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Heraldica Española - Spanish Civic Heraldry


Andalucia nowadays uses a logo, not proper arms. The logo, however, is sometimes placed on a shield, which results in the following arms :

Both versions show Hercules--his attributes are a muscular build and lion-skin garments. The pillars are very important, and they are the same as appear on the national coat of arms and flag. Andalucia is the region that dominates the Strait of Gibraltar. The Rock of Gibraltar, along with its counterpart across the Strait, Jabal al Musa, were known to the ancients as the Pillars of Hercules. This is because of the legend that when Hercules was carrying out the task of obtaining the Golden Apples of the Hesperides--the latter mythical land probably corresponding to Spain--he created the Strait that connects the Mediterranean and the Atlantic by digging out two massive rocks that plugged the outlet of the Mediterranean sea. These rocks he erected on either side of the Straits. The city of Seville, capital of Andalucia, has long used Hercules on one of its heraldic ensigns calling him the founder of the city (a legend never taken seriously).

Literature : de Cadenas, A. A. and de Cadenas, V. : Heraldica de las comunidades autonomas y de las capitales de provincia. Hidalguia, Madrid, 1985; background from Jorge Diaz, USA

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