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Commission of Nico Batlle, Florida Department (Uruguay)

Nico Pérez - José Batlle y Ordóñez

Last modified: 2021-12-24 by rob raeside
Keywords: florida | nico pérez - josé batlle y ordóñez |
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[Nico Pérez - José Batlle y Ordóñez] image by Ivan Sache, 14 July 2014
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Description of the flag

The population nucleus of Nico Pérez - José Batlle y Ordóñez, locally known as Nico - Battle or Nicobattle, is made of two small towns separated by a bridge:
- Nico Pérez (1,030 inhabitants in 2011; Florida Department)
- José Batlle y Ordóñez, aka Batlle y Ordóñez (2,303 inhabitants in 2011; Lavalleja Department).

The town of Nico Pérez was established by a Decree signed on 25 June 1883 by President of the Republic Máximo Santos. The town, established in the colony of San Nicolás, was named for a local landlord of the colonial period, Nicolás Pérez. The new settlement was designed by the land surveyor Carlos Burmester.

Short after his election, President of the Republic José Batlle y Ordóñez (1859-1929) approved on 22 March 1903 the Nico Pérez Pact, aimed at setting peace between the rival Colorado and Blanco parties. Each party interpreted the pact at its own will: the Colorado party considered the pact as an agreement of electoral non-intervention in the regions under the control of Blanco caudillos, while the Blanco party considered that the governmental troops would not intervene to take over these regions. President Battle y Ordóñez, however, sent in 1904 troops in the Rivera Department; this was considered by the Blanco caudillo Aparicio Saravia da Rosa (1856-1904) as a violation of the Nico Pérez Pact. The revolution that broke out ended a few months later, after the defeat of Saravia, who was injured to death in the decisive battle of Masoller (10 September 1904).

The town of Nico Pérez was renamed José Batlle y Ordóñez by a Decree signed on 19 March 1907 by President of the Republic Claudio Willman. The change, requested by the inhabitants of the town, who considered Batlle y Ordóñez as their benefactor, caused the wrath of the Blanco party. The dispute was settled by splitting the town into two parts: the sector located east of the railway tracks was renamed José Batlle y Ordóñez, while the sector located west of the railway tracks, the railway station included, kept the original name of Nico Pérez.

The battle of Nico Pérez opposed on 3 November 1910 the 7th Infantry Battalion, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel José Pollero, to the revolutionary army commanded by Basilio Muñoz (1860-1948), heading to Brazil. The fighting started on the bridge; outnumbered, the governmental troops withdrew to the cemetery and the barracks, where they eventually surrendered after a heroic resistance.

Nico Pérez is the birth town of Wilson Ferreira Aldunate (1919-1988), considered as the main leader of the Blanco party from the 1970s to his death. Ferreira exiled in 1973 following the military coup; back to Uruguay in 1984, he was immediately arrested and could not compete in the democratic presidential election. On 1 December 1984, short after his release, he recognized in a public meeting the victory of the Colorado party and the legitimacy of the government, to which he offered "governability". Ferreira's political views did not prevent him to marry in 1934 Susana Sienra, the grand daughter of Carlos Burmester - himself a firm supporter of the Colorado party and of President Battle.

José Batlle y Ordóñez is the birth town of the poetess Nancy Bacelo (1931-2007), awarded in 1959, 1962 and 1969 the First Prize in Poetry by the Municipality of Montevideo. Bacelo founded in 1961 the Montevideo Book and Print Fair and chaired it for the next 46 years; the fair is considered as one of the main cultural events in Uruguay. She also edited the review "Siete poetas latinoamericanos" (Seven Latin American Poets), dedicated both to poetry and graphic arts. - "Nicobattle, rinconcito de Uruguay" website

The flag of Nico - Battle is horizontally divided green-white-green (1:3:1) with two thinner red horizontal stripes and a circular emblem in the middle, surrounded by the black writing "NICO / BATLLE". The emblem features the Nico Pérez Hill lit by the rising sun, a white dove holding a branch of olive in the beak, a locomotive and a coal-car.

The flag was designed by Gerardo (Jean) Alvariza. Selected among 26 proposals, the flag was presented on 25 June 2010 at Club Concordia. White is a symbol of purity, liberty and integrity. Red is a symbol of force and valor, and of the blood shed by the national heroes, Blancos and Colorados, during the battle of Nico Pérez. Green is a symbol of hope. This colour is also used by the local football club and by riders involved in horse raids.

The dove holding a branch of olive is a symbol of candour, simplicity and innocence, of peace and harmony. The rising sun is a symbol of truth and prosperity. It conveys the idea of people who, like the sun, would like to live in enlightenment and permanent rising. The Nico Pérez Hill is a reference both for the inhabitants of the town and the foreign travellers. On the hill top stands Mary Help of Christians, who dominate and protect the settlement. The train recalls that the railway opens a new era for the town. The rail tracks brought progress, commerce. - "Nicobattle, rinconcito de Uruguay" website

Photos - "Nicobattle, rinconcito de Uruguay" website

Ivan Sache, 14 July 2014

Here is the Facebook page of the Commission with many photos of the flag in use
Vanja Poposki, 26 February 2021