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El Palmar de Troya (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2021-05-16 by ivan sache
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Flag of El Palmar de Troya, current and former versions - Images from the Símbolos de Sevilla website, 6 December 2020

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Presentation of El Palmar de Troya

The municipality entity of El Palmar de Troya (2,343 inhabitants in 2020; 3,326 ha; municipal website) is located half distance of Seville and Jerez.
The municipality was established by Decree No. 183 issued on 2 October 2018 by the Government of Andalusia and published on 9 October 2018 in the Andalusian official gazette, No. 186, pp. 100-121 (text), and on 23 January 2019 in the Spanish official gazette, No. 20, pp. 5,847-5,866 (text).

The struggle for separation was initiated on 31 January 1998, when Manuel García Alonso, Mayor of the Village, founded a political party called Grupo Independiente Pro Ayuntamiento de El Palmar de Troya (GIP). The status of Autonomous Local Entity was granted on 4 March 2003 to El Palmar de Troya.
The process of separation was initiated on 11 October 2012, unanimously, by the Municipal Council of Utrera. The request, validated on 16 December 2013, was forwarded on 17 December 2013 to the Directorate General of the Local Administration. After the approval of the request by different bodies, the Andalusian Institute of Statistics and Cartography submitted on 26 December 2017 a proposal of delimitation of the new municipality, which was validated on 10 May 2018 by the Municipal Council.

El Palmar de Troya was already settled by the Romans. Utrera historians believe that soldiers from Caesar's army established in present-day's La Cañada a settlement named Siarum / Searo. Another settlement, Diarum, would have been established near Zarracatín. El Palmar de Troya was in the 13th century part of the Morisco Strip, the defensive belt established against Moorish raids.
The modern village, named for palms growing profusely in the neighborhood and for the Troya farm, was established by laborers coming from the neighboring villages, especially those who built the Torre del Águila reservoir used to irrigate the district's fields.

El Palmar de Troya is the cradle - and unique site - of the Palmar Christian Church (Iglesia Cristiana Palmeriana), founded in the 1970s by Clemente Domínguez (1946-2005), the self-proclaimed Pope Gregory XVII.
Born in Seville, Domínguez was ordained priest on 31 December 1971 by the Vietnamese archbishop Pedro Martin Ngo-Din Thuc, who ordained him Bishop on 11 January 1976. Performed on the fringe of the ritual, the ordinations were not recognized by the Roman Catholic Church. Domínguez reported an apparition of the Blessed Virgin in Palmar on 30 September 1969; after having exhibited stigmata, he was summoned by the Church to stop exhibiting supernatural manifestations.
On 27 August 1978, Domínguez revealed he had been named "pontifex maximus", that is, Pope, as Gregory XVII, by the Blessed Virgin. In a series of "Papal Documents", Gregory XVII canonized Franco, José Antonio Primo de Rivera, King Pelagius and Christopher Columbus, among others, while he excommunicated the Spanish Royal family.
Gregory XVII, better known as Pope Clement, used the donations of his supporters to build a huge basilica on the site of the alleged Marian apparition. Access to the fortified sanctuary is restricted to specific periods and selected guests obeying the dress code of the (fake) Order of the Carmelites of the Holy Faith. The economical crisis also forced the pope, he said, to sell some jewels of the Virgin, to quit sexual relations (!) and to renounce to the expected miracle of vision recovery - Clement lost vision in 1975 following a car accident.
On 4 January 1988, the pope obtained form the Supreme Court the registration of his congregation as a religious ordination.
[El Pais, 22 March 2005]

The appearances of Pope Clement, surrounded by his bishops, in public events, such as the Seville Feria, soon became an object of ridicule. At least one episode of his "sacerdotal" life caused public trouble. On 17 May 1982, the pope and his bishops went to Alba de Tormes (Province of Salamanca), a small town keeping highly revered relics of St. Theresa of Jesus. The parish priest reported that Clement entered the church and assaulted the Carmelite prior, claiming that he was the genuine pope and that there was no reason to wait for the planned visit of John Paul II; protected by a group of Catalan pilgrims, the nun ran out of the church, suffocating and shouting for help, while the pilgrims entrenched in the church and rang the bells. Aware of the event, hundreds of villagers rushed to the church to defend their "mother", that is the saint, from the outrage inflicted by the fake pope. Expelled from the church by the pilgrims, the pope faced an infuriated mob that prevented him (and his court) to go back to the two cars that they had parked, illegally, nearby. The Mayor and his Deputy arrived just in time to calm the mob, which was about to lynch the pope and had attempted to knock over the cars. The Civil Guard eventually brought the injured pilgrims to the hospital and the papal delegation to jail. The villagers pulled one of the cars near the river, where they burned it down. Eventually released, the pope and his bishops had to call a taxi to return to Seville.
[El Pais, 18 May 1982]

The Palmar Church experienced its probable last extravaganza in spring 2016. Ginés Jesús Hernández, Pope Gregory XVIII since 2011, left Palmar for Monachil (Province of Granada), the residence of his lover. Soon nicknamed "the pope in love", Hernández revealed the secrets of the Church. He recognized that his prediction of the advent of the Antichrist in 2012 was a lie. More seriously, he provided significant evidence that the funding of the Church was based on tax evasion organized worldwide in collusion with prominent banks. Gregory XVIII's successor, Pedro III, refused to comment these allegations.
[El Pais, 23 May 2016]

Ivan Sache, 6 December 2020

Symbols of El Palmar de Troya

The flag and amrs of El Palmar de Troya, adopted on 18 February 2020 by the Municipal Council and submitted on 8 June 2020 to the Directorate General of the Local Administration, are prescribed by a Resolution issued on 16 June 2020 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration and published on 22 June 2020 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 118, p. 38-39 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular, in proportions 3:2 (length on width), made of three horizontal stripes, the outer, blue, and the central, yellow. Charged in the center with the municipal coat of arms.
Coat of arms: Spanish shield. Per pale, 1. Azure a tower or masoned sable, 2. Or four palm bushes vert trunked proper in pale. Grafted in base Argent three fesses wavy azure. The shield surmounted by a Royal Spanish crown closed.

The same flag was previously used, without any official approval, with a coat of arms not compliant with the norms of heraldry (photo), featuring a representation of the local landscape, showing the Troya Tower, surmounted by the Andalusian flag and two groups of palm trees making the arms canting, under a light blue sky lit by a yellow sun.
In the base of the official arms, the waves represent lagoon Zarracatín and the Torre del Águila reservoir.
[Municipal website]

The Troya tower was established by Alfonso XI as part of the network of of fortifications aimed at watching the Morisco strip. The exact origin of the tower and of its name are unknown. A "resting place", today the affluent Troya farm, was subsequently established near the tower for shepherds transhuming on the neighboring Utrera Royal Road.
The two-storeyed tower is square (10 m x 10 m), with thick walls (up to 4 m). Part of a private estate, the tower was preserved from vandalization experienced by other similar towers, for instance the Lopera and Eagle's towers.
[ABC, 18 November 2020]

Lagoon Zarracatín (55 ha; maximal depth, 0.70 m) is one of Andalusia's largest brackish ponds. Together with lagoons Alcaparrosa and Arjona, it forms the Nature Reserve of the Utrera Endorrheic Complex. The lagoon is a main supply of food for pink flamingos.
[Government of Andalusia]

Ivan Sache, 6 December 2020