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Álora (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2017-01-04 by ivan sache
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Flag of Álora - Image from the Símbolos de Málaga website, 13 September 2016

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Presentation of Álora

The municipality of Álora (13,436 inhabitants in 2008; 16,904 ha; municipal website) is located on a spur, 90 m above river Guadalhorce and 195 m above sea level, 40 km north of Málaga. The town is the cradle of the flamenco style known as Malagueña (video), recalled in the town by a monument funded by the municipality and the Malagueña Province.

Álora was a main target for the Catholic Monarchs, who besieged the fortress several times but could not seize it until 22 June 1484, in the last years of the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada. In 1434, the Christian troops were commanded by Diego Gómez de Ribera, the second Great Adelantado of Andalusia. The position of Great Adelantado (aka Great Adelantado of the Border) was created in 1396 by King Henry III to protect the border with the Kingdom of Granada and granted to Per Afan de Ribera (1338-1421). This hereditary position remained kept by the Ribera family, of Galician origin and established in Seville in the 14th century, until superseded by the title of Duke of Alcalá de los Gazules, granted by Philip II in 1558. Diego Gómez de Ribera succeeded his father in 1423 and was killed during the aforementioned siege of Álora. This event is recalled by the poem known as Álora la bien cercada (Álora the Well-besieged); the poem is a typical border's romancero, orally transmitted from the 14th century until compiled in several anthologies in the 19th-20th centuries. Independent from 1484 to 1487, Álora was subsequently incorporated to the reconquered town of Málaga. In 1628, Álora eventually seceded from Málaga, "forever".

Ivan Sache, 1 August 2009

Symbols of Álora

The flag (photo, photo, photo, photo) and arms of Álora, adopted on 30 September 2004 by the Municipal Council and submitted on 4 October 2004 to the Directorate General of the Local Administration, are prescribed by a Resolution adopted on 28 October 2004 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration and published on 11 November 2004 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 220, p. 26,148 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular panel, red, in proportions 2:3, with the smaller side placed along the hoist. On the flag panel, at 1/3 of its length - from the hoist - are placed the charges shown on the heraldic coat of arms, yellow with the port and windows of the castle blue, with proportions 3/4 of the flag's hoist.
Coat of arms: Gules a castle or masoned and port and windows azure flanked dexter by a lion contourned or crowned langued and armed of the same leaning against the wall. The shield surmounted with a Royal Spanish crown closed [detailed description of the crown omitted].

The process of adoption of the municipal symbols was initiated by the Municipal Council on 30 November 2000. The memoir supporting the proposed symbols was presented by Fernando Sánchez, who found that the municipality of Álora had used arms for centuries; accordingly, it was deemed legitimate to reinstate these arms in their traditional design.
The elements of the coat of arms refer to the seizure of the town in 1484 by the Catholic Monarchs, who appointed Luis Fernández Portocarerro, lord of La Palma, Captain and Governor, until 1487, when Álora was placed under the jurisdiction of the reconquered town of Málaga.
[Símbolos de las Entidades Locales de Andalucía. Málaga]


Other flag of Álora - Image from the Símbolos de Málaga website, 13 September 2016

The municipality also uses / used a flag charged with the municipal coat of arms (photo, 2012).

Ivan Sache, 13 September 2016