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Santa Eugènia (Municipality, Balearic Islands, Spain)

Santa Eugenía

Last modified: 2018-03-18 by ivan sache
Keywords: santa eugènia | santa eugenía |
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Flag of Santa Eugènia - Image by "Xavigivax", Wikimedia Commons, 3 June 2010

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Presentation of Santa Eugènia

The municipality of Santa Eugènia (Spanish, Santa Eugenía; 1,653 inhabitants in 2017, 2,025 ha; municipal website) is located 25 km north-east of Palma de Mallorca.
The municipality is made of the settlements of Santa Eugènia (1,391 inh.), Ses Alqueries (110 inh.), Ses Coves (29 inh.) and Ses Olleries (106 inh.).

Santa Eugènia originates in the Muslim estate of Benibahari / Benibazari, settled by the Zanata tribes, which opposed little resistance to the conquest of Majorca by King James I in 1229. The Book of Sharing of Majorca (1232) lists the estate of Santa Eugènia as granted to Bernat de Santa Eugènia, Governor of Majorca in 1230-1231. In the 15th century, Santa Eugènia was composed of a few houses erected near a square. At the end of the Revolt of the Brotherhoods (1521-1523) against Charles V, the villagers, who had supported the rebellion, were heavily fined.
Santa Eugènia belonged to Santa Maria del Camí until the end of the feudal system, but was often more populated, which caused tension between the two towns. Santa Eugènia was established as a separate municipality in June 1813; abolished in 1814 during Ferdinand VII's absolutist restoration, the municipality was reestablished during the Liberal Triennium (1820-1823) and suppressed again in 1823. In June 1840, the Superior Political Government of the Balearic Islands prescribed the separation, which came into effect in 1843, in spite of the reluctance of Santa Maria del Camí.

Ivan Sache, 18 March 2018

Flag of Santa Eugènia

The modified flag (photo) and the arms of Santa Eugènia, approved on 26 January 2010 by the Municipal Council, are prescribed by a Resolution adopted on 1 September 2010 by the Majorca Insular Council and published on 20 September 2010 in Spanish official gazette, No. 228, pp. 79,955 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:

Modified flag: Yellow background with four horizontal red stripes and the coat of arms of Santa Eugènia in the center.
Coat of arms: Lozengy per fess, 1. Azure a tower argent [port and windows sable], 2. Or four pallets gules. The shield surmounted by a mural crown.

The Municipal Council commissioned the Majorca Royal Academy of Historical, Genealogical and Heraldic Studies, with the support of the local scholar Francesc Capó, to redact a memoir to normalize and update the municipal flag and arms. The objective of the study was to re-establish the original design of the elements composing the coat of arms, mainly the shape of the tower and the colors.
The flag was originally adopted on 28 July 1994 by the Municipal Council.
The amended symbols were originally described as follows (minutes of the Session of the Municipal Council, 30 September 2009):

Flag: Made of four horizontal red stripes on a yellow background and the coat of arms of Santa Eugènia in the middle.
Coat of arms: Shield lozengy, on top a tower azure on bottom the pallets of the Countal house of Barcelona. The shield surmounted by a mural crown.
The tower shall be represented heraldically, masoned, with crenelates, portd and windows.
The mural crown shall be represented as a portion of wall equipped with four gates and four towers.

The wording was considerably simplified in the Resolution.

The arms of Santa Eugènia are nearly identical to those of Torroella de Montgrí, the Catalan home town of Bernat de Santa Eugènia.
After the separation from Santa Maria del Camí, Santa Eugènia appears to have adopted a shield in French style, already charged with the tower and the four pallets. In 2001, the municipality renovated the corporative image of the municipality, removing the blue color of the background and the silver color of the tower, which stirred up controversy.
[Diari de Balears, 30 September 2009]

The proposed arms are those attributed to Bernat de Santa Eugènia, who participated to the second conquest of Majorca by James I. The connection of this person with the place is not backed up by any evidence, since there are several places of the same name in Catalonia. There is no evidence, either, that the proposed arms ever belonged to Bernat de Santa Eugènia. Moreover, it is highly improbable that a knight used in the 13th century Royal arms adjacent to his own in secondary position.
Undoubtedly, the proposed arms could be admitted as designed from scratch. The design is compliant with the traditional heraldic style, excepted the use of the brunâtre color for the tower, unacceptable a,d to be changed to argent or or. Thus modified, the arms could be "Per fess, 1. Azure a tower argent port and windows sable, 2. Or four pallets gules".
In contrast, the proposed flag is inadequate. The use of the Royal flag of Aragón is proposed as "the proper flag of the noble Bernat de Santa Eugènia". Such a flag conveys a modern notion of national flag unknown in the 13th century. There were at the time no "proper flag" that would have been private or exclusive to that person. Moreover, the main aim of a municipal flag is to be used as a sign of differentiation, which means it should not be equivalent or close to an existing one. The use of the Royal flag of Aragón could be claimed, with the same reason as for Santa Eugènia, by several other municipalities in the territories that once composed this kingdom.
[Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia. 192, 3: 22-523. 1995]

Ivan Sache, 18 March 2018