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Kvareli (Municipality, Georgia)


Last modified: 2021-09-25 by ivan sache
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Flag and arms of Kvareli - Images by The State Council of Heraldry at the Parliament of Georgia, 8 May 2021

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Presentation of Kvareli

The municipality of Kvareli (7,739 inhabitants in 2014; 10,008 ha) is located in Kakheti.

Ivan Sache, 3 March 2019

Flag of Kvareli

The flag of Kvareli is horizontally divided red-green, with a white equilateral triangle placed along the hoist and charged with red cross patty. The flag is hoisted in front of the Town Hall (photo by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 4 October 2018).
The flag is derived from the municipal arms, "Per fess serrated, 1a. Argent a cross patty gules, 1b. Gules a winged horse horse argent, 2. Vert a town wall argent surmounted by a crown or and surmounting a bunch of grapes of the same."
[State Council of Heraldry at the Parliament of Georgia]

The winged horse, also featured on the flag and arms of Telavi, is a representation of Merani.
A Georgian mythological horse symbolizing freedom, more or less a Georgian Pegasus, Merani is featured in the eponymous poem by the Romantic poet Nikoloz Baratashvili (1817-1845).
In parallel to historical heroes, Baratashvili evolved a view of himself as an apocalyptic horseman, his horse being an uncontrollable Merani. A most compulsive poem of 1842 begins and ends with the verse:

My Merani runs and flies without paths or traces,
Behind, an ill-fated black raven craws at me.
Ride on, Merani, your gallop has no limit
And give me thoughts that shine in black on the breeze.

In "Merani", Baratashvili created the most dynamic poem in the Georgian language, with a mythological hero and a dream landscape worthy of his contemporary Gérard de Nerval and his "Prince d'Aquitaine à la tour abolie".
[Donald Rayfield. 2013. The Literature of Georgia. A history]

Gérard de Nerval (Gérard Labrunie, 1808-1855) was an eccentric, Romantic poet and writer. His weak and declining mental health inspired him odd works based on dream and reminiscence, which were highly estimated by the Surrealists.
The aforementioned citation is the second verse of Nerval's most celebrated poem, El Desdichado, part of the anthology Les Chimères (1854):
Je suis le Ténébreux, - le Veux, - l'Inconsolé, / I am the Dark One, - the Widower, - the Unconsoled,
Le Prince d'Aquitaine à la Tour abolie; / The Aquitaine Prince whose Tower is destroyed;

More recently, Galaktion Tabidze (1891-1959) wrote a (never printed) poem about Stalin, who the poet compared with a bloodstained executioner, a person who erased his homeland from his heart, killed Georgians, filled the country with dead bodies, blackened the sky, and stopped Merani that was heading forwards at a high speed, and filled the community of writers and families with spies.
[Zoya Tskhadaia & Tamar Tsitsishvili. 2016. Two Paradigms on the Stalin Phenomenon. Pp. 18-24 in Irma Ratiani (Ed.). Literature in Exile. Emigrants' Fiction 20th Century Experience]

The grapes recall the local wine production.
Kvareli Gvirabi is Georgia's largest wine cellar - 7.7 km of tunnels and galleries that maintain a constant temperature of 12-14 degrees C and 70% relative humidity all year round - perfect storage conditions for wine. Originally built for military purposes during the Cold War, the tunnels (gvirabi) were purchased by the Winery Khareba (website) who restored them and use them to store and age about 25,000 bottles of its wine. The complex consists of two main tunnels linked by 13 smaller galleries 500 meters long.
[Georgian Recipes, 22 September 2013]

Ivan Sache, 3 March 2019