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Freila (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2016-12-21 by ivan sache
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Flag of Freila - Image from the Símbolos de Granada website, 26 September 2015

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Presentation of Freila

The municipality of Freila (990 inhabitants in 2013; 6,000 ha; municipal website) is located 100 km north-east of of Granada.

Freila was known in the Roman times as Fraxinum, according to Pascual Madoz. Archeological prospectings performed in 1987 when building the Negratín reservoir have yielded a series of Iberian sites, including a necropolis. Another site, located in Cortijo del Aire, inclured remains of a cistern used for irrigation by the Romans.
The chronicler Hernando del Pulgar mentions the fortress of Froila; according to Henríquez de Jorquera, Freila was seized by the Christians in June 1489, six months before the surrender of Baza. Gonzalo de Cortinas, appointed first Mayor of Freila, was commissioned to share the land and goods taken from the Moors in Baza.

Ivan Sache, 26 September 2015

Symbols of Freila

The flag and arms of Freila, adopted on 10 May 1993, 31 August 1993 and 7 May 1996 by the Municipal Council, validated on 27 June 1996 by the Royal Academy of Córdoba, are prescribed by Decree No. 435, adopted on 10 September 1996 by the Government of Andalusia and published on 8 October 1996 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 116 (text). This was confirmed by a Decree adopted on 30 November 2004 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration and published on 20 December 2004 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 246, pp. 28,986-29,002 (text).
The symbols are prescribed as follows:

Flag: Rectangular, in proportions 1:2, divided into three stripes perpendicular to the hoist and of equal size, the upper flag yellow and the lower flag blue. All over, centered, the municipal coat of arms.
Coat of arms: Per fess, 1. Gules a castle or, 2. Or a tree eradicated vert. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed.

On the arms, the castle represents the Muslim past of the town, while the tree represents the resources provided by olive tree cultivation. The coat of arms uses by the municipality has the port and windows of the castle sable instead of gules (the field's background) as prescribed.
[Símbolos de Granada website]

The Royal Academy of History rejected the coat of arms originally proposed by the municipality [this may explain the three dates of adoption of the symbols listed in the Decree]. The odd charge described as "waves argent limited by an embankment wall", unknown to traditional heraldry, is not acceptable. It is recommended to search for a simpler design, based on one quarter of the proposed arms or a combination of them.
The Academy rejected the proposed flag, too, which was "merely a combination of coloured areas, including emblematic charges such as waves and a castle surrounded by stars". Clearly, a municipality should not have two different graphic emblems, here the flag and the coat of arms. Were charges to be included in the flag, they should be the same as on the arms. Accordingly, the approval of the flag will require the design of a new coat of arms.
[Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia, 1995, 192, 2:341]

Ivan Sache & Klaus-Michael Schneider, 21 April 2014