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Santiago de Calatrava (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2019-09-16 by ivan sache
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Flag of Santiago de Calatrava - Image by Blas Delgado & Eduardo Panizo, 23 October 2005

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Presentation of Santiago de Calatrava

The municipality of Santiago de Calatrava (795 inhabitants in 2013; 4,766 ha; municipal website) is located on the border with the Córdoba Province, 45 km west of Jaén.

Santiago de Calatrava was located during the Roman and Islamic periods at the junction of the roads that connected Écija (Astigi) to Cástulo on the one hand, and to Martos, Jaén and Mentesa in the other hand. The place was a an alquería, part of the district of Tuss/ Martus.
After the Christian reconquest, King Ferdinand III the Saint granted in 1228 the village to the Order of Calatrava, which incorporated to the Commanderies of La Peña de Martos and Víboras. The municipal territory keeps the remains of fortifications, the Matea and Gorgolillas towers. Located close to the border with the Nasrid kingdom of Granada, Santiago was under permanent threat; in 1471, the Moors nightly entered the town, slaughtered the inhabitants and looted the church. Constable Iranzo required from Pope Sixtus IV indulgences for the heroic defenders of the place.

Ivan Sache, 6 December 2015

Symbols of Santiago de Calatrava

The flag (photo) and arms of Santiago de Calatrava are prescribed by Decree No. 144, adopted on 7 May 2002 by the Government of Andalusia and published on 111 June 20021 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 68, pp. 9,907-9,908 (text). This was confirmed by a Resolution 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).
Originally adopted on 31 March 2000 by the Municipal Council, the symbols were rejected on 11 January 2001 by the Royal Academy of Córdoba, which proposed an alternative model of arms, more compliant with the norms of heraldry. On 18 May 2001, the Municipal Council unanimously re-adopted the previous design, which was ratified on 26 May 2001. The first quarter, however, was modified by representing Apostle St. James or instead of sable, in compliance with the "no metal on metal" rule. The Royal Academy of Córdoba validated the change on 2 October 2001, making chromatic recommendations for the coat of arms. The Municipal Council eventually validated on 11 March 2002 the arms submitted on 18 May 2001.
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: One and a half longer than wide, made of two parallel, horizontal stripes, of equal width and symmetrical, the upper stripe white (argent) and the lower stripe crimson (gules), charged with the crowned coat of arms, whose geometrical axis fits the center of the flag, in height 2/3 of the flag's hoist.
Coat of arms: Per fess, 1. Or the figure of Apostle St. James riding with helmet and sword all sable on a base vert, 2. Or a Cross of Calatrava gules. The shield surmounted by a Royal Spanish crown closed.

The Preamble to the Decree explains that the two basic concepts represented on the coat of arms are the figure of Apostle St. James (Santiago) and the Military Order of Calatrava, which ruled the place all along the Middle Ages. The Order of Calatrava was the first established in Iberia to defend the southern borders from the Muslim assaults and was granted all the castles conquered form the Muslims. Accordingly, Santiago de Calatrava was established in 1220 and dedicated to Apostle St. James.

Ivan Sache, 6 December 2015