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San Javier (Municipality, Region of Murcia, Spain)

Last modified: 2016-04-25 by ivan sache
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Flag of San Javier - Image by "Erlenmeyer" (Wikimedia Commons), 9 May 2015

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Presentation of San Javier

The municipality of San Javier (31,988 inhabitants in 2014; 7,420 ha; municipal website) is located on the northern shore of the salty lagoon (170 sq. km in area; 70 km in coastal length) known as Mar Menor (lit., Minor Sea), 50 km of Murcia. The municipality is made of the town of San Javier and of the villages of Santiago de la Ribera, La Manga del Mar Menor, El Mirador, Lo LLerena de San Cayetano, Roda, Pozo Aledo and La Grajuela. The municipal territory also encompasses the five volcanic islands located in the Mar Menor, and another two islands located in the Mediterranean Sea.

The Murcia-San Javier Airport is a base of the Spanish Air Force, also open to civil traffic (more than 1 million passengers in 2012). The base is the seat of the Air General Academy of the Spanish Airforce (1943) and of the Eagle Patrol, the acrobatic demonstration team of the Spanish Air Force (1985).

Ivan Sache, 9 May 2015

Symbols of San Javier

The flag of San Javier is prescribed by a Decree adopted on 13 November 1984 and published on 28 November 1984 in the official gazette of the Region of Murcia, No. 273, p. 3,791 (text). The Decree does not appear to have been confirmed by the Government of the Region of Murcia.
The flag is not described in the Decree.

The flag (photo, photo) is horizontally divided light blue-dark blue with the municipal coat of arms in the center.

The coat of arms of San Javier is prescribed by Decree No. 2,303 , adopted on 17 December 1959 by the Spanish Government and published on 23 December 1959 in the Spanish official gazette, No. 306, p. 16,298 (text).
The arms are not described in the Decree.

The coat of arms is "Azure two towers or on a belt argent over waves argent and azure a fish nageant argent in chief a chapel argent. A bordure gules eight eagles rising or. The shield surmounted by a coronet. The speech scroll inscribed "LA ALBUFERA ME DIO VIDA Y DOS TORRES FORTALEZA" in letters sable.

The coat of arms of San Javier was designed in May 1956 by Fernando Jiménez de Gregorio, Official Chronicler of Toledo, and the painter José María Almela Costa.
The Royal Academy of History acknowledged a "well-written memory accounting for the historical vicissitudes of the place, from being an alquería of Murcia to municipal autonomy granted on 16 September 1836. Originating in the erection of the towers of San Miguel del Estacio and La Encañizada for the protection of the coast, the place was named for a chapel built in the 17th century to honour the Apostle of the Indies, transformed into a parish church by Bishop of Cartagena Francisco Fernández Angulo.
The proposed arms, expected to summarize the past of the town, are severely flawed since they are not compliant with the rules of heraldry, especially simplicity and allegory; accordingly, a coat of arms should not be quartered, except when each quarter is charged with the arms of a Military Order. Browsing the arms of the main capitals in the world would confirm this.
The Royal crown is inappropriate, to be substituted for a Baron's coronet, suitable for municipal heraldry [of the time]. The use of the family arms of St. Francis Xavier is unacceptable, since there is no relation between the place and the family; they should be replaced by a chapel, recalling the town's namesake.
Knowing the importance of the San Javier air base for the Spanish aviation, the Cross of St. James, the patron saint of cavalry, should be replaced by the specific emblem of aviation [the eagles]. The writing on the speech scroll surrounding the arms can be kept.
The modified coat of arms was eventually approved in 22 August 1959 by the Municipal Council.
The motto "La albufera me dio vida y dos torres fortaleza" (The Salty Lagoon Gave Me Life and The Two Towers Strength) refers to the Mar Menor and to the towers of San Miguel del Estacio and La Encañizada.
[Descumbriendo Murcia, 22 May 2013; Boletín Asociación de Jubilados CAM, July 2005]

The tower of San Miguel del Estacio was erected on a 3-m high rocky spur located near the channel connecting the Mar Menor to the Mediterranean Sea. Aimed at protecting the villages of the Mar Menor against the Barbary Coast pirates, the tower was built from 1574 to 1601 upon order of King Philip II. In 1606, the tower was inspected by the Marquis of Los Vélez; in peace time, the tower was served by five soldiers, increased to 8 in wartime, two gunners included. The garrison was armed with two cannons and 12 rifles. Ruined, the tower was replaced in 1851 by a lighthouse, inaugurated on 15 November 1862.
[Descumbriendo Murcia, 1 February 2013]

Santiago Dotor & Ivan Sache, 9 May 2015