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La Acebeda (Municipality, Community of Madrid, Spain)

Last modified: 2016-05-14 by ivan sache
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Flag of La Acebeda - Image by "Asqueladd" (Wikimedia Commons), 25 June 2015

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Presentation of La Acebeda

The municipality of La Acebeda (67 inhabitants in 2014; 2,206 ha; municipal website) is located in the north of the Community of Madrid, 90 km of Madrid. La Acebeda is located 1,269 m above the seal level on the southern slope of the Sierra de Guadarrama, close to the Pass of Acebeda (1,686 m) heading to Segovia.

La Acebeda, lit. The Holly Wood, is the site of the largest holly wood in the Community of Madrid; some of the trees are 10 m in height.
The village was established after the Christian reconquest by shepherds from Horcajo de la Sierra. The Rocks' House, the oldest building in the village, is said to have been built by the first settlers of La Acebeda. The village has kept several well-preserved examples of traditional mountain architecture, such as the old livestock crush, made of four stone pillars of 1.80 m in height, and the municipal forge equipped with all its tools.
Following the decline of sheep breeding and agriculture, cattle breeding is nowadays the main source of income in the village, together with tourism.

Ivan Sache, 25 June 2015

Symbols of La Acebeda

The flag and arms of La Acebeda are prescribed by a Decree adopted on 9 June 1994 by the Government of the Community of Madrid and published on 6 July 1994 in the official gazette of the Community of Madrid, No. 158, p. 28 (text), and on 23 July 1994 in the Spanish official gazette, No. 175, p. 23,959 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: In proportions 2:3. Vertically divided in the middle, red and green with the municipal coat of arms in the center.
Coat of arms: Per pale, 1. Argent a tree (holly) vert on waves argent and azure, 2. Vert two sheep argent. The shield surmounted by a Royal Spanish crown.

The Royal Academy of History found the arms originally proposed by the municipality "excessively complicated", featuring a holly [acebedo] recalling the place name, a sheep recalling the past significance of sheep breeding, and the arms of the Mendoza de la Vega, old lords of La Acebeda. The Academy recommended "significant simplification" of the design; accordingly, the municipality proposed new arms, dropping the lord's arms. The Academy further recommended to feature not only one but two sheep, to be placed in the second quarter of the arms divided per pale.
The Academy accepted "without any difficulty" the proposed flag, which uses the same colour display as the coat of arms.
[Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia, 1994, 191, 3: 577-578]

Ivan Sache, 25 June 2015