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Benalauría (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2020-06-13 by ivan sache
Keywords: benalauría |
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Flag of Benalauría - Image from the Símbolos de Málaga website, 16 September 2016

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Presentation of Benalauría

The municipality of Benalauría (470 inhabitants in 2015, 1,975 ha; municipal website) is located 140 km west of Málaga. The municipality is made of the village of Benalauría and of the hamlets of Siete Pilas (104 inh.), Las Canchas, and Las Vegas (100 inh.).

Benalauría was established by the Berber tribe of Banu-l-Hawria. After the Christian reconquest in 1485, the village was granted to the Count of Feria, After the Morisco revolt of 1501, the population of the village decreased from 45 to 28 inhabitants. After the second revolt of 1570, the last Moriscos ere expelled and the village was completely resettled by colonists from the Valley of the Guadalquivir and the Sierra Morena.
Together with Benadalid, Benalaur’a was ruled by the Houses of Alcalá, and, eventually, Medinaceli.
During the 18th century, the population increased from 383 to 885 inhabitants in 1787. The demographic boom was permitted by the development of grain, fruit trees and, especially, grapevine cultivation. Several mills, either water-powered or manpowered, were erected at the time. Olive trees were planted later.
Like the other mountain villages, Benalaur’a lost most of its inhabitants in the second half of the 20th century, the population decreasing from 1,239 in 1950 to 521 in 1996.

Ivan Sache, 16 September 2016

Symbols of Benalauría

The flag and arms of Benalauría, adopted on 12 July 2011 by the Municipal Council and submitted on 20 July 2011 to the Directorate General of the Local Administration, are prescribed by a Resolution adopted on 1 September 2011 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration and published on 16 September 2011 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 183, p. 8 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular, in proportions 3:2 (length to width). A white panel with two horizontal stripes in width 1/7 of the flag's width, distant from the upper and lower edges of the flag from 1/7.5 of the panel's length. In the center, the municipal coat of arms.
Coat of arms: Spanish shield. Quarterly, 1. Fesses wavy vert and argent, 2. Or a cross azure a crescent of the same, 3. Or a chestnut tree proper, 4. Argent a blackbird sable beaked or. Grafted in base Azure the Roman numeral "IV" or. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed.

The flag has a white background like the fourth quarter of the arms. The green stripes represent rivers Guadiaro and Genal, respectively.
The division of the shield quarterly per cross and the graft in base are typical of Spanish heraldry.
The two rivers are also symbolized by the fesses wavy on the first quarter of the arms. While water was traditionally represented by waves azure and argent, a modern trend in heraldry restricts azure to the sea, vert being used instead for rivers.
The cross and the crescent, also featured on the municipal logotype, represent the integration of the Christian and Arab cultures.
The chestnut represents the main local crop, the field or symbolizing the resulting income.
The blackbird represents the local air and landscape.
The Roman numeral "IV" in base stand for the four settlements that form the municipality.
[Municipal website]

The symbols were designed from scratch by María Josefa Nieto Liaño, as credited in the (unauthored) memoir supporting the proposed symbols, dated 23 December 2010.

Ivan Sache, 16 September 2016

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