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Espera (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2017-03-11 by ivan sache
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Flag of Espera, as seen on 6 November 2009 at a road crossing - Image from the Símbolos de Cadíz website, 28 November 2009

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Presentation of Espera

The municipality of Espera (3,946 inhabitants in 2013; 12,344 ha; municipal website) is located 80 km north-east of Cádiz, on the border with the Province of Seville.

Espera is a very ancient settlement, as proved by pre-Iberian, Iberian and Carthaginian remains found on the municipal territory. After the Roman conquest, the site was settled with the two towns of Carissa Aurelia (7 km from Espera, mentioned by Pliny and Ptolemy) and Esperilla (1.5 km from Espera, mentioned by Pliny and ruined in the 5th century); the remains of a Roman fortress were subsequently revamped by the Visigoths.
Carissa was completey destroyed during the Muslim conquest and its inhabitants set up a new fortified town, protected by the castle of Fatetar, built in 914 upon the remains of the Visigothic fortress on Abderraman III's order. Conquered by King Ferdinand III the Saint, the fortress watched the border with the Kingdom of Granada. After the fall of the Nasrid kingdom in 1492, the castle lost its strategic importance and the town increased out of the walls: the "Villa Nueva" (New Town), as opposed to the "Villa Vieja" (Old Town), is the origin of the modern town of Espera.
However, the local legend claims that its true builder was Hesperos, father of the Hesperides nymphs, whose garden was located in the south of the Iberian peninsula according to the Greek geographer Strabo. "Hesperos" is the Greek word for "West", said to be also the origin of the name of Spain, Hispania, meaning "Land of Hesperos" or "Land in the West". Others say that the garden of HesperosŐ daughters was located in the Orotava valley on Tenerife island.

Espera claims to be the cradle of the Spanish dictum Acabar como el Rosario de la Aurora, meaning "To end badly". Literally meaning "To end like the Daybreak Rosary", the dictum refers to the local Brotherhood of the Daybreak Rosary, whose members used to celebrate daybreak by chanting the rosary through the town's streets, where they met revellers in sometimes violent riots. There are, of course, other explanations for the origin of the dictum.

Ivan Sache & Klaus-Michael Schneider, 29 November 2009

Symbols of Espera

The symbols of Espera, adopted on 27 January 2005 by the Municipal Council and submitted on 22 February 2005 to the Directorate General of the Local Administration, are prescribed by a Decree adopted on 1 March 2005 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration and published on 15 March 2005 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 52, pp. 77-78 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: The flag is of rectangular shape, 1.80 unit in length on 1.20 units in height, green (Pantone 363) with five golden stripes (Pantone 129) placed from top to bottom at 0.60, 0.67, 0.765, 0.89 and 1.03 units, respectively, and with a height of 0.010, 0.015, 0.025, 0.030 and 0.040 unit, respectively. In the central part is the coat of arms of the Town of Espera with the aforementioned characteristics and in proportions 0.60 units in height on 0.40 in length.
Coat of arms: Gules (Pantone 32), a tower or (Pantone 131) masoned sable (Pantone Hexachrome Black C) port and windows azure (Pantone 293) surmounted by an eight-pointed star argent (Pantone Cool Gray 3). A bordure or (Pantone 131) with the writing "Soy Espera antigua come otra Tile". The shield surmounted with a Royal crown closed.

The previous coat of arms of Espara was prescribed by Decree No. 3,398, adopted on 11 December 1969 by the Spanish government and published on 14 January 1970 in the Spanish official gazette, No. 12, p. 683 (text). This was confirmed by a Decree adopted on 30 November 2004 by the Government of Andalusia and published on 20 December 2004 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 246, pp. 28,986-29,002 (text).
The "rehabilitated" coat of arms "of immemorial use", validated by the Royal Academy of History, is described as follows:

Coat of arms: Gules a tower or masoned sable port and windows azure ensigned by a star argent. A bordure argent inscribed with the writing "Soy Espera tan antigua como cualquiera". The shield surmounted by a Royal crown.

The tower refers to the castle of Espera. The star represents the planet Venus, the symbol of Hesperos. The origin of "Tile" in the writing, of traditional use, is unknown, maybe a corruption of castillo, "a fortress".
[Símbolos de las Entidades Locales de Andalucía. Cádiz (PDF file); José Antonio Delgado y Orellana. Heráldica Municipal de la Provincia de Cádiz (1969)]

Klaus-Michael Schneider & Ivan Sache, 29 November 2009