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Huétor Santillán (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2016-03-01 by ivan sache
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Flag of Huétor Santillán - Image from the Símbolos de Granada website, 21 May 2014

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Presentation of Huétor Santillán

The municipality of Huétor Santillán (1,193 inhabitants in 2014; 11,669 ha) is located 15 km of Granada. The municipality is made of the villages of Huétor Santillán, Prado Negro (40 inh.) and El Molinillo (7 inh.), the home of Manuel Rubio Sánchez (1937-2001), aka Manuel or Manolico, the Healer of El Molinillo (biography).

Huétor was an alquería (estate) directly depending on the Royal Zirid (1010-1091) and Nasrid (1237-1491) dynasties. This was the first fortified post watching the road connecting Granada to Guadix and Almería, along river Genil. The post also controlled water supply to the Alhambra fortress. In his record of the Kingdom of Granada (1360), Ibn-al-Jatib describes the place as Qaryat al-Wata (alqueríaHuétor). After the surrended of Boabdil, the last Moorish king, the Catholic Monarchs shared his possessions among their supporters: the Grand Captain, Hernando de Zafra y Gonzalo Fernández, who had negotiated Boabdil's surrender, was rewarded with large territories. He is the stem of the House of Aguilar y Montilla, itself the stem of several noble branches. Diego de Santillana / Santillán, a descendant of the 9th lord of Aguilar, is listed in the 16th century as the owner of the alquería of Wata / Güeto. When the name of Santillán was appended to the name of Huétar is not known. According to Atienza, the Santillán lineage came from Soria and established a branch in Sevilla in the 13th century, after the reconquest of the town.
The minor title of lord of Huétor de Santillán was transferred in 1540 to the Counts of Santisteban del Puerto. The 7th Count, Francisco de Benavides de la Cueva y Dávila, married Brianda de Baz&iaacute;n y Benavides, a descendant of the famous Álvaro de Bazán. Their daughter, María de Bazán y Benavides, became the first dame of Queen Marianna of Austria; on 2 April 1661, one day before her marriage with Didac Pedro Joan Honorato Antoni Frances Argimiro Fernández de C&oacut;rdoba i Pimentel, Count of Villaumbrosa, María de Bazán y Benavides was made Marchioness of Huétor Santillán by Philip IV. The couple had no heirs, so that the Marquisate remained vacant from 1702 to 1916, when re-established by Alfonso XIII, for a yet unknown reason. The 2nd Marquis of Huétor Santillán, Ramón Díez de Rivera y Casares (1888-1961) was not related either with the 1st Marchioness or with the town of Huétor Santillán.
[Memorándum para la Bandera de Huétor Santillán]

Ivan Sache, 21 May 2014

Symbols of Huétor Santillán

The flag (photo) of Huétor Santillán, adopted on 30 January 2013 by the Municipal Council and submitted on 1 April 2014 to the Directorate General of the Local Administration, is prescribed by a Resolution adopted on 7 April 2014 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration and published on 16 April 2014 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 74, p. 28. (text).
The flag is described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular, in proportions 2:3, made of three parallel stripes arranged in a diagonal pattern ascending to the hoist. The first stripe, azure, the intermediate stripe, yellow, in width 1/10 of the flag's width, and the third stripe, green. In the upper right part three stars (or three holly oaks) forming an arch [in radius] 1/4 of the flag's width and in size [diameter] the same as for the yellow stripe, that is, 1/10. In the center the municipal coat of arms with a scroll in the lower part, inscribed "Huétor Santillán".

The design of the flag is explained in the document Memorándum para la Bandera de Huétor Santillán (uncredited, undated).

The proposed flag is compliant with the three pillars of vexillology:
- Simplicity, being composed with a minimum number of parts;
- Clarity, the parts being easily differentiated;
- Distinctiveness, featuring the most relevant and symbolic characteristics of the society it represents.

The colours each represent a distinctive element of the landscape and history of the municipality.
- Green represents the exuberant natural environment and the permanent greenness of the municipal territory. Woods cover 85% of the municipal territory, which represents 65% of the area of the Natural Park of the Sierra de Huétor. The remaining parts of the municipal territory are rich in fresh and green gardens and crops.
- Blue represents water, by its quality and quantity, which characterizes the municipal territory. Hundreds of fountains gush forth on the municipal territory, as well as the sources of rivers Fardes, Carchite and Darro. The purity and healing virtues of the water from Huétor Santillán were highlighted in the Anales (1588-1656) written by the chronicler Francisco Henríquez de la Jorquera; the chronicler also recalled that these rivers supplied with water the Generalife gardens and the Alhambra fortress in Granada. Blue also represents the blue, pure mountain sky, especially in the higher areas of Prado Negro and the Natural Park.
- Gold, forming a diagonal stripe running between the green environment and the blue water, represents the connection of river Darro with gold in its middle valley. The auriferous sand of the river (dauri, "of gold") has been exploited until the middle of the 20th century. Gold also represents the connection of the village with the Nasrid kingdom, its old ruler, and the income provided by the river in relatively recent times, powering mills and forges in Huétor, Valparaíso and Granada. The stars (or holly oaks) represent the main treasure of Huétor, its people, who live in the three settlements of Huétar Santillán, Prado Negor and El Molinillo.

The construction sheet appended at the end of the document gives the height of the coat of arms, scroll included, as 65% of the flag's width.
The colour specifications are given as follows (CMYK):

Blue		57-25-3-0
Red		0-100-10-0
Yellow		5-0-100-0
Dark blue	73-77-0-0
Green	 	84-15-100-4
Gold		0-10-100-51


Rejected proposal of flag of Huétor Santillán - Image after the Símbolos de Granada website, 21 May 2014

The proposal was unanimously approved by the Municipal Council; the citizens were asked to choose between the two proposed variants, that is, either with stars or holly oaks in the upper right corner (municipal website, 18 January 2012).
The variant with the oaks was preferred, receiving 97 out of the 173 votes (56%) (municipal website, 29 February 2012).
The text of the Decre, however, was not corrected, so that the two variants are still presented in the official Decree.

Ivan Sache & Klaus-Michael Schneider, 14 May 2014

Coat of arms of Huétor Santillán

The coat of arms of Huétor Santillán is prescribed by a Decree adopted on 10 December 1985 by the Government of Andalusia and published on 17 January 1986 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 4, p. 81 (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 coat of arms is described as follows:

Coat of arms: Or a castle azure. A bordure gules eight escutcheons or a bend sable The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed.

The aforementioned document Memorándum para la Bandera de Huétor Santillán recalls the origin of the coat of arms.

For long, Huétor Santillán used as the municipal arms a variant of the coat of arms of the Marquis of Huétor Santillán. In 1985, a brand new coat of arms was designed, after a study of the arms of two Santillán lineages, the Fernández de Santillán and the Marquis of Huétor Santillán.
The arms of the Fernández de Santillán are given un Atienza's Diccionario Heráldico (1959) as: "Azure a castle or. A bordure or charged with three escutcheons gules a bend or". This lineage, however, has little to do with the town of Huétor Santillán, being probably a secondary branch of the House of Montilla, allied with the Counts of Casa Alegre, the Marquis of Valencina del Alcor and the Counts of Torralba, and based in Seville. Accordingly, it was decided to use rather the arms of the Marquis of Huétor Santillán, who bear the full name of the municipality. Their arms differ form the arms of the Fernández de Santillán by the shape of the shield and the tinctures.

The Royal Academy of History validated the proposed coat of arms. The municipality argued that the name of Santillán "has been united to the name of the town in a perpetual and definitive manner", recalling that the Santillán lineage ruled the place. Accordingly, the Academy found "correct" the use of the arms of the Santillán lineage as the municipal arms.
[Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia 1985, 182, 3:571]

Ivan Sache & Klaus-Michael Schneider, 14 May 2014