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Marmolejo (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2018-10-06 by ivan sache
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Flag of Marmolejo - Image from the Símbolos de Jaén website, 2 September 2018

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Presentation of Marmolejo

The municipality of Marmolejo (7,252 inhabitants in 2013; 17,800 ha; municipal website) is located 60 km north-west of Jaén, on the border with the Province of Córdoba.
Marmolejo depended on Andújar until granted the status of villa on 27 May 1791 by Charles IV; at the time, the town counted 1,475 inhabitants living in 276 houses "of acceptable construction, with regular streets, paved and clean, as are the houses". Marmolejo was already famous for the healing properties of its water, described in 1781 by a French medical doctor, Tissot. In 1875, another French, Paul Rostaing, founded the first hotel in Marmolejo; the town developed as a spa resort in the first decades of the 20th century.

Ivan Sache, 3 December 2015

Symbols of Marmolejo

The flag and arms of Marmolejo, adopted on 23 March 2018 by the Municipal Council and submitted on 10 April 2018 to the Directorate General of the Local Administration, are prescribed by a Resolution adopted on 19 April 2018 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration and published on 24 April 2018 in the Andalusian official gazette, No. 78, pp. 160-161 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular, in proportions three units in length on two units in width (2/3), that is, one and a half longer than wide, the panel white except the fifth at hoist, olive green. Charged with the coat of arms of Marmolejo whose geometric axis matches the flag's center, in height 2.3 of the flag's hoist.
Coat of arms: Quarterly, 1. Argent four blocks of marble proper 2. Vert a key or in pale, 3. Azure a single-arched fortified bridge or masoned sable over waves azure and argent, 4. Gules a tower or port and windows and masoned sable. The shield in Spanish-French shape over a cartouche or.

The "rehabilitated" flag and arms and the anthem were unveiled on 27 May 2018, the anniversary of separation from Andújar. The ceremony, held in Teatro Español, was attended by Ana Cobo, representing the Government of Andalusia. The anthem was performed by the Jaén Symphonic Orchestra.
[Campiña Digital, 28 May 2018]
The flag and arms were originally approved on 5 October 2017 by the Municipal Council. The memoir supporting the "rehabilitation" of the symbols was redacted by Andrés Nicás, member of the College of Heraldry of Spain and the Indies.
[SER Andújar, 9 October 2017]

The flag of Marmolejo was originally approved in 1995 by the Municipal Council after a public call for proposals.
White is a symbol of peace and purity shared by the inhabitants of the town. White is also the specific color to the southern villages, where a great proportion of the traditional buildings have their walls white-washed. White further represents the transparency and value of its mineral sources and watercourses, whose healing properties, of international fame, have been recognized since the Roman times. Water is also the base of the population's income, mostly agriculture. The spa located on the bank of Guadalquivir was used as the lord's emblem since the 18th c century.
Green is a symbol of the base of economy, traditionally, agriculture. It also recalls the aspiration to a better future as an old virtue of the community. The shade is defined as olive green as a tribute of the historical significance of this tree for the province.

The coat of arms was originally designed in 1941 by Juan de Dios López, when commissioned by the Provincial Government of Jaén to design a coat of arms for all the municipalities of the province.
The blocks of marble (mármol) recall the spurious etymology of Marmolejo. In the 17th century, Antonio Terrones Robles, considered as Andújar's first historian, claimed that "Marmolejo, a hamlet of Andújar, was once known as Marmol, for the marble blocks used by the Romans to signal the road linking Illiturgi to Cordua". The road was identified as a branch of Via Augusta; although Terrones' explanation makes little sense, the marble blocks were kept to make the arms canting.
The key, a charge commonly used in the municipal heraldry of the Province of Jaén, represents the watch zone once located on the border with the Muslim states.
The bridge represents the local "Roman" bridge over Guadalquivir, which was indeed erected in the 16th century by Benito del Castillo.
The castle, also recalling the border zone, represents the three castles mentioned by the Jaén-born writer and historian Juan Eslava Galán (b. 1948): San Lorenzo, of Roman origin, revamped by the Arabs; San Julián, shown on drawings by Mart&iaucute;n Jimena Jurado (1615-1664, Antigüedades del reino de Jaén, 1639); and Aragón or Brittany, the only one still standing.
The shield is traditionally placed over a parchment, alluding to the Royal Letters signed in 1791 by King Carlos IV (r. 1788-1808) that established the villa of Marmolejo.
[Municipal website]

Ivan Sache, 2 September 2018