With Spanish unemployment hitting 25% – as much as 50% among those under 24 – and public officials under pressure to set an example of austerity, clearly there’s never been a better time to spend public funds fiddling with a centuries-old heraldic device. The authorities of the ancient Castilian town of Carrión de los Condes have decided their arms need a makeover.
If you’re over 30 you’ll remember the old Ghostbusters tag line, ‘Who ya gonna call?’ Well, apparently not the Chronicler of Arms for Castille-León, which is odd because if the decision’s been made to adjust the arms come what may, this assignment would clearly seem to fall within his legal remit.
Instead, the city fathers privately commissioned an historical study and report, the salient conclusions of which were: the lion in the fourth quarter should be replaced with a castle, and a Royal crown should be substituted for that of a count presently found in the crest-coronet – an eminently sensible decision, given that the town’s name literally means ‘Carrion of the Counts’. The cost of these earth-shaking conclusions? €6,750 for the report, to which in time may be added the cost of replacing signs, stationery, and anything else unfortunate enough to bear the ancient version, presumably including the armorial stone that for centuries has graced the town hall. As a film this could be… ‘Carry on, Carrión’!