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Navas de Oro (Municipality, Castilla y León, Spain)

Last modified: 2015-01-17 by ivan sache
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Flag of Navas de Oro - Image by Ivan Sache, 19 April 2011

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Presentation of Navas de Oro

The municipality of Navas de Oro (1,480 inhabitants in 2010; 6,227 ha; municipal website) is located in the center-west of Segovia Province.

Navas de Oro has nothing to do with gold (oro). The village is locally believed to have been named for its founder, Orfo / Orpho. However, the oldest known written sources (13th century) mention "Navas Dolfo". "Navas", very common in the local toponymy, means "a plain", "a lowland". "Dolfo" comes from the Visigothic anthroponym Ataulfo, romanized into Adaulfo / Adolfo / Dolfo. Later on, "Dolfo" was castilianized as "Dolo" (15th-16th centuries) and "Doro" (17th-18th centuries); the popular use eventually transformed "Doro" into "de Oro" (19th century).
Navas de Oro was once divided into two parts, Navas de Oro de Cuéllar, part of the Community of the Town and Land of Cuéllar, and Navas de Oro de Coca, part of the Community of the Town and Land of Coca. This odd situation was caused by the geographical location of Navas de Oro on the border between the two Communities, none of them accepting to abandon the whole village to the other. The partition happened in the 13th century, either in 1206 (Alfonso VIII) or 1296 (Alfonso X). The relations between the two boroughs were terse, resulting in numerous court cases, eventually solved by a concord treaty signed in 1720. The two boroughs were reunited on 12 December 1841, with effect and appointment of the new Mayor on 1 January 1842.

Ivan Sache, 19 April 2011

Symbols of Navas de Oro

The flag and arms of Navas de Oro are prescribed by a Decree adopted on 13 January 1997 by the Segovia Provincial Government, signed on 23 January 1997 by the President of the Government, and published on 6 February 1997 in the official gazette of Castilla y León, No. 25, p. 3,138 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: Quadrangular, with proportions 1:1, yellow with the municipal coat of arms in full colors in the middle, cantonned with four red Crosses of Saint James.
Coat of arms: Per pale, 1. Gules a church tower or, 2a. Argent a pine eradicated proper, 2b. Azure a bend or. The shield surmounted with a Royal Spanish crown.

The Royal Academy of History found the proposed arms acceptable, recalling that their three quarters symbolize the parish church, the pine woods that gave the name of the region (Pinares) and the dual rule of the Communities of the Town and Land of Cuéllar and Coca.
However, the Academy recommended to replace the church tower with scallops representing its patron saint, St. James; the Academy argued that a generic tower never identifies a church, but should not be replaced with a realist representation of the actual tower.
The Academy rejected the addition of the Crosses of Saint James on the flag, arguing that the crosses are not shown on the arms, and, most important, do not recall St. James as the patron saint of the parish church. The Cross of Saint James was originally, a sword used by the Knights of the Order of Saint James, not St. James' emblem (Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia, 1998, 195, 2: 375).

Ivan Sache, 19 April 2011