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Cartaya (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2016-12-20 by ivan sache
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Flag of Cartaya - Image by Ivan Sache, 20 August 2016

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Presentation of Cartaya

The municipality of Cartaya (19,164 inhabitants in 2015; 22,640 ha) is located 20 km of Huelva.The municipality is made of the town of Cartaya and of the villages of El Rompido (1,798 inh.) and Nuevo Portil.

Cartaya was established by the Phoenicians. The modern town could not emerge before the 15th century, because of the threat represented by pirate raids. Pedro de Zúñiga, Marquis of Gibraleón, established a ferry crossing river Piedras. The long dispute with Alfonso de Guzmán, lord of Ayamonte and Lepe was eventually settled by the court, who recognized the Marquis' right.
The Marquis of Gibraleón was allowed by Royal Letters (1417-1420) to erect a castle watching the ferry. Achieved in 1428, the castle (presentation) was a rectangular fortress (35 m x 27 m) defended by seven square towers. Sold in 1825 by the Duke of Béjar to the town, the castle was disbanded in 1817. Nearly ruined, the castle was consolidated in 1880 because its demolition would have been too hazardous and expensive. The castle was fully restored in 1985 for the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the unification of Spain.

Cartaya is the birth town of the philologist Rafael Reyes Rodríguez (1879-1947), author of a famous French-Spanish / Spanish-French dictionary. First published in 1929, the Diccionario francés-español y español-francés was last amended in 1976 (41st edition).

Ivan Sache, 20 August 2016

Symbols of Cartaya

The flag of Cartaya was adopted on 10 August 1998 by the Municipal Council. The registration process does not appear to have been completed yet.
The flag (photo, photo, photo, photo, photo, photo) is red with six horizontal stripes - three white and three blue - in the lower half and the municipal coat of arms placed in the center of the red half.

The flag was originally proposed in proportions 2:3, made of seven horizontal stripes, red-white-blue-white-blue-white-blue (8:1:1:1:1:1:1).
[Juan José Antequera. Principios de transmisibilidad en las heráldicas officiales de Sevilla, Córdoba y Huelva]

The coat of arms of Cartaya is prescribed by Decree no. 2,212, adopted on 21 July 1972 by the Spanish Government and published on 24 August 1972 in the Spanish official gazette, No. 203, p. 15,593 (text). This was confirmed by a Resolution adopted on 30 November 2004 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration and published on 20 December 2004 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 246, pp. 28,986-29,002 (text).
The coat of arms is described as follows:

Coat of arms: Gules a castle or masoned sable port and windows azure on a base proper over waves argent and azure. The castle guarded by two maceros [ushers holding a mace] proper clad with a tabard gules a castle or port and windows azure. The shield surmounted by a Marquis' coronet.

The arms were proposed by Juan Infante Galán, who stated in the supporting memory that:
1. The coat of arms then used by the municipality lacked historical and heraldic justification.
2. During the feudal rule, the Council of Cartaya used the coat of arms of the local lords, the Zúñiga, Marquis of Gibraleón. There is no record of a proper coat of arms.
3. Lacking any later coat of arms with sufficient historical and heraldic significance, the municipality used the coat of arms of the Zúñiga, also the founders of the town.
4. In 1822-1825, the municipality designed and used a coat of arms expressing the local life. The print of the coat of arms does not allow its complete description in heraldic language and a reconstruction of the tinctures used. Charges easy to identify are, however, a castle and two maceros affronty.
5. The historical significance of the proposed shield retains the elements of the previous shield that have a strong symbolic value, that is, the castle and the soldiers.
6. A common feature in the Iberian municipal heraldry, especially in Castile and León, is the use of the castle or fortress, not only as a symbol of military power, but often mostly to represent a town. Adjacent to the castle is often featured a representative of the duties of the Council, for instance the alférez of the militia, the alguacil mayor, who bears, like the alférez, the town's banner, or, frequently, the portero or the veredero of the Council, or, like here, the macero.
7. To continue a rich heraldic heritage, we therefore decided to amend the original coat of arms, building and increasing its significance.
[Juan José Antequera. Principios de transmisibilidad en las heráldicas officiales de Sevilla, Córdoba y Huelva]

Ivan Sache, 20 August 2016