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Berrocal (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2016-12-20 by ivan sache
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Flag of Berrocal - Image from the Símbolos de Huelva website, 18 August 2016

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Presentation of Berrocal

The municipality of Berrocal (345 inhabitants in 2015; 12,460 ha) is located in the mining basin of R&ioacute;o Tinto, 80 km north-east of Huelva, on the border with the Province of Seville. The municipality is made of the villages of Berrocal and La Cava (4 inh.).

Ivan Sache, 18 August 2016

Symbols of Berrocal

The flag (photo) and arms of Berrocal, adopted on 6 April 1995 by the Municipal Council and validated on 2 May 1996 by the Royal Academy of Córdoba, are prescribed by Decree No. 336, adopted on 9 July 1996 by the Government of Andalusia and published on 10 August 1996 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 92, p. 9,489 (text). This was confirmed by a Resolution adopted on 30 November 2004 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration and published on 20 December 2004 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 246, pp. 28,986-29,002 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular, in proportions 11 x 18, made of three vertical stripe, the first, green, the second, blue, and the third, red, with respective proportions 1/4, 1/2, and 1,4 [the text erroneously says 1/2, 2/4, and 1/2]. Charged in the center with the local coat of arms.
Coat of arms: Or a pennant with hoist and panel azure ending with two points and charged with a Latin cross or surrounded dexter by a twirling snake vert engulfing an apple proper and sinister by a rooster gules singing bold [crown not mentioned].

The symbols were proposed on 26 November 1994 by Juan José Antequera.
In 1960-1961, the municipality used an oval inked seal, kept in the Municipal Archives, charged with a flower - a daisy or a sunflower -, with stem and four symmetric leaves, surrounded by the Collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece and surmounted by a Royal crown closed. Used for a short time, this seal is meaningless. The Espasa dictionary of the time shows the arms of Berrocal featuring a triangular pennant ending in two points attached to a transversal staff like a cross. This flag pattern recalls the banners used in tournaments and St. John's labarum. These arms, however, are not mentioned in the municipal documentation.
[Juan José Antequera. Principios de transmisibilidad en las heráldicas officiales de Sevilla, Córdoba y Huelva]

The charges of the coat of arms represent the local devotion to the Holy Cross, managed by two brotherhoods, represented by the red colour and the rooster, and by the green colour and the snake, respectively.
The Holy Cross Festival is celebrated in Berrocal at the end of the first week of May, recalling the "invention" of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem on 3 May 325. The first Brotherhood of the Holy Cross (Vera Cruz) was founded in Seville in the middle of the 15th century. The oldest mention of a brotherhood of the same name in Berrocal is dated 1700; seated in the parish, the brotherhood had two chapters, representing the members in charge of the upper (abajo) and lower (baja) parts of the via crucis. In a letter dated 1875, the parish priest announced that the brotherhood had split into two rival organizations. The two brotherhoods each built a chapel, in 1903 near station I for Abajo, in 1904 near Station XI for Baja.
Suppressed during the Second Republic, the festival was re-established in 1948. Each of the two crosses is celebrated with a dedicated event and a pilgrimage. The rivalry between the two crosses is maintained by their supporters; once quite violent, the competition is now mostly based on satirical songs.
[Símbolos de Huelva website; Manuel Fernando Gómez Cera. La Cruz de Arriba y la Cruz de Abajo in Berrocal. Revista de Folklore, 2004, 288, 208-213]

Ivan Sache, 18 August 2016