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María (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2015-09-06 by ivan sache
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Flag of María - Image from the Símbolos de Almería website, 9 May 2014

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Presentation of María

The municipality of María (1,504 inhabitants in 2007; 22,500 ha; unofficial website) is located on the flank of the Sierra María at an elevation of 1,200 m asl, in the extreme north of the Province of Almería, 180 km north of Almería.

Built above the village at 1,400 m asl on the site where the Virgin had appeared to a shepherd, the Chapel of Our Lady of Cabeza is the place of a famous romeria (Catholic celebration made of a trip or peregrination ending at a sanctuary). The chapel was sponsored by famous local people, such as the Marquis of los Vélez and Captain Miguel Sánchez Palomera. Andrés Gómez Guijarro, born in María in 1607 fought the Turks in the service of Philip IV for decades; he offerred to the chapel a flag captured at sea from the Ottomans in 1652. The flag is kept today in the Museum of the Almería Cathedral.

Ivan Sache, 16 July 2009

Symbols of María

The flag and arms of María, approved on 25 February 2005 by the Municipal Council and submitted on 17 March 2005 to the Directorate General of Local Administration, are prescribed by a Decree adopted on 11 April 2005 by the Directorate General of Local Administration and published on 26 April 2005 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 80, pp. 60-61 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: Flag in proportions 2:3, blue with an eagle regardant over two branches of belladonna and surmounted with a Marquis' coronet, all in white.
Coat of arms: Azure an eagle regardant supported by two branches of belladonna argent surmounted with a Marquis' coronet all argent. The shield surmounted with a Royal crown closed.

The eagle evokes the Roman past of the town, although it is today associated with the abundance of short-toed snake eagles. The Marquis' coronet recalls the long connection of the town with the Marquisate of Los Vélez. The branches of belladona recall that this plant is characteristic of the area.
[Símbolos de las Entidades Locales de Andalucía. Almería (PDF file)]

Ivan Sache, 16 July 2009