Last modified: 2018-12-07 by ivan sache
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Flag and arms of Martvili - Images by The State Council of Heraldry at the Parliament of Georgia, 23 February 2012
The municipality of Martvili (44,627 inhabitants in 2002, 5,600 in the town proper; 881 sq. km) is located in western Georgia.
Ivan Sache, 1 June 2012
The flag and arms of Martvili are prescribed by Decree No. 8, adopted on 21 July 2011 by the Municipal Council.
The flag of Martvili is horizontally divided blue-white-red-white-blue
(1:1:6:1:1) with a yellow oak in the middle.
The flag is a simplification of the municipal arms, which are "Gules an oak or a chief azure a saltire argent. The shield surmounted by a three-towered mural crown argent fimbriated sable. Under the shield a scroll argent fimbriated sable charged with the name of the town in Georgian capital letters sable". The respective proportions of the chief and main field of the shield are prescribed as 1:3.
[State Council of Heraldry at the Parliament of Georgia]
The oak and the St. Andrew's cross, are, undoubtedly, references to
the Martvili-Chqondidi cathedral. In the 1st century, St. Andrew
visited the place and convinced the locals to cut down the very large
oak they used for pagan celebrations and to build a church instead.
The cathedral is said to rest on the roots of the oak.
The Chqondidi cathedral was originally built in the late 7th century. Destroyed during a Turkish raid, it was rebuilt in the 10th century, together with a monastery (history), by King of Abkhazia George II (reigned 916-960, nicknamed "The Church Builder"). The cathedral is decorated with frescos from the 14th-17th centuries. The complex (photos) also includes the small Chikvanebi church and a tall tower once used by the monks to bless pilgrims.
The monastery was one of the main centers of religious culture and education in feudal Georgia. King Bagrat IV (1018-1072, crowned in 1027) was buried there. His grandson David the Builder (1073-1125, crowned in 1089) was tutored by St. George of Chqondidi (d. 1118, canonized on 27 June 2005), whom he appointed in 1103 the first Grand Chancellor of Georgia.
Closed after the incorporation of Georgia to Soviet Union, the monastery was reestablished in 1988 by Patriarch Ilia II. A complete monastic community - with monks and nuns - settled the revamped monastery in 2007.
Ivan Sache, 1 June 2012