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Cieza (Municipality, Region of Murcia, Spain)

Last modified: 2016-04-25 by ivan sache
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Flag of Cieza, two versions - Images by Ivan Sache, 4 May 2015

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Presentation of Cieza

The municipality of Cieza (35,064 inhabitants in 2014; 36,510 ha; municipal website) is located in the north of the Region of Murcia, 45 km of Murcia.

Cieza is dominated by the ruins of the Arab medina of Siyâsa, which peaked in the 11th-12th century. The medina subsequently declined, superseded by the Christian town established in the valley in 1281 by Alfonso the Wise and organized by the Order of St. James.
In the 13th-15th century, Cieza, located on the border with the Nasrid kingdom of Granada, was threatened by Moorish raids. The town was seized by surprise on 6 April 1477, Resurrection Day; the inhabitants being either killed or captured. The event is remembered by the town's motto, "Por pasar la puente nos dieron la muerte" (We Died When the Bridge Was Crossed), inscribed on the bordure of the municipal coat of arms, and by the Shield Festival, celebrated every year in April.

Cieza is the birth town of the footballer José Antonio Camacho Alfaro (b. 1955; official biography), a leftback who played 414 matches in the 1st League, all of them with Real Madrid (1973-1989), winning nine times the 1st League (1975, 1976, 1978-1980, 1986-1989), 4 times the Cup of Spain (1975, 1980, 1982, 1989), two times the Supercup of Spain (1988, 1989), once the League's Cup (1985), and twice the UEFA Cup (1985, 1986). Camacho played 81 matches for the national team (1975-1988), which was then a record.

Ivan Sache, 4 May 2015

Symbols of Cieza

The flag (photo) and arms of Cieza, approved on 26 July 2005 by the Municipal Council, are prescribed by Decree No. 91, adopted on 2 June 2006 by the Government of the Region of Murcia and published on 12 June 2006 in the official gazette of the Region of Murcia, No. 133, pp. 18,152-18,155 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular flag, Cartagena red with the coat of arms of the place in the center.
Coat of arms: Spanish shield, oblong and rounded-off. Argent over waves azure (blue) a two-arched bridge proper masoned sable (black) ensigned with a castle of the same port and windows argent. A bordure azure inscribed with "POR PASAR LA PUENTE NOS DIERON LA MUERTE" or. The shield surmounted by a Royal Spanish crown [detailed description skipped].

The flag features the municipal coat of arms, which is shown on all the known flags of the town.
The waves symbolize river Segura, the catalyzer of the town's life. The bridge symbolizes the union of the town and of the king. The bridge broke down when Alfonso Fajardo took over the castle and refused to recognize the rule of King of Castile Henry IV. This caused the wrath of the king, who ordered the suppression of the castle.
The castle is a symbol of the border and of the defence of the town. The motto (We Died When the Bridge Was Crossed) recalls the Nasrid raid of 6 April 1477, which caused the death or the capture of most of the inhabitants of the town.

Appendix 2 to the Decree shows two images of the flag, the coat of arms' width being either 2/3 or 1/3 of the flag's width.

A correction to the Decree was published on 12 July 2006 in the official gazette of the Region of Murcia, No. 159, p. 21,133 (text). The original decree had errors in the quotes of legal texts.

Cartagena red (flag) recalls that all the flags used in Cieza were garnet red.
Argent (shield) is the colour of the Order of St. James.
Azure (bordure) is a symbol of nobleness and loyalty, and represents the month of April, recalling the Nasrid raid of 1477.
Or (motto) is a symbol of the generosity and constancy of the inhabitants who paid the ransom of the prisoners sent to Granada.
[Municipal website]

Ivan Sache, 4 May 2015