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Maó-Mahón (Municipality, Balearic Islands, Spain)

Last modified: 2018-04-04 by ivan sache
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Flag of Maó-Mahón, horizontal and vertical versions - Images by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 2 November 2017

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Presentation of Maó-Mahón

The municipality of Maó-Mahón (official name since 2012; 28,161 inhabitants in 2017, 11,720 ha) is located in the south-east of Minorca.

Maó-Mahón was mentioned in 73 as the Roman town of Mago. In 1231 the King of Aragón Jaume I conquerred Menorca, which turned to a Moorish vassal domain of the kingdom. In 1287, Alfonso III conquerred Menorca, sold most of the Moors as slaves and re-settled the island with Catalan colonists.
In 1708, British troops occupied Menorca on behalf of Emperor Charles VI during the War of the Spanish Succession. Menorca became a British possession in 1713. The British made Maó-Mahón their capital in 1722. The French occupied the town and island in 1756, but they had to withdraw in 1763. Maó-Mahón was conquered in 1781 by the Spanish troops with help from the French. The island became a Spanish possession in 1783.
In 1798 the British conquerred the town and island for the third time; both were given back to Spain in 1802. From 1825 to 1845, the Illa Plana (the Flat Island) was pawned and used as a US naval base in order to fight Muslim pirates in the Mediterranean Sea.
Maó-Mahón had been famous for its large natural harbour. The Venetian Admiral Andrea Doria (1466-1560) said: “I know only four safe harbours in the Mediterranean Sea: June, July, August and Maó-Mahón.” Klaus-Michael Schneider, 2 November 2017

Flag of Maó-Mahón

The flag of Maó-Mahón, used either horizontally or vertically, as seen on 2 November 2017 at the Town Hall, is white with the municipal coat of arms in the center.
The coat of arms is made of a round shield with a bordure of golden pearls, surrounded by golden branches of palm at dexter and of laurel at sinister, crossed in base per saltire The shield is topped by a golden mural crown with four visible towers. The shield is light blue with a dark blue base semy of wavelets light blue, issuant from base a light brown castle with three embattled towers; on top of the shield is a lozengy golden inescutcheon, charged with four red pallets. The shield is flanked by a black inscription "MA" and "HÓ".

Klaus-Michael Schneider, 2 November 2017

The flag of Maó-Mahón was a matter of local (political) controversy a few years ago. In 2011, the list led by Águeda Reynés Calvache (PP) conquered municipal power from the PSOE/PSIB. Soon after the election, a big municipal flag was hoisted over the San Roch's bridge. In 2015, a leftist coalition led by Conxa Juanola Pons won the election. The new mayor soon ordered to remove the flag from the bridge, arguing that "the official flag should be hoisted only over the Town Hall" and that flying it over the bridge was "not necessary".
The flag was "officially" used by the former municipal majority, as "unofficial, but historically and validated by the population". The Municipal Division of Archives and Heritage, however, confirmed that the town never used a proper flag, rather, the flag used during the qualcada (cavalcade) of the town's festival is traditionally considered as the town's flag.

Interestingly enough, the flag once flown over the bridge features a slightly different coat of arms than used today: the branches surrounded the shield are green and the ribbons beneath it are blue.
[Menorca Info, 12 July 2015]

Ivan Sache, 24 February 2018

Flag of the town's festival


Flag of Maó-Mahón's festival - Image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 2 November 2017

The Town Hall keeps a white flag charged in the center with the municipal coat of arms, here reduced to a golden oval, flanked by a laurel branch at dexter and a palm branch at sinister, both golden. Within the oval is a golden castle beneath and an inescutcheon yellow above, displaying four red pallets and topped by a Royal coronet. The oval itself is topped by a bigger Royal coronet. The flag has two additional yellow scarves with four red stripes each.

This is the flag used during the town's festival, celebrated since 1890 on 7-8 September to honor the Mother of God of Grace (photos), officially proclaimed the town's patron saint in 1962. The flag appears to be carried by the leader of the cavalcade, which involves black horses of the Minorca stock.

Klaus-Michael Schneider & Ivan Sache, 24 February 2018

Flag the of Maó-Mahón national militia, 1821


Maó-Mahón national militia flag - Image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 2 November 2017

The flag, dated 1821, is some kind of a Roman vexillum. The pole is golden topped as follows: first a golden ball, then a golden capital, then a golden cubic basement, over all a golden lion statant, holding a golden book. The sheet is reduced to a simple green scarf.

Klaus-Michael Schneider, 2 November 2017

Sports clubs in Maó-Mahón

Club Deportivo Menorca


Flag of CD Menorca - Image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 3 November 2017

The flag of the CD Menorca football club is designed in the FC Barcelona style, with five horizontal blue and red stripes and the club's emblem in the center.
The emblem is also in the FC Barcelona style, the stripes in base here ordered vertically and superimposed by a golden ball, in chief blue with a brown castle, topped by the lozengy shield and inscription like on the municipal flag. In centre is a white fess with black inscription “C.D. MENORCA”.

Klaus-Michael Schneider, 3 November 2017

Club Marítimo Mahón


Burgee of CMM - Image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 3 November 2017

The burgee of CMM is a yellow pennant with an off-centred dark-blue cross, over all a white disc, fimbriated dark blue and displaying a simplified version of the municipal arms, with a plain light blue base, a dark blue castle, and the lozengy shield flanked by dark blue inscription and topped by a dark blue coronet.

Klaus-Michael Schneider, 3 November 2017