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Puerto Seguro (Municipality, Castilla y León, Spain)

Last modified: 2015-01-04 by ivan sache
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Flag of Puerto Seguro - Image by Ivan Sache, 12 December 2010

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Presentation of Puerto Seguro

The municipality of Puerto Seguro (86 inhabitants in 2009; 2,938 ha; municipal website) is located in the west of Salamanca Province, on the border with Portugal, 130 km from Salamanca.

In the 15th century, Puerto Seguro, then known as Barba de Puerco, belonged to the House of Alba, together with the two neighbouring villages of San Felice de los Gallegos and Ahigal de los Aceiteros. In 1488, the lord set up the noveno tax, stating that 1/9 of all products should be granted to the lord. The three villages asked for the suppression of the tax in 1563, to no avail; on 15 March 1845, the Court of Vitigudino abolished the tax but the House of Alba appealed, postponing the suppression of the tax to 11 May 1852. This event is celebrated every year on 11 May in the Noveno Festival, presided by the mayors of the three villages.
Puerto Seguro was disputed between Spain and Portugal until the borders' treaty signed on 29 September 1864; the village became the seat of a first-rank customs office, aimed at the control of people, animal and stuff.

The name of the village was changed from Barba de Puerco (lit., "pig's beard") to Puerto Seguro in 1916. The origin of the odd old name of the village is a matter of speculation; some say that the old municipal territory had the shape of a pig's beard, other say that a local rock had such a shape. The name change was pushed by the García Hernández brothers and the Representative of Vitigudino at the Spanish Parliament, the Marquis of Puerto Seguro, to increase the "nobleness" of the village name.

Ivan Sache, 12 December 2010

Symbols of Puerto Seguro

The flag of Puerto Seguro is prescribed by a Decree adopted on 28 July 2005 by the Municipal Council, signed on 3 August 2005 by the Mayor, and published on 2 August 2005 in the official gazette of Castilla y León, No. 157, p. 14,369 (text).
The flag is described as follows:

Flag: Quadrangular, divided by the ascending diagonal or and gules [yellow and red], charged with the municipal coat of arms.

The coat of arms of Puerto Seguro is prescribed by a Decree adopted on 26 April 2002 by the Municipal Council, signed on 30 April 2002 by the Mayor, and published on 10 May 2002 in the official gazette of Castilla y León, No. 88, p. 6,252 (text).
The coat of arms is described as follows:

Coat of arms: In the right [dexter] quarter, Argent a bridge ensigned with an olive tree. In the upper left [sinister] quarter, Or three war flags raised. In the lower [sinister] left quarter, Checky of eight pieces argent and seven pieces azure.

The arms were designed by the heraldist Salvador Llopis (document dated 10 December 2001), with the following explanations:
- the local bridge had a strategic role in the wars against Portugal; its central arch was destroyed by the Portuguese while its arch located on Puerto Seguro size was destroyed by the Napoleonic troops in 1811; the bridge is still know locally as the "French' Bridge";
- the olive tree is the most characteristic tree in the municipality, the local olive oil was once highly prized;
- the three war flags represent the Portuguese Restoration War, the War of the Spanish Succession and the War of Independence (following the Napoleonic invasion);
- the arms of the House of Alba.

Ivan Sache, 12 December 2010