Seville’s medieval emblem.
The coat of arms of Seville includes a king on a throne flanked by two archbishops over the emblem NO8DO.
Three stories explain the origin of the emblem of the city of Seville, Spain, and all three go back to the Middle Ages.
Two of them interpret the emblem as “no-madeja-do.” In Spanish, a madeja is a skein of yarn, and no me ha dejado means “You did not desert me.”
In one story, when King Ferdinand III of Castille conquered the city from the Moors in 1248, he said “No me ha dejado” in reference to the aid of the Virgin Mary.
The other story, the most popular one, is about his son, King Alfonso X, who got into a civil war with his son Sancho over succession in 1282. Seville was one of the few cities that remained loyal to Alfonso, and in gratitude he granted the emblem to the city’s coat of arms as a tribute to its loyalty.
Another explanation of the emblem takes note the use of similar symbols to NO8DO by other medieval cities and locations, including London. The emblem NODO represents Nomen Domine, “In the name of God.” The 8 symbol represents a nodo or knot and repeats the abbreviation.
Like so many details of Spanish history, the centuries have erased the exact origin of the emblem, but without a doubt its goes back to the Middle Ages. These days you can find it in Seville on everything from manhole covers and buses to the city’s flag.
(This is the 200th post on the Amadis of Gaul blog. Thank you for your support!)