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Olvera (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2015-11-16 by ivan sache
Keywords: olvera |
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Flag of Olvera - Image from the Símbolos de Cadíz website, 30 March 2014

See also:

Presentation of Olvera

The municipality of Olvera (8,397 inhabitants in 2010; 19,357 ha; municipal website) is located 130 km north-east of Cádiz, on the borders with the Provinces of Seville and Málaga.

Olvera has been identified with Hippa / Hippo Nova mentioned by Pliny; other historians believe that the village was originally Ilipula Minor, a post located on the Cádiz-Córdoba way.
In the Muslim chronicles, the village appears as Wubira / Uriwila, a mountain outpost. In their effort of reconquest towards Gibraltar, the Christians besieged Olvera, to no avail; they even lossed the banner of Seville to the Moors. In 1327, the fortress of Olvera could not resist the assault by Alfonso XI, whose troops were equipped with "belliquose machines and devices". Ibrahim-ibn-Utmán obtained the safeguard of the Moorish garrison and the preservation of the goods of the Moorish inhabitants of the village.
The population charter granted the same year to the village provided amnesty for whatever crimes, including the most severe, to those who would settle for one year and a day in Olvera. Under permanent Moorish threat, Olvera was transferred to Alfonso Pérez de Guzmán, who married in 1395 his daughter to a heir of the Zúñiga family; part of the dowry, Olvera was transferred to the Zúñiga in 1407. The town was subsequently acquired by the Téllez Girón, Dukes of Osuna, who ruled it until the end of the feudal system.
Olvera was granted the title of ciudad by a Royal Decree signed on 8 May 1877 by Alfonso XII.

Olvera is the birth town of the conquistadores Nicolás de Ribera "El Viejo" (The Old, 1487-1563), first Mayor of Lima (1535, 1544, 1546, 1546, 1554), and Hernando de Luque (d. 1532), Vicar and parish priest of Panamá.

Ivan Sache, 30 March 2014

Symbols of Olvera

The flag of Olvera (photo, photo, photo), adopted on 28 July 1997 by the Municipal Council, is prescribed by Decree No. 121, adopted on 9 June 1998 by the Government of Andalusia and published on 4 July 1998 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 74, pp. 8,348-8,349 (text). This was confirmed by a Decree adopted on 30 November 2004 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration 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: Rectangular, in proportions 11:18, made of three vertical stripes of equal width, parallel to the staff, which shall be made of wood painted white. The first stripe, celestial blue, the second (or central) stripe, white, and the third stripe, green. in the center of the white stripe is placed the municipal coat of arms, crowned with a crown open and inscribed with "DE MI SALE LA PAZ".

The process of adoption of the flag was initiated by the Municipal Council on 4 July 1996: all the political groups at the Council approved the proposal made by the CIP (Candidatura Independiente de Progreso) group's spokesman, Cristóbal Reina Rendón. On 12 May 1997, the Mayor and repesentatives of all groups agreed on the proposal to be submitted to the next meetingg of the Municipal Council.
The flag was inaugurated on 14 March 1999.

The flag is made of three equal stripes of the traditional colours of Olvera. The municipal coat of arms, placed in the middle of the flag, recalls the antiquity of the town.
Celestial blue is the colour of the sky and of the Blessed Virgin, the town's patron saint.
White is the colour of peace. White also recalls that Olivera was included in 1969 into the Route of the White Villages, because of its whitewashed buildings and of the transparency of the environemnt.
Green in the colour of the fields, recalling that Olvera mostly lived from agriculture and cattle-breeding. Green is also the colour of hope Green and white, the colours of the Muslim flags and banners, were integrated in the flag of Andalusia.
[Municipal website]

The coat of arms of Olvera is prescribed by Decree no. 3,415, adopted on 19 December 1969 by the Spanish Government and published on 14 January 1970 in the Spanish official gazette, No. 12, p. 687 (text). This was confirmed by a Decree adopted on 30 November 2004 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration and published on 20 December 2004 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 246, pp. 28,986-29,002 (text).
The "rehabilitated" coat of arms, approved by the Royal Academy of History, is described as follows:

Coat of arms: Gules a tower or masoned sable surrounded by two branches of olive vert fimbriated or. A bordure or inscribed "DE MI SALE LA PAZ" in letters sable. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown open.

The coat of arms is a "rehabilitation" of the town's coat of arms, used in two successive, black and white versions, the first one, from "immemorial time" until 1877 and the second one, from 1877 to 1969. The memoir supporting the "rehabilitation" was prepared by José Antonio Delgado Orellana [Municipal website].
According to Igartuburu (1847), the shield consists of two branches of olive and the letters "D.M.S.L.P", meaning "de mi sale la paz". Rosety (undated) claims that the arms bear a two-storeyed embattled castle surrounded dexter by a palm tree and sinister by a branch of olive and the writing "de mí saldrá la paz (I will supply peace to you). Poley y Poley (1901) dropped the palm and interpreted the inscription again as "de mi sale la paz". A manuscript from 1876, kept in the State Historical Archive, features a shield just dispalying a branch of olive and the other inscription [José Antonio Delgado y Orellana. Heráldica Municipal de la Provincia de Cádiz].

The tower recalls the medieval period of the local history. The olive branch represents the town's name and the olive groves (olivares) planted on the municipal territory. The motto, meaning "I supply peace" recalls that olive is the main source of income in Olvera, the income being proportional to the pacifist ideals of the inhabitants, without any specific historical meaning [Símbolos de las Entidades Locales de Andalucía. Cádiz (PDF file)].
Other sources, however, claim that the motto was derived from the old motto of the town, "DE MI SALDRAS IN PAZ" ("I will supply peace to you"), referring to the early resettlement of the village by amnestied convicts [IES Zaframagón website].

Klaus-Michael Schneider & Ivan Sache, 6 May 2014

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