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El Álamo (Municipality, Community of Madrid, Spain)

Last modified: 2016-06-04 by ivan sache
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Flag of El Álamo - Image by "Asqueladd" (Wikimeida Commons), 25 June 2015

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Presentation of El Álamo

The municipality of El Álamo (8,929 inhabitants in 2014; 2,225 ha; unofficial website) is located in the extreme south-west of the Community of Madrid, on the border with Castilla-La Mancha (Province of Toledo), 40 km of Madrid.

El Álamo originates in the establishment in the 15th century of an inn owned by Toribio Fernández Montero. The inn was located near a poplar (álamo) on the road to Extremadura. The settlement that developed around the inn was originally known as La Venta de Toribio (Toribio's Inn). In 1468, Gonzalo Chacón, lord of the place, granted the status of aldea (hamlet) to the place, which was renamed El Álamo. El Álamo was granted the status of villa on 25 April 1662 by Philip IV.

Ivan Sache, 25 June 2015

Symbols of El Álamo

The flag (photos, photo, photo) and arms of El Álamo are prescribed by a Decree adopted on 6 May 1993 by the Government of the Community of Madrid and published on 27 May 1993 in the official gazette of the Community of Madrid, No. 124, p. 5 (text), and on 16 June 1993 in the Spanish official gazette, No. 143, p. 18,501 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: Proportions 2:3. Diagonally divided from the lower hoist to the upper fly, green at hoist and white at fly. In the center is placed the crowned coat of arms.
Coat of arms: Argent a Latin cross argent on stairs surrounded by two poplars proper on a base vert. The shield surmounted by a Royal Spanish Crown.

The coat of arms represents the poplars (álamos) for which the place was named and the cross that once stood at the location of the original inn.
[Unofficial website]

The Royal Academy of History rejected the proposed arms, presented with a drawing and a non heraldic description. The proposal is based on arms traditionally used without colours, which, therefore, should be kept. Displaying trees proper on a field azure is not compliant with the usual norms of heraldry; moreover, the shield is surmounted by a crown of "whimsical design" whose presence is in no way justified. The Division of Historical Heritage of the Community of Madrid proposed modifications that made the proposed arms totally acceptable.
The Academy validated the proposed flag.
[Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia, 1993, 190, 2:331-332]

Ivan Sache, 25 June 2015