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Iznájar (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2019-01-27 by ivan sache
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Flag of Iznájar - Image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 30 July 2009

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Presentation of Iznájar

The municipality of Iznájar (4,810 inhabitants in 2008; 13,636 ha; municipal website) is located 110 km south-east of Córdoba. The southernmost municipality in the province, Iznájar is located at the geographical center of Andalusia. The historical center of the town, that is the former Moorish medina (fortified town) built around the castle and surrounded by two walls, has been officially listed among the "Seven Wonders of Córdoba" (Siete maravillas de Córdoba).

The name of Iznájar is of Moorish origin, formed on hisn, "a castle", and ashar, "happy"; some authors, however, believe that ashar is rather related to an anthroponym. The village was mentioned in the 9th century as involved in the Muladi revolt led by Umar ben Hafsún. Fed up by the sieges and successive changes in their ruler, the inhabitants of the village eventually beheaded their Muladi governor, Fadl ben Salama, and offerred his head to Emir Abd Allah as a mark of submission.
King Fernando III the Saint could not reconquer Iznájar, which remained part of the Kingdom of Granada until the second half of the 15th century; as a border town, Iznájar was frequently conquered and lost, until eventually incorporated to the Kingdom of Castile by King John II. In 1468, King Henry IV granted the town to Diego Fernández de Córdoba, Count of Cabran, created Viscount of Iznájar, as a reward for his loyalty. The title of Viscount of Iznájar was granted by King John Charles I on 7 September 1983 to Álvaro López Becerra de Solé y de Casanova.
Iznájar is the birth town of the politician José Montilla Aguilera (b. 1955), First Secretary of the Catalan Socialist Party since 2000 and President of the Government of Catalonia from 2006 to 2010.

Ivan Sache, 13 July 2009

Symbols of Iznájar

The flag of Iznájar, adopted on 13 January 2006 by the Municipal Council and submitted on 19 January 2006 to the Directorate General of the Local Administration, is prescribed by a Decree adopted on 30 January 2006 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration and published on 10 February 2006 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 28, pp. 25-26 (text).
The flag is described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular flag in proportions 2:3, made of a red panel, charged in the middle with a white castle masoned sable, covering 3/5 of the hoist and 1/5 of the length. On both sides of the castle are two green vertical stripes, as a stylization of the cypresses that flank it on the coat of arms, of 1/9 in length and located at 1/9 of the borders of the panel.

The coat of arms of Iznájar, adopted on 5 December 1989 by the Municipal Council, is prescribed by Decree No. 90, adopted on 13 March 1990 by the Government of Andalusia and published on 24 April 1990 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 33, p. 3,068 (text). This was confirmed by a Decree adopted on 30 November 2004 by the Government of Andalusia and published on 20 December 2004 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 246, pp. 28,986-29,002 (text).
The coat of arms is described as follows:

Coat of arms: Quadrangular, rounded-off in base. Argent a tower gules surrounded by two cypresses vert on a rock of the same. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed.

The castle recalls the Arab origin and etymology of the town. The rock alludes to the abrupt environment of the town. The sinuous path [not mentioned in the blazon] represents the difficult access to the fortress. The cypresses might allude to the cemetery once established within the fortified area, when the town lacked space to bury the dead from the black plague.
[Símbolos de las Entidades Locales de Andalucía. Córdoba (PDF file)]

The coat of arms follows the proposal made in 1980 by the Royal Academy of History, which rejected the proposal originally submitted by the Municipal Council.
The Academy recalled thae Iznájar had found it necessary to formally adopt a coat of arms compliant with the heraldic past of the town. The proposed arms feature a castle surrounded by two cypresses and ensigned with an Andalusian banner. The oval shield is surmounted by a crown, a helmet and lambrequins, recalling the old domain of the Fernández de Córdoba, and, especially, Diego Fernández de Córdoba, Viscount of Iznájar. The Academy found the helmet and lambrequins inadequate for that kind of coat of arms; this is also true for the Andalusian banner, which does not appear on the historical representations of the arms appended to the proposal. Based on the supplied information, the coat of arms could be oblong, rounded-off in base, "Argent a tower gules surrounded by two cypresses vert standing on a rock of the same. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed".
[Boletín de la Real Academia de Historia, 1980, 177, 2: 401,]

Ivan Sache, 7 April 2014