Last modified: 2014-11-15 by ivan sache
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Flag of Xanthi, two versions - Images by Olivier Touzeau, 3 June 2014
The municipality of Xanthi (65,133 inhabitants in 2011; 49,540 ha) was established in the 2011 local government reform as the merger of the former municipalities of Stavroupoli (Σταυρούπολη, 3,090 inh.) and Xanthi (63,083 inh..
Amphitheatrically built on the foot of Rhodope mountain chain, the city is divided by the Kosynthos River, into the west part, where the old and themodern town are located, and the east part that boasts a rich natural
environment. The Old Town of Xanthi is known throughout Greece for its
distinctive architecture, combining many Byzantine Greek churches with
neoclassical mansions of Greek merchants from the 18th and 19th centuries
and Ottoman-era mosques. Xanthi is famous throughout Greece for its annual spring carnival.
Known references to Xanthi date back to 879 AD. The population of the regionof Xanthi had dwindled down to almost nothing and almost everything had been destroyed when the Ottomans conquered the region in 1361. The Ottomans brought settlers from within of Asia Minor, which is how Genisea (Γενισέα) was created, while Oraio (Ωραίο) and Xanthi remained mainly Greek and Christian centres. By 1715, Xanthi, as well as Genisea, became renowned for its tobacco quality.
In March and April 1829 two earthquakes literally leveled the city, however played a decisive role in the further developments. The city's re-building immediately got underway. In 1870, the city of Genisea was burned down and thus all of the agencies and services were transferred to Xanthi, which, at that time, had a population of about 10,000 inhabitants.
Following the First Balkan War, Bulgaria took the city of Xanthi in 1912, but during the Second Balkan War in summer 1913 it was captured by the Greek army. Shortly thereafter, as part of the accords concluding the Balkan Wars, Xanthi and Western Thrace were ceded to Bulgaria and remained a part of the latter until the end of World War I. Following the Bulgarian defeat in this war, the southern parts of Western Thrace came under Allied administration, before being ceded to Greece in the Treaty of Neuilly (1920). In the period 1941Ð1944, during the Axis Occupation of Greece, the city was annexed by Bulgaria.
Olivier Touzeau, 3 June 2014
The flag of Xanthi (photo) is blue with a green border and the municipality's emblem in the middle, placed on a purple disk. The emblem portrays Democritus, who was from the village of Abdera, located about 20 km from Xanthi. The flag is also used with a golden fringe (photo)
The flag was already used by the former municipality of Xanthi.
Olivier Touzeau & Paraskevis Renesis, 27 October 2013