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Almargen (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2017-01-29 by ivan sache
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Flag of Almargen - Image from the Símbolos de Málaga website, 12 September 2016

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Presentation of Almargen

The municipality of Almargen (2,153 inhabitants in 2008; 3,500 ha; municipal website) is located 100 km north-west of Málaga, on the border with the Seville Province and the Cádiz Province.
The name of the village is of Arabic origin, literally meaning "those from the pastures"; several remains from the Moorish period, for instance ceramics, have been found near the rivers Almargen and Corbones. Remains of Roman thermae have also been found in the place called Casa Blanca ("White House"), near the source of brook Arroyo, whose water is famous for its high concentration of iodine.

Ivan Sache, 5 January 2009

Symbols of Almargen

The flag (photo) and arms of Almargen, adopted on 29 March 2007 by the Municipal Council and submitted on 2 April 2007 to the Directorate General of the Local Administration, are prescribed by a Resolution adopted on 18 April 2007 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration and published on 3 May 2007 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 86, pp. 31-32 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular flag, divided in two equal stripes perpendicular to the hoist, the upper yellow and the lower blue; in the middle, overall, the municipal coat of arms.
Coat of arms: Per pale, 1. Or an olive tree vert, 2. Azure a funerary stele from the Age of Bronze, in base per fess wavy argent and azure. The shield surmounted with a Royal crown closed.

The municipal website includes a detailed explanation of the coat of arms, probably extracted from the memoir supporting the proposed symbols.

First quarter. Almargen emerged as a settlement established by workers and craftsmen in a fertile plain located at the foot of the Sierra de Cañete: accordingly, this part of the shield represents agriculture, as the historical and fundamental basis of the origin of the municipality. The field or represents grain crops while the tree represents olive oil industry.
Second quarter. The main element of this quarter is a decorated funerary stele. An archeological artefact found in the municipality, it is made of a flagstone of 1 m in height on 60 cm in width and c. 210 cm in thickness, rectangular, featuring the schematic representation of a warrior holding a spear and a shield. It is dated to the 11th century BC, that is, c. 3,000 years old. A tribute to a defunct warrior, the stele was set vertically in his tomb. The stele was considered worth being included in the coat of arms because of its great iconographical significance and its symbolic and singular character, being one of the oldest elements of the history of the municipality.
Third quarter: Agriculture, already represented in the first quarter, as well as proper subsistence of the inhabitants of the place, could not have been possible without the abundance in water that characterizes the area. Sources, such as Majadaborrejo, Cabrerizo and Casablanca, supply water for human consumption, irrigation, and bathing. THe waves reflect these resources.

The Almargen stele was first described by Fernando Villaseca Díaz (La estela decorada y la espada de lengua de carpa del bronce final de Almargen - Málaga. Baetica. Estudios de Arte, Geografía e Historia 1993, 15, 217-226). While some archeological sites in Almargen had already been investigated in the beginning of the 20th century, scientific excavations started in 1986-1987. Later on, two young villagers, Francisco Morón and Francisco Hidaglo reported to the archeologist an engraved flagstone located on the side the main road to the village, soon identified as a funerary stele.

Ivan Sache, 12 September 2016