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La Puebla de Cazalla (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2017-06-19 by ivan sache
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Flag of La Puebla de Cazalla - Image by Ivan Sache, 9 December 2016

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Presentation of La Puebla de Cazalla

The municipality of La Puebla de Cazalla (11,241 inhabitants in 2015; 18,981 ha; municipal website), is located on the left bank of river Corbones, 70 km south-east of Seville.

La Puebla de Cazalla was already settled in the Neolithic and in the Iron and Bronze Ages; there was probably no permanent population there, but the area was a place of contact between different tribes travelling along river Corbones. The first permanent settlement, located on the castle's site, is credited to Iberians tribes (7th-6th century BC), who lived from the traditional Mediterranean triad (wheat, grapevine, olive). Dated back to the 3rd century BC, Carthaginian coins (shekels) provide evidence that the Iberian and Carthaginian spheres met there. It is believed that the castle originates in the erection of a tower by the Iberians, one of the numerous built to watch the area threatened by Carthaginian raids; Pliny the Elder, erroneously believing that the towers were Carthaginian fortifications, called them turris hannibalis (Hannibal's towers).

The region was colonized by the Romans during the second half of the 1st century BC. The colony of Slapensa, established on the castle's site, was ruled by municipal laws kept in the National Museum of Archeology. During the Gilded Age of the Roman Empire, the region was pacified and its population dramatically increased. Several new settlements emerged; Municipium Flavium Villonensis was also ruled by a proper law (lex villonensis), kept in the Archeology Museum of Seville.
The Visigoths established a small necropolis in late Roman style (6th century) and a paleochristian basilica, which yielded the inscription "IMPOSITUM XTO MIRABILE TEMPLUM FUISSE FACTUM" (This admirable temple was erected for Christ); these remains indicate that the settlement was still of significance.

After having defeated King Rodrigo in Guadalete, the Moor armies commanded by Tariq crossed the region on their way to Toledo, the capital of the Visigoth kingdom. A new settlements was founded, named Kasala. Ferdinand III the Saint seized Kasala in 1240 and expelled its inhabitants in 1264; depopulated, the place was incorporated into the Morisco Strip, a no man's land separating the Muslim and Christian states.
Alfonso XI, aware that the castle was close to ruination, transferred the area, known as Cazaba de la Frontera, to the Order of Calatrava. The permanent population consisted of a small garrison in charge of maintaining the castle and repelling Muslim raids. Taking profit of the weakness of King Henry IV, Pedro Téllez Girón, Count of Ureña and Master of the Order of Calatrava, obtained the transfer of Cazaba de la Frontera to the Duchy of Osuna In 1502, he granted a settlement charter (carta-puebla) to the town, which was renamed La Puebla de Cazalla. He also refused to expel the Moriscos from the town, as prescribed by the Catholic Monarchs; this explain the name of "Moriscos" still given to the inhabitants of La Puebla and the high frequency of the anthroponym Moreno (a diminutive form of moro, "a moor").
[ABC, 13 January 2015]

Ivan Sache, 4 December 2016

Symbols of La Puebla de Cazalla

The flag of La Puebla de Cazalla, adopted on 26 January 2017 by the Municipal Council and submitted on 21 February 2017 to the Directorate General of the Local Administration, is prescribed by a Resolution adopted on 2 March 2017 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration and published on 8 March 2017 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 45, p. 85 (text).
The flag is described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular, made of three equal horizontal stripes, white (RGB: ffffff) on top, green (RGB: 33582b) in the center, and clay (RGB: aba178) on bottom. The white stripe charged with an eight-pointed white star outlined in golden yellow (RGB: as974) located at the hoist, and the green stripe charged in the center with the local coat of arms.

The designer of the flag, Noel González González, winner of a public contest, explains the flag as follows:

Medium beige (RGB aba178) is the colour of the clayish soil, traditionally used in pottery.
Dark green (RGB 33582b) is the colour of olive trees, which are a main economic, historic and cultural resource for the town.
White (RGB ffffff) is the colour of the traditional architecture of the town. The eight-pointed star is a widely used Andalusian symbol, in the town included. Here, it represents the present-day town but also its Morisco roots; it was also a solar symbol in the pre-Roman cultures, therefore its colour (RGB ab9743).
The whole design, therefore, is a symbolic representation of the local landscape: the sun and light reflected on the white-washed walls, above the olive trees, whose roots are planted in the clayish soil.

The coat of arms of La Puebla de Cazalla is prescribed by an Order adopted on 3 August 1984 by the Government of Andalusia and published on 17 August 1984 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 77, p. 1,621 (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 coat of arms is described as follows:

Coat of arms: Per pale, 1. Gules a castle or port and windows azure masoned sable. 2. Argent an olive tree vert. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed.

The Royal Academy of History validated the proposed arms, which are based on "indubitable antecedents" listed in the supporting memoir. The original arms of the town are made of a single quarter charged with a castle; the proposal of adding a second quarter for the sake of differentiation is legitimate.
[Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia 1984. 181:2, 327]

The coat of arms in actual use has the castle ensigned with a crescent argent, which is not mentioned in the original blazon (either in the legal text or in the report by the Academy of History).
The castle of La Puebla de Cazalla was also known as the Moon's castle ("castillo de Luna"), which might explain the subsequent addition of the crescent to the arms.

The arms were designed by the historian and archivist Joaquín González Moreno (1924-2004; biography), from Seville. Appointed official archivist and secretary of the House of Medinaceli, González Moreno is credited the design of the arms of 14 Andalusian municipalities: Algámitas, Alcalá de Guadaíra, Aznalcóllar, Gines, La Lantejuela, La Puebla de Cazalla, Pruna, Punta Umbría, San Bartolomé de la Torre, Santiponce, and Villalba del Alcor.

Ivan Sache, 7 June 2017

Public contest for the flag of La Puebla de Cazalla

[Flag]       [Flag]       [Flag]

Proposals "A", "B", and "C", from left to right - Images by Ivan Sache, 4 December 2016

The Municipal Council of La Puebla de Cazalla organized in April 2016 a public contest for the design of a municipal flag. The commission ad hoc short-listed three proposals, which were submitted to popular vote - from 18 to 27 November 2016, by electronic vote, and on 6 December 2016, by traditional vote.
[Municipal website]

Proposal "A", eventually selected.

Proposal "B", submitted by Guillermo Guerrero Cárdenas
The flag is vertically divided white-red with a green border all around and the municipal coat of arms in the center.
White, green and red are the colours most representative of Andalusia and Spain. The colours of the quarters of the arms were swapped on the flag to increase chromatic contrast.
The coat of arms was deemed sufficient to represent the characteristics of the town: the castle has a geographical, historical, archeological and cultural value, while the olive tree is the emblematic crop of the town and its main source of income. No other emblematic feature of the town (for instance, the "canto jondo", a local Flamenco song style) was added, in order to preserve the simplicity and legibility of the design.

Proposal "C", submitted by Juan Serrano Andrade
The flag is vertically divided red-white-yellow with the municipal coat of arms in the center of the white stripe and three red right-angled triangles placing along the center of the fly. The dimensions of the flag are given as 90 cm x 140 cm.
Red and white recall the first and second quarter of the coat of arms, respectively.
The third stripe is a free reference to the founders of the town, the Counts of Ureña, subsequently Dukes of Osuna.

The results of the public contest were proclaimed on 6 December 2016.

Total votes:
A: 493
B: 397
C: 197

Electronic votes:
A: 298
B: 288
C: 119

Traditional votes:
A: 195
B: 109
C: 78<

The award ceremony is scheduled to 23 December 2016 in the Council Room of the Town Hall.
[El Periodico de los Pueblos, 7 December 2016; Diario de Morón, 9 December 2016]

Ivan Sache, 9 December 2016