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El Ronquillo (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2020-04-25 by ivan sache
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Flag of El Ronquillo - Image from the Símbolos de Sevilla website, 24 May 2014

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Presentation of El Ronquillo

The municipality of El Ronquillo (1,429 inhabitants in 2013; 7,652 ha; municipal website) is located on the border with the Province of Huelva, 40 km north-west of Seville.

El Ronquillo was described by Manuel Díaz Forero as "a small women's handkerchief stretched to the ground". The village originated into two inns established in Zufre and Santa Olalla. One of them, located on the today's main square of the village, was known in the 15th century by the nickname of his owner, El Ronco (The Hoarse). The diminutive form of the nickname was progressively used to designate the village.

Ivan Sache, 24 May 2014

Symbols of El Ronquillo

The flag of El Ronquillo, as hoisted on the Town Hall (photo, photo), is vertically divided green-yellow-green. The central stripe might be narrower than the outer ones.
The symbols were proposed on 2 November 1993 by Juan José Antequera Luengo (the coat of arms was first proposed on 14 January 1985), as follows:

Flag: Rectangular, in proportions 11 x 18, with three stripes parallel to the hoist, the central, 1/5 of the flag's length, yellow, with the local coat of arms in the center, the two other stripes, green, each 2/5 of the flag's length.
Coat of arms: Or a cypress proper on a base vert. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed.

The oldest known municipal seal, dated 1848, shows a cypress within an oval border inscribed with "AYUNTAMIENTO CONSTITUCIONAL DE EL RONQUILLO". Soon abandoned, the seal was re-established in 1868. Replaced in 1936 by the national arms, the original seal re-emerged in the 1980s.
The cypress, a tree strongly associated with funerary rites in the Mediterranean areas, is also a symbol of life in El Ronquillo. The tree recalls an event of the War of Independence that eventually led to the erection of El Ronquillo as an independent municipality.

Located on the border of the Provinces of Seville and Huelva, on the road to Extremadura, El Ronquillo was a strategic place. On 1 April 1809, Juan Corner, chief of the local irregulars, asked those from other villages to gather three days later in El Ronquillo. This kind of improvized organization and call for support was typical of the guerilla that had broken out against the French invaders. In 1811, a French courier, bearing important news regarding the conquest of Badajoz, stopped off at the inn owned by the Mayor of El Ronquillo, José Diego Fernández Rufo. The Mayor hired Juan Gordo Romero as the postillon of the French courier, who was murdered less than one league away. The mayor, the postillon and the parish priest ware captured and sent to Seville, where they were executed on 4 April 1811, the priest excepted. The mayor's brother and 21 villagers required from King Ferdinand VII, as a reward for the heroic behaviour of the villagers, independence from Santa Olalla.
El Ronquillo was granted the status of villa in 1817, the new municipal administration being inaugurated on 27 April 1820 and releasing its first official document on 1 May 1820. The limits of El Ronquillo and Santa Olalla, however, were fixed only in 1912.
[Juan José Antequera Luengo. Heráldica oficial de la provincia de Sevilla]

The cypress, therefore, is an everlasting tribute to the mayor, whose courage and commitment to his village led him to struggle for independence until death. A more recent interpretation, credited to Francisco Navarro, presents the cypress as the symbol of "a village that looks from the humble mountains to the sky, aspirating to a better future".
[Municipal website]

Ivan Sache & Klaus-Michael Schneider, 24 May 2014