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Almuñécar (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2021-05-17 by ivan sache
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Flag of Almuñécar, current and former versions - Images from the Símbolos de Granada website, 13 March 2021

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Presentation of Almuñécar

The municipality of Almuñécar (25,586 inhabitants in 2013; 8,336 ha; municipal website) is located on the Tropical Coast of the Province of Granada, on the border with the Province of Málaga, 85 km south of Granada.

Almuñécar was originally settled in 1500 BC by populations established on the hills surrounding the today's town. In the 8th century BC, the inhabitants mostly moved to the hill where the old town would be subsequently built. Phoenicians colonists from Tyre settled on the shore at the same period; the colony increased and progressively moved uphill, watching the two eastern and western ports, each of them being used according to the wind direction. The Laurita necropolis was established on the San Cristóbal hill at the end of the 8th century; excavations have yielded Egyptian stone and albaster vases, Greek vases and Phoenician pottery pieces, as well as first quality jewels. Another necropolis has been found in the Puente de Noy hill, made of 200 tombs dated from the Laurita period to the Romanization (1st century). At the end of the 3rd century BC, the Romans colonized a well-structured settlement, which became in 46 BC the Roman municipality of Sexi Firmum Julium. The town, which minted its own coins and was supplied in freshwater by a 7 km-long aqueduct, peaked in the 1st-2nd century. Remains of columbariums and family pantheons have been found in the two villae of Columbario de la Torre del Monje and Columbario la Albina.

Almuñécar was probably incorporated to the Kingdom of Granada short after the landing of Abd al-Rahman I on 15 August 755. The fortress of Almuñécar was famous for its "horrible underground dungeon", where overthrown kings, disgraced ministers and unsuccesful warlords were jailed. Almuñécar was conquered in 1489, when Qadi Al-Hay surrendered without fightings to the Catholic Monarchs. After the fall of Granada, Muhammed XIII el Zagal (King of Granada in 1485-1486), Boabdil (the last King of Granada) and some 1,130 people embarked to North Africa in the port of Almuñécar.

Ivan Sache, 20 April 2014

Symbols of Almuñécar

The flag (photo, photo, photo, photo, photo, photo, photo, photo) and arms of Almuñécar, submitted on 13 November 2020 to the Directorate General of the Local Administration, are prescribed by a Resolution issued on 28 January 2021 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration and published on 5 February 2021 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 24, pp. 420-421 (text).
The symbols, already in use for a long time, are not fully described in the Resolution, which includes relevant excerpts of the supporting memoir.

The supporting memoir includes the following records about the historical character of the submitted coat of arms:
"[...] In 2010, Federico Molina Fajardo and Rafael MarĂ­a Girón Pascual issued a transcription of the Grant of the coat of arms of Almuñécar signed on 1526 by Charles V [...], which provides evidence that the town of Almuñécar has been using a coat of arms since the 16th century. [...] Accordingly, it is not surprising that all along the 18th century, and mostly the 19th century, several publications, listed below, describe the town's coat of arms. [...]

As far as the coat of arms is concerned, the memoir contains the following records about the historical roots of the submitted flag:
"[...] The available historical data about the use of standards or flags in the town of Almuñécar date back to Royal Letters signed on 6 October 1526 by Charles V and his mother Joanna, stating that the granted coat of arms 'can be used on town's banner or seal or in other uses'. [...]
The Statutes of the Real Sociedad Económica de Amigos del País de la Ciudad de Almuñécar, which was established in 1778, mentions the town's coat of arms as formed by a boat at sea under a sky and a radiating sun. [...]
The oldest graphic rendition of the coat of arms of Almuñécar, credited to Francisco Piferrer (Trofeo Historico, published in 1860), features the two colors used on the flag that was historically used in the town, composed of two equal stripes, celestial blue on top and blue on bottom, as the symbol of sea and sky. [...]

The former, unofficial flag of Almuñécar (photo, photo) was very similar, horizontally divided celestial blue - sea blue, with a different rendition of the coat of arms.
The coat of arms of Almuñécar is "Azure a wooden ship with a triangular sail argent over waves argent and azure charged with three Moor's heads 1 and 2 and three stains gules. The shield surmounted by a mural crown". The arms are said to have been granted in 1526 by Charles I after the inhabitants of the town had repelled an assault by Barbarian pirates.
[Símbolos de Granada website]

Ivan Sache & Klaus-Michael Schneider, 24 May 2014