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Village of Pembroke (Malta)

Last modified: 2013-12-09 by rob raeside
Keywords: malta | pembroke | swords: crossed (yellow) | castles: 13 (yellow) |
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[Village of Pembroke (Malta)] 3:5 image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 19 January 2007

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According to the Local Council website:

Pembroke was named after the 12th Earl of Pembroke and British Secretary of War in 1859. Pembroke owes its origin to the Knights of St John of Jerusalem who built two Watch Towers on its coast, which served as a means of defence for the Grand Harbour due to Pembroke's strategic position. However, the British Services were instrumental in the development and fortification of Pembroke. The first principal barracks were constructed between 1859 and 1862 and were named after England's Patron Saint — St George's. Other barracks were built later and named after Ireland and Scotland's Patron Saints — St Patrick's and St Andrew's. Fort Pembroke was built between 1875 and 1878 to serve two defence purposes, namely to safeguard the seaward approach towards the Grand Harbour and to defend the right flank of the Victoria Lines. Later, Pembroke Battery was built between 1897 and 1899 to serve the same purposes.

Santiago Dotor, 3 March 2006


 This local council webpage shows a photograph of the local council building with the Maltese flag and a red flag with some yellow elements on the hoist which must be the Pembroke flag. Even though most of the flag is hidden due to the folds, it looks like no castle appears along the bottom edge, or at least they are very separate from one another. Also the castles are small than, as they appear on the coat-of-arms in that same webpage, and since two are visible halfway along the hoist, I would guess that there are at least four along the hoist — thus four more along the fly, leaving four for the top and bottom sides, two each.

Actually, the coat-of-arms shows not 12 but 13 castles. According to a quote by Norbert Rizzo Naudi in Ralf Hartemink's International Civic Arms website:

The town was built on former English barracks, hence the swords. The castles represent the 13 coastal watchtowers erected in the XVII century by Grand Master Martin De Redin of the Sov[ereign] Milit[ary] Order of St John.
So it seems the number of castles is not irrelevant. In other words, the blazon is probably Gules two swords in saltire a bordure of thirteen castles all Or and not simply ...a bordure of castles..., and therefore the flag ought to contain similarly 13 castles.

According to the Local Council website:

Pembroke's Coat of Arms reflects the military connection that Pembroke always held. Two gold crossed swords are surrounded by the thirteen Watch Towers built by Grand Master De Redin, also in gold on a red background. The town's motto is "Ghal kull Bzonn" (For Every Need).

Santiago Dotor, 3 March 2006