Last modified: 2016-12-20 by ivan sache
Keywords: cala |
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Flag of Cala - Image from the Símbolos de Huelva website, 19 August 2016
The municipality of Cala (1,252 inhabitants in 2015; 8,400 ha; municipal website) is located 160 km north-east of Huelva, on the border with Extremadura.
Cala was originally known as Restituta Llula. According to "experts", the chapel of Our Lady of Cala keeps a stone engraved with this name, of Celtic origin. Calla/ Cala would be derived from Callentun, from a Greco-Latin root meaning "beautiful". This could refer to the topographical location of the village or to the beautiful Arab fortress (12th-13th century) overlooking the village. The Roman town was famous for its brickyards, described by Vitruvius and Pliny the Elder. The bricks, produced without immersion into water, were much lighter, resistant and wetness-proof than the usual ones.
Conquerred by King Ferdinand III the Saint in 1246-1248, Cala was transferred by his son, Alfonso X the Wise, to the Council of Seville, with the same privileges and rights as the mother town. The village was re-settled by immigrants, mostly coming from León, while the Arab fortress was rebuilt to protect the town against Portuguese raids.
The Cala iron mine, founded by a Portuguese company and transferred to an English one, was industrialized in 1901 by the Sociedad Anónima Minas de Cala, founded by Basque businessmen. Built between 1902 and 1904, a railway line (98 km) connected the mine to the wharf of San Juan de Aznalfarache (Province of Seville). The trains also transported passengers, until 1936, and goods, until the late 1950s. The mine was purchased in the 1960s by the Compañía Minera del Andévalo; the iron crisis, the high cost of exploitation, extraction and transport caused the decline of the mine, which was eventually acquired in 1983 by the Instituto Nacional de Industria. Other mines, such as the Sultana, inaugurated in 1903 and abandoned for more than 60 years, yielded significant amounts of copper and gold ore.
Ivan Sache, 19 August 2016
The flag (photo) and arms of Cala, adopted on 21 November 1994 by the Municipal Council and validated on 28 November 1995 by the Royal Academy of Córdoba, are prescribed by Decree No. 260, adopted on 4 November 1997 by the Government of Andalusia and published on 27 November 1997 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 138, pp. 14,064-14,065 (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, in proportions 11 x 18. Along the hoist a sea blue rectangular stripe, in length 1/7 of the flag's length. The remaining part of the panel horizontally divided into five equal stripes, the first, third and fifth stripes, yellow, the second and the fourth, white. In the center is placed the local coat of arms, in height 3/4 of the flag's height.
Coat of arms: Azure a castle or masoned sable port and windows gules on a base vert surrounded dexter by a fish argent langued gules in pale sinister by a jar of the same. The shield surmounted by a Spanish Royal crown closed.
The symbols were proposed by Juan José Antequera on 30 September 1994.
The local castle has been shown on municipal seals used since 1906. The fish stands for the numerous brooks that water the municipal territory. The jar recalls the glassworks that once existed in the town.
Ivan Sache, 19 August 2016