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Berja (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2016-05-29 by ivan sache
Keywords: berja |
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[Flag]

Flag of Berja - Image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 11 October 2012


See also:


Presentation of Berja

The municipality of Berja (15,521 inhabitants in 2013; 21,800 ha; municipal website) is located 50 km due west of Almería.

Berja origins go back to the Celtiberians and the Phoenicians. The identification of Berja with the town of Vergis, located in the Roman province of Baetica, in the south of the peninsula, is not sure. After an earthquake had destroyed the rgion in the 5th century, distinct settlements were built, one of them was Berja. Under the Arab rule the town was renamed Berchat. Re-conquered by the Catholic Monarchs in 1489, the town was nearly depopulated in 1586, following the Morisco insurrection. The seat of a military detachment, Berja was subsequently repopulated by Gaspar de Ávila.
The Royal Decree of 29 October 1753 granted to Berja the rank of alcaldía mayor, part of the Las Alpujarras comarca (county), which was divided into an Almerian part and a Granadian part in 1833. On 25 August 1804, another earthquake destroyed great parts of the town. King Alfonso XII awarded in 1876 the title of ciudad to Berja, increased by his son Alfonso XIII to Ilustrísimo (Most famous).

Klaus-Michael Schneider, 11 October 2012


Symbols of Berja

The flag of Berja, approved on 9 November 1998 by the Municipal Council, is prescribed by Decree No. 238, adopted on 13 December 1999 by the Government of Andalusia and published on 20 January 2000 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 7, pp. 688-389 (text). This was confirmed by a Resolution adopted on 30 November 2004 by the Government of Andalusia and published on 20 December 2004 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 246, pp. 28,986-29,002 (text).
The flag is described as follows:

Flag: Tierced by a white bend of 1/4 in height, the upper part green and the lower part violet red.

The white colour alludes to the Muslim dynasty of Omeya, especially to Ajbar Machmua. The violet red colour alludes to Castile, being that of the banner of the King of Castile. The green colour alludes to Andalusia. Together, the colours are connecting past and present time.
Moreover, white symbolizes the water resources in the alluvial meadows of the Gádor mountains, green symbolizes agriculture, and violet red symbolizes industry, especially mining (Farua, No. 1, 1998).

The flag with horizontal stripes shown by Alfonso Yerga Cobos in Escudos y Banderas Oficiales de las Entidades Locales de Andalucía (2003) is definitively erroneous.
The file intially submitted by the municipality of Berja for the adoption of the flag was declared null and void by a Resolution adopted on 19 May 1998 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration and published on 18 June 1998 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 67, p. 7,529 (text). It appears that the flag adopted on 2 June 1997 by the Municipal Council was rejected on 20 November 1997 by the Royal Academy of Cordóbas, and that the Municipal Council failed to submit a new proposal within the next five months.
The new file submitted by the municipality of Berja for the adoption of the flag was declared null and void by a Resolution adopted on 5 October 1999 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration and published on 7 December 1999 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 142. It appears that the flag adopted on 1 December 1997 by the Municipal Council was rejected on 4 June 1998 by the Royal Academy of Cordóbas, and that the Municipal Council failed to submit a new proposal within the next five months.

[Flag]

Flag kept in the Mayor's office - Image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 11 October 2012

The flag kept in the Mayor's Office has proportions 3:2.

Klaus-Michael Schneider & Ivan Sache, 11 October 2012


Flag with the coat of arms

[Flag]         [Flag]

Flag with coat of arms - Images by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 11 October 2012

The local review Farua, No. 1, 1998 shows photos of the flag with the municipal coat of arms of the middle.

The coat of arms of Berja, adopted on 26 May 2004 by the Municipal Council, is prescribed by a Decree adopted on 7 September 2004 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration and published on 22 September 2004 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 186, p. 20,667 (text).
The coat of arms is described as follows:

Coat of arms: Shield in Spanish-French style (bull's pelt with rolled-up ends) surmounted by a helmet facing dexter with four feathers azure, vert, or and gules. Quarterly, 1. Gules a tower or, 2. Argent a lion rampant gules, 3. Argent a branch of olive tree with 13 leaves vert, 4. Gules a lead bar proper. The shield surrounded by the traditional title ["MUY NOBLE CIUDAD BERJA" in letters sable on a scroll or].

The first and second quarters symbolize Castile and León, respectively. The third quarter symbolizes the main agricultural resource in the region. The fourth quarter symbolizes industry. The helmet recalls the involvemnt of Berja in war acts during the Visigothic rule and the Morisco revolt.
Agriculture and, especially, mining have been the base of prosperity and economic progress in the 19th century, when more than 2,000 miners and 10,000 day labourers earned their living in the lead mines of the Gá:dor mountains (Farua, No. 1, 1998).

Klaus-Michael Schneider & Ivan Sache, 11 October 2012


 
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