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Palenciana (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2017-01-05 by ivan sache
Keywords: palenciana |
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Flag of Palenciana - Image from the Símbolos de Córdoba website, 19 September 2015

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Presentation of Palenciana

The municipality of Palenciana (1,589 inhabitants in 2013; 1,613 ha; municipal website) is located in the south-west of the Province of Córdoba, on the border with the Province of Málaga, 110 km of Córdoba.

Palenciana belonged during the Muslim domination to the cora of Rayya (Málaga), and, subsequently, to the Zirid Kingdom of Granada. Reconquerred by King Ferdinand III the Saint, Palenciana was part of the territory granted by Alfonso X to the Order of St. James, which was commissioned to watch the border with the Kingdom of Granada.
Palenciana was mentioned for the first time in 1547 when Juan de León evaluated the price to pay to the Order for the purchase of the village; at the time, 600 fanegas were grown with wheat and rye, while another 300 fanegas were made of pastures planted with holly oaks and esparto. Most of the land was exploited by farmers from Antequera. There was little permanent population and no significant settlement yet but an estate (cortijo), probably located on the today's site of the village. The popular etymology relating the village's name to its establishment by charcoal burners from Palencia is not supported by any evidence.

Palenciana developed as a village after the purchase of Benamejí in 1548 by Diego de Bernuy, Regidor of Burgos and first lord of Benamejí. The urban planning followed the model of Benamejí, on a much smaller scale, though: the Ensenada Cadaster (1752) does not represent any urban nucleus in Palenciana.
Municipal emancipation from Benamejí, obtained for short periods (1812-1814; 1820-1823), was eventually granted in 1834. A main bone of contention was the refusal by the Benamejí Council to share proportionally the emergency funds granted by the government following the cholera epidemic.

Ivan Sache, 19 September 2015

Symbols of Palenciana

The flag (photo) and arms of Palenciana, adopted on 25 March 1991 by the Municipal Council and validated on 27 March 1992 by the Royal Academy of History, are prescribed by Decree No. 92, adopted on 26 May 1992 by the Government of Andalusia and published on 9 July 1992 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 64, p. 5,521 (text). This was confirmed by a Resolution 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 symbols are described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular panel in proportions 2:3, white with two green parallel stripes, in height 1/18 of the flag's hoist, the one running from the midpoint of the hoist to the upper border at a distance from the hoist of 6/10 of the flag's length, the other in a symmetrical placement with respect to the panel's center. In the center is placed the crowned municipal coat of arms.
Coat of arms: Per pale, 1. Or a cross of the Order of Saint James gules, 2. Argent two galleys proper on waves [azure]. Grafted in base, vert a branch of olive or. The shield surmounted by a Royal Spanish crown.

The symbols were designed by Manuel García Hurtado (Escudo y bandera de Palenciana, Crónica de Córdoba y sus Pueblos, 3: 229-237 [1994]). Born in 1942 in Antequera, Manuel García Hurtado (biography) is the official Chronicler of Palenciana and a correspondent member of the Royal Academy of Córdoba.
The flag uses the colours of the Andalusian flag. Moreover, white represents cordiality, tolerance, harmony and frankness, while green represents freedom, hope and self-confidence.
The cross of Saint James recalls the rule of the Order on the municipal territory.
The galleys are taken from the arms of Bernuy, once lords of the village. They are represented in the parish church, on the main altar's altarpiece, on the baptistery and on the iron fence surrounding the church.
Olive is the main source of present, and, possibly, future, income for the municipality. Or represents wealth.

Ivan Sache, 19 September 2015

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