half cog-wheel that surmounts the crown.
[Municipal website; Huelva Información, 27 November 2010]

The coat arms of of Valverde del Camino is prescribed by Decree No. 3,200, adopted on 2 November 1972 by the Spanish Government and published on 21 November 1972 in the Spanish official gazette, No. 279, pp. 20,755-20,756 (text). This was confirmed by a Resolution adopted on 30 November 2004 by the Government of Andalusia and published on 20 December 2004 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 246, pp. 28,986-29,002 (text).
The coat of arms is described as follows:

Coat of arms: In Spanish shape. Azure two caldrons with the handles up ending with snake's heads all proper. A bordure of 16 pieces, with castles or on gules and lion rampant gules on argent (Arms of the Pérez de Guzmán, Counts of Niebla). The shield surmounted by a Count's coronet ensigned by a cog wheel argent.

The Royal Academy of History amended the arms originally proposed by the municipality. The arms differed from the design eventually adopted by the field, vert instead of azure, the Duke's coronet, the collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece surrounding the shield, the hide on which the shield was placed, and a phylactery inscribed with "industrial ciudad de Valverde del Camino".
The arms of the Pérez de Guzmán recall that Valverde belonged until 1732 to the County of Niebla. The cog wheel represents industry, while the hide represents, more specifically, shoe-making industry.
The Academy rejected the claim that the cog wheel, the hide and the motto represent King Alfonso XIII, who granted the titles of ciudad to the town and excelentissimo to the municipality. There is no specific reason to use the collar of the Golden Fleece.
The Academy eventually accepted the use of the arms of the Pérez de Guzmán, with the genuine field azure, the coronet and the cog wheel being added for the sake of differentiation from other municipalities historically connected with the Dukes of Medina Sidonia.
[Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia 1974. 171:2, 410]

Ivan Sache, 6 September 2016