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Betancuria (Municipality, Canary Islands, Spain)

Last modified: 2021-05-16 by ivan sache
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Flag of Betancuria, as seen on 4 February 2014 on the Town Hall - Image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 13 February 2014

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Presentation of Betancuria

Betancuria is named for the Normand colonist Jean de Béthancourt, who founded the village in 1404 and made it the capital of the island and the see of a bishopric. Accordingly, Betancuria is one of the oldest Castilian settlements in the archipelago. Betancuria lost its capital status in 1834.

Klaus-Michael Schneider, 13 February 2014

Symbols of Betancuria

The flag of Betancuria is prescribed by a Decree adopted on 16 May 1995 by the Government of the Canary Islands and published on 5 July 1995 in the official gazette of the Canary Islands, No. 84, pp. 6,422-6,423 (text). The flag was validated by the Heraldry Commission of the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands.
The flag is described as follows:

Flag: Panel in proportions 2:3, white with a black serrated stripe, in proportions 3/4 white and 1/4 black, the first, or upper part white.

The coat of arms is not mentioned in the text but shown in the companion drawing and faetured on the flag in actual use, which is in proportions 1:2 instead of the prescribed 2:3.
According to José Manuel Erbez (Banderas y escudos de Canarias, 2007; website), white and black are the colours of the arms of Jean de Béthancourt, the Normand colonist of Fuerteventura and namesake of the municipality. The serrated stripe is said to be a characteristic element of the Normand heraldry.

The coat of arms of Betancuria is prescribed by Royal Decree No. 2,638, adopted on 14 October 1978 and published on 8 November 1978 in the Spanish official gazette, No. 267, pp. 25,578-25,579 (text).
The coat of arms, validated by the Royal Academy of History, is described as follows:

Coat of arms:. Per fess, 1. Argent a lion rampant gules, 2. Argent three fesses cheky gules and or of four pieces charged with a barrulet or. A bordure gules eight saltires or. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed.

According to José Manuel Erbez (Banderas y escudos de Canarias, 2007; website), the 1st quarter represents Jean de Béthancourt, on which the lion was indeed sable and not gules. The 2nd quarter and the bordure are taken from the arms of the Saavedra; various members of this family were rulers of Fuerteventura.

Klaus-Michael Schneider & Ivan Sache, 13 February 2014