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Santa Maria da Feira Municipality (Portugal)

Concelho de Santa Maria da Feira, Distrito de Aveiro

Last modified: 2016-05-21 by klaus-michael schneider
Keywords: santa maria da feira | castle(silver) | st.mary |
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2:3 image by Sérgio Horta, 24 June 2007
2:3 image located by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 29 Apr 2016

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About the Flag

It is a fairly typical Portuguese municipal flag, with the coat of arms centred on a white and red gyronny (city rank) background (left flag image above) and another one with the height of the arms (incl. crown and scroll) being just 50% of total height (right flag image above).
Source: here for image with small arms
António Martins-Tuválkin, 24 June 2007 and Klaus-Michael Schneider, 29 Apr 2016

Coat of arms

[Santa Maria da Feira municipality CoA] image by Sérgio Horta, 24 June 2007

Shield Azure above a castle Argent with port and windows Gules with four towers topped with conical roofs the Virgin Mary clad Gules and mantled Azure and nimbed Or and holding her Jesus babe unclad Proper. Mural crown argent with five visible towers (city rank) and white scroll reading in black upper case letters "SANTA MARIA DA FEIRA" .
"Santa Maria da Feira" means "Saint Mary of the market / fair", . Saint Mary shows on the arms and is shown already before toponym change from "Market Town" to "Market Saint Mary" (a name which is probably blafemous). Curiously, the Catholic patron of this municipality is not Saint Mary, but Saint Nicholas. The castle of Santa Maria da Feira, the landmark of Feira, is a testament to the military architecture of the Middle Ages. It is the fulcrum of the history of the region, and an important point in the reconquest.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 24 June 2007

Former symbols

[Santa Maria da Feira (town) municipality] 2:3 image by Sérgio Horta, 24 June 2007

As said, these arms and flag were adopted upon the upgrade of the municipality seat to city status, and its name change from "VILA DA FEIRA" to "SANTA MARIA DE FEIRA" on 14 August 1985 and are a slightly non-trivial change of the former arms and flag adopted and published in the official journal Diário do Governo : II Série on 11 August 1942. These included the usual town attributes: four visible crown towers (town rank) and quartered flag, white and red.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 24 June 2007

Flag and arms in use since 14 August 1985, upon official upgrade to city status and name change, but apparently not officialized yet, according to Sérgio Horta. This might be due to the unheraldic nature of the representation of the castle, unsympathetic to the heraldic authority. (It was however the same heraldic authority who accepted this design back in 1942 (q.v.).)

Version without Coat of Arms

[Santa Maria da Feira municipality plain] 2:3 image by Sérgio Horta, 24 June 2007

Presentation of Santa Maria da Feira

Santa Maria da Feira municipality had 135 964 inhabitants in 2001 and consists of 21 communes covering 213,45 km².It is part of Aveiro District, traditional province Douro Litoral, 1999 ref. adm. region Entre Douro e Minho, current C.C.R. / NUTS II Norte, and NUTS III Entre Douro e Vouga.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 24 June 2007

Most of the communes of this municipality have one thing in common, which is unusual in Portuguese heraldry. Saints are usually replaced by their attributes. But here they appear in the local arms nearly almost as images of themselves.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 9 Apr 2016

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