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Šmartno pri Litiji (Municipality, Slovenia)

Last modified: 2013-04-20 by ivan sache
Keywords: smartno pri litiji | st. martin |
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[Flag of Smartno]         [Flag of Smartno]

Flag of Šmartno pri Litiji, horizontal and vertical versions - Images by Željko Heimer, 31 December 2007

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Presentation of Šmartno pri Litiji

The municipality of Šmartno pri Litiji (5167 inhabitants, 1,424 in the village of Šmartno pri Litiji proper; 9,490 ha) is located in the western Posavje Hills, 3 km southeast of Litija. The municipality is made of 55 settlements forming the local communities of Šmartno pri Litiji, Liberga, Kostrevnica, Velika Štanga, Štangarske Poljane, Primskovo, Razbore, Jablaniška dolina, Javorje, Vintarjevec and Zavrstnik.
The municipality of Šmartno pri Litiji was formed on 15 June 2002 following a referendum held in Litija, from which it seceded. Šmartno pri Litiji was the first Slovene municipality formed after 1998.

Šmartno and the surroundings were already settled in the prehistoric ages. A barrow containing a male skeleton and burial objects made of bronze and iron, excavated in 1931, was dated, together with other artifacts, from the Age of Iron. A fortified settlement then existed, which lasted for some 700 years until ruined in the 2nd century.
Mining and smelting of lead and iron ore, started in Šmartno by the Romans and increased in the Middle Ages, peaked in the 16th century. Lead was exported to Hungary and Italy, while four forges with water-powered hammers produced farm tools (ploughs, ploughshares, axes...) sold in Carniola and Styria. The Sitarjevec mine, the last in activity in Šmartno, was closed in 1951.

The parish church is dedicated to St. Martin, shown on the municipal coat of arms. A local legend says that the first sanctuary dedicated to the saint was built on the very same place where a group of miners who had been buried in the mine dug their way to the surface; the alleged event happened on 11 November, St. Martin's Day. A church document, dated 1135, seems to indicate that the Patriarch of Aquilea appointed one of his vicars to the village, thus being the oldest known written source mentioning Šmartno. The St. Martin church, most probably built in the second half of the 2nd century, was pulled down and replaced by a brand new church designed in neogothic style by Alfred Wagner and consecrated on 15 September 1901 by the parish priest Ivan Lavrenčić.

Source: Municipal website

Željko Heimer & Ivan Sache, 31 December 2011

Flag of Šmartno pri Litiji

The flag and arms of Šmartno pri Litiji are prescribed by decision Odlok o grobu i zastavi Občine Šmartno pri Litiji, adopted on 24 February 2005 and published on 25 March 2005 in the official Slovene gazette Uradni list Republike Slovenije, No. 31.

The flag (photos) is in proportions 2:5, red with a black stripe at hoist and the municipal icon (from the coat of arms) near it. The black stripe is 1/9 of the flag length wide, while the icon is centered on a vertical axis 1/3 of the length from the hoist. The height of the icon is 5/6 of the hoist size.
The vertical version of the flag, unexpectedly, has the black stripe in the base and the icon moved downwards, too.

The flag was hoisted for the first time on 1 May 2005 by Mayor Milan Izlakar (photos) after having been blessed by Dean Marjan Lampret.
A copy of the flag was presented on 2 July 2005 to a delegation from Telgate (Bergamo Province, Italy), Šmartno's partner town, when they visited Šmartno for the first time (photo).
On 16-18 September 2005, a delegation from Šmartno paid (back) a friendly visit to Telgate, where the flags of the two municipalities were hoisted on the facade of the town hall (photos).
On 27 May 2006, another friendly meeting in Šmartno gave the opportunity to hoist the vertical flags of Slovenia, Italy, Šmartno and Telgate (photos).

Željko Heimer & Ivan Sache, 31 December 2011

Coat of arms of Šmartno pri Litiji

[Coat of arms of Smartno]

Coat of arms of Šmartno pri Litiji - Image by Željko Heimer, 31 December 2007, after the municipal gazette

The coat of arms of Šmartno pri Litiji is "Per pale sable and gules and overall St. Martin giving his cloak to a beggar all argent".
The picture in the coat of arms is taken from the portal of the local church. However, the icon is mirrored, since on the church it is shown in the non-heraldical position, turned toward sinister.
The black field in the symbols is a reference to historical coal mines in the region.

Željko Heimer, 31 December 2007

Municipal symbols' contest

The public contest for the design of the municipal symbols was announced on 2 May 2004 on the municipal website (text).
The deadline for proposal submission was 30 June 2004. Prizes of 50,000 (ca. 220 €), 30,000 and 20,000 SIT were granted. The awarded designs were to be be published in the local magazine.
To promote the contest, the municipality organized on 11 May 2004 a public lecture on the principles of heraldry and vexillology, given by members of Heraldica Slovenia (announcement).

Željko Heimer, 12 November 2012