(Leer en español) What is the meaning of NO8DO in Seville? If you visit the city you will notice that this motto is omnipresent. It is included in banners, posters, magazines, and everything that has to do with institutional Seville. It also covers all areas of daily life, found in bus shelters, public transport, street lighting, drain covers, benches and even bins, but … What NO8DO means?
NO8DO in Seville Flag
The NO8DO is present as letterhead, motto or emblem on all institutional impressions of Seville. Everything about the City Council and Seville, public works, building and urban furniture also include NO8DO.
This is because, since 1995, the NO8DO in gold with burgundy or crimson background forms the flag of Seville. Until then, the flag was the image of San Fernando, which is for more solemn representations now.
Legends of NO8DO in Seville
There is no historical certainty the origin of this motto. All theories, although scientists and historical studies developed, are based on assumptions and inconclusive legends. The most popular, which is transmitted from generation to generation among the Sevillian, refers to the close relationship between Alfonso X El Sabio with the city of Seville.
Other legend talks about his father and patron of Seville, Fernando III El Santo as founder of the motto. Some others are about the divine or mythological symbol origin; or have a scientific focus on grammar.
Alfonso X: Seville No-Madeja-Do
This is the most popular legend to explain the origin of the pictogram NO8DO in Seville. King Alfonso X, who was closer to the culture that the economy is the protagonist man.
People were not happy with his state management and his own son Sancho led a rebellion. Alfonso refuge in Seville. Sancho decided not to attack the city and leave his father live secluded and surrounded by their faithful there.
Shortly before his death in 1284 and in gratitude to the city of Seville, Alfonso X gave the city this emblem, phonetic expression of No me ha dejado «has not abandoned me», in which the wool skein (Madeja) complete the hieroglyph, No-Madeja-Do (No me ha dejado).
This legend is born of the book ‘Elogios’ of Argote de Molina in 1588. In it the Sevillian writer relates the facts, but the later mentions of the event will give more popularity to the legend. Torre Farfán and Ortiz de Zúñiga, also famous Sevillian, wrote these facts as historical in his works almost a century later.
Fernando III and NO8DO in Seville
In this legend, is the Alfonso’s father, Fernando, who would have uttered the words «not abandoned me» to simplify later in the NO8DO symbol. In this case to refer to the Virgin and not to Seville. He would have done it after reconquering the city to the Arabs in 1248 to thank divine support.
This legend is less popular, although the relationship between the monarch and Seville has been maintained throughout history. In fact, Fernando III El Santo is the patron of the city and, as we have said, appear even in the old flag of Seville.
Divine and mythological origin of NO8DO
Nomen Domini and NO8DO
No kings or legends her. It is other belief that current acronyms NO and DO come from the Latin expression Nomen Domini, «In the name of God». The 8 would be simply the representation of Latin nodus, a knot that joins the two words.
These acronyms, or complete expression, are also represent on the flags and badges of other cities with great religious influence during the Middle Ages.
Knot of Hercules in Seville
Others have wanted to see in the 8 or skein knot a representation of Hercules. Hercules is the mythological founder of Seville and the knot represent the strength of the union. This is the least popular legend because the focus is only on the skein of motto.
Historical development of NO8DO in Seville
Emilio Carrillo, writer, economist and working during many years in the Seville Administration, published a book dedicated to the study of the origin of the motto: ‘The NO8DO in Seville: Meaning and origin’. In it concludes that its origin is related to the king Alfonso X, but not in the way that the legend.
Emilio has found references to the use of NO8DO in Seville dating from before 1438. These being, in any case, after 1248, when the city was reconquered to the Arabs. Thus, the motto was created between those dates.
According to his study, NO8DO was created to serve the King in Arabic and Latin Academy or Grammar Academy, founded by Alfonso X in 1254. The NO8DO symbolizes the imperial aspirations of Alfonso X, intended to govern the Sacro Roman Empire.
According to this theory, the NO8DO refers to the Latin word Nodo, to tie with knots. The 8 is also the iconographic representation of the knot, symbol of alliance and union. A double representation of union of the Empire. These aspirations were dashed in 1275, thus according to the author, the birth of NO8DO must be dated between 1254 and 1275.
Here we collect scientific and popular knowledge about NO8DO in Seville. As there is nothing proved, each one is free to choose its own history. If you had to choose a theory … which one do you prefer?
Some of my fondest memories come from Andalucia and Sevilla. The winding streets which once served to deter enemy invasions lets the imagination run wild- especially when you walk the streets and hear the daily sounds of classical music overflowing into public spaces.