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Gascones (Municipality, Community of Madrid, Spain)

Last modified: 2016-05-18 by ivan sache
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Flag of Gascones - Image by Ivan Sache, 8 July 2015

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Presentation of Gascones

The municipality of Gascones (179 inhabitants in 2014; 2,004 ha; municipal website) is located in the north of the Community of Madrid, 80 km of Madrid.

Gascones was established by French colonists; "Gascons" was used in Spain in the Middle Ages as a generic name for ail people living north of the Pyrenees. The village belonged to the Land of Buitrago, which was granted in 1368 to Pedro González de Mendoza. His distant successors, the Dukes of the Infantado, ruled Gascones until the suppression of the feudal system.
Located on the Somosierra frontline, Gascones was completely destroyed during the Civil War. A project of establishing a brand new settlement named Buitrago Gascones failed, Gascones being eventually rebuilt in traditional style.

Ivan Sache, 8 July 2015

Symbols of Gascones

The flag (photos) and arms of Gascones are prescribed by a Decree adopted on 27 December 2001 by the Government of the Community of Madrid and published on 24 January 2002 in the official gazette of the Community of Madrid, No. 20, pp. 8-9 (text) and on 15 March 2002 in the Spanish official gazette, No. 64, p. 11,072 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: In proportions 2:3. Yellow panel charged in the center with the municipal coat of arms.
Coat of arms: Per pale, 1. Vert two cows or with a collar per pale, 2. The arms of the House of Mendoza (Dukes of the Infantado and lords of Buitrago). The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed.

The Royal Academy of History recommended, for the sake of simplicity, to drop one of the two elements added to the arms of Mendoza, either the bordure charged with sheep or the quarter charged with two cows; if the cows are to be kept, they should be represented with a collar, as stated in the description.
The proposed flag is acceptable, provided the coat of arms is modified.
[Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia, 2001, 198:3, 563]

Diego Hurtado de Mendoza y Figueroa (1415/1417-1479), the elder son of Íñigo López de Mendoza, First Marquis of Santillana, was made Duke of the Infantado (full title, "Duque de las Cinco Villas del Estado del Infantado") in 1475; subsequently, the Dukes of the Infantado were made first-rank Grandees of Spain, and were therefore allowed to wear their hat in the presence of the king. Íñigo de Arteaga y Martín (b. 1941) is the 19th Duke of the Infantado.
"Vert a bend gules fimbriated or" are the oldest known arms of Mendoza; subsequently modified several times, the arms always included a red bend on a green field. The arms quartered per saltire were introduced by the first Marquis of Santillana and appear on a seal dated 1440; the marquis quartered his father's arms (Mendoza) with his mother's arms (de la Vega). His descendants were known as Mendoza de Guadalajara or Mendoza de l'Ave María. In the representations of these arms, the first quarter is inscribed with "AVE MARÍA" while the third quarter is inscribed with "PLENA GRATIA" (or, at least "GRATIA").
[José Luis García de Paz (UAM), Los poderosos Mendoza website]

The two cows are most probably taken from the arms of the Gascon province of Béarn, recalling the origin of the village.

Ivan Sache, 8 July 2015