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El Bierzo Region (Castile and Leon, Spain)

Comarca del Bierzo

Last modified: 2002-08-02 by santiago dotor
Keywords: spain | castile and leon | leon | el bierzo | bierzo | map: outline | nationalist | proposal | cross: saltire (red) |
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[El Bierzo Region (Leon, Spain), unofficial flag]
Unofficial, commonly used flag
by António Martins

See also:

Other sites:

El Bierzo Region

In the Bierzo region [NW Leon, unofficial capital Ponferrada] a diagonally parted flag, white top hoist and light blue lower fly is very frequently used.

Jaume Ollé, 20 June 1999

Administratively, El Bierzo is a comarca —a subprovincial administrative area— occupying about 25% of Leon province, most of the NW part of it. Here is a map of Leon province with its comarcas. However, I believe that Bercian autonomists / separatists / etc. also consider parts of Ourense province (Galicia).

Santiago Dotor, 22 September 1999

El Bierzo achieved officially the status of Comarca by Law of the Autonomous Community of Castile and Leon in 1994, with a very low degree of self-government in some local matters. The term comarca refers to a traditional division, generally with common geographic, cultural and even economical links. El Bierzo is the first such territory to achieve official status by Law in Castile and Leon. The administrative organ is called Consejo Comarcal del Bierzo (this is their Official Website).

As many other nationalist claims all over the world, there are some reasons in the Bercian claim: historical —a province of Villafranca del Bierzo, approximately with the same boundaries, existed for a few years [after the first provincial partition which took place] in the early XIX century—, linguistic (Galician is spoken there [though only by ca. 5% of the population]), economic (higher developed industry, mining and agriculture than in the rest of the province), etc.

Antonio Gutiérrez, 22-23 September 1999

Official Proposals

[El Bierzo Region (Leon, Spain), official proposal]    [El Bierzo Region (Leon, Spain), official proposal]
both by Antonio Gutiérrez

Procedures to officially adopt flag and arms began on March 31st 1998, with two proposals for the flag: the known white-blue one (objected by various political groups other than the Bierzo Party, for obvious reasons) and a new pattern, white with a red saltire. The proposed arms include a cross (similar to the Cruz de los Ángeles of the Oviedo coat-of-arms), mining tools and vineyard leafs. No official adoption to date.

Description of the coat-of-arms: "Gules the Peñalba cross Or, a bordure componny of eight Argent a vine leaf Vert, and Azure two mining tools in saltire Or. Crest: royal crown". (Translation of coat-of-arms description from Spanish to English provided by Santiago Dotor). The approximate size of the coat-of-arms on both flags is 2/5 of hoist (1st proposal) and 1/2 of hoist (2nd proposal).

Antonio Gutiérrez, 22-23 September 1999

A public opinion poll about the new flag offered three possible designs: the ones already sent to the list and a new one, a mixture of both. [The results can be seen here.]

Antonio Gutiérrez, 1 October 1999

Bierzo Party

Partido del Bierzo

[Bierzo Party (Leon, Spain)]
by António Martins

The Bierzo Party uses a variation [of the white-blue flag], with the regional Bierzo map in the center drawn in a counterchanged outline.

Jaume Ollé, 20 June 1999

I believe that the map outlined in the Bierzo Party's flag is not exactly the one shown in the comarcas map referred above. This map which I found in a website about Celts in El Bierzo looks very much like what I remember.

Santiago Dotor, 22 September 1999