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Estepona (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2021-11-05 by ivan sache
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Flag of Estepona, two versions - Images from the Símbolos de Málaga website, 18 September 2016

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Presentation of Estepona

The municipality of Estepona (7,080 inhabitants in 2015; 13,700 ha; unofficial portal) is located on the Costa del Sol, 90 km south-west of Málaga. The municipality experienced a demographic boom during the second half of the 20th century, its population increasing from 12,913 in 1950 to 42,157 in 2000
The seashore of Estepona (23 km) is made of the sand beaches of La Rada (2,630 m), El Cristo (680 m), La Galera (960 m), Bahia Dorada (1,120 m), Costa Natura (400 m; the first nudist beach ever authorized on the Costa del Sol), Guadalobón (1,860 m), Punta de la Plata (2,220 m), Casasola (910 m), Punta Pinillos (1,290 m), El Castor (2,040 m), Bella (1,220 m), Guadalmansa (1,370 m), El Saldillo (2,630 m), and La Atalaya (1,070 m).

Estepona was known to the Phoenicians as Astapa, from as, "a river", and tapa, "people living near the sea". The place was used as a shelter by the seamen sailing from Gadir (Cádiz) to Malca (Málaga) and the fishers. Loyal to the Carthaginians, the town was besieged and seized in 206 BC by Consul Lucius Marcius.
During the Muslim period, the town was known as Alextebbuna, Asttebbuna, and Istebbuna. A popular etymology says that the town was named Caí de Benestepar for a lord of Córdoba who acted as the first tourist ever, enjoying the sun and the beaches. In 1342, after the destruction of Alfonso XI's fleet in the Strait of Gibraltar, Castile, Aragón and Genoa allied to face the Muslim threat: an Aragonese fleet made of 20 galleys destroyed 13 Moorish ships off Estepona.
In spring 1456, Philip ordered the seizure of the town and castle of Estepona as debt pavement. The king increased the fortifications to protect the coast and established a new, Christian town. Transferred to the Marquis of Villena, the new town was eventually abandoned and ruined by Henry IV to prevent its reconquest by the Moors.
After the reconquest of the Kingdom of Granada, Estepona was incorporated to the jurisdiction of Marbella; following four decades of abandon, Fernando Zafra was commissioned in 1502 to resettle the town and to rebuild its walls. Estepona was granted the status of villa on 21 April 1729 by Philip V, separating from Marbella; the town was then inhabited by 600 households.

Ivan Sache, 18 September 2016

Symbols of Estepona

The flag of Estepona (photo), submitted on 6 November 2013 by the Municipal Council to the Directorate General of the Local Administration, is prescribed by a Resolution adopted on 18 November 2013 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration and published on 27 November 2013 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 233, p. 19 (text).
The flag is described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular, in proportions 2:3, divided into two rectangular parts of equal width, the upper, white, and the lower, green. Charged in the middle with the municipal coat of arms.

According to José María Guerrero, Municipal Councillor in charge of the historical heritage, the flag has been used at least since the return to democracy without official registration. Several documents describe the flag hoisted on the old Town Hall, probably even during the Francoist period, but there is no record of the date of first use of the flag.
[Diario Sur, 22 October 2014]

The flag is also used without the coat of arms, for instance hoisted on the Town Hall (photo).

The coat of arms of Estepona is prescribed by Decree No. 1592, adopted on 29 May 1970 by the Spanish Government and published on 15 June 1970 in the Spanish official gazette, No. 142, p. 9,395 (text). This was confirmed by a Resolution adopted on 30 November 2004 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration 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 is described as follows:

Coat of arms: Azure waves argent and azure and rocks or surmounted by a tower of the same masoned sable port and windows gules ensigned by a flag argent flanked sinister by a mountain vert charged with a town a boat with three Latin sails or. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown.

According to José María Guerrero, Municipal Councillor in charge of the historical heritage, the town uses a modernized, simpler version of the prescribed arms, without the representation of the town. The mountain must represent the Sierra Bermeja.
[Diario Sur, 22 October 2014]


Flag of Estepona, erroneous version - Image from the Símbolos de Málaga website, 18 September 2016

During a competition held in Minsk (Belarus, 6-13 April 2014), the Estepona tae-kwon-do club used a flag with the upper stripe green and the lower white (photo).

Ivan Sache, 18 September 2016