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El Real de la Jara (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2015-11-22 by ivan sache
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Flag of El Real de la Jara - Image from the Símbolos de Sevilla website, 1 June 2014

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Presentation of El Real de la Jara

The municipality of El Real de la Jara (1,639 inhabitants in 2008; 15,735 ha; municipal website), is located in the southern Sierra Morena, 80 km north-west of Seville.

According to local chronicles, El Real de Jara "is of ancient origin, already known in the Roman times"; some imaginative writers even claim that the town was founded by King Solomon. Deserted during the Visigothic period, the place was resettled by the Almohad Moors and obtained emancipation from the Caliphate of Córdoba in 1148. The town was called Xara, after the bushy vegetation surrounding it. Reconquered in the first third of the 13th century by King Ferdinand III the Saint, the town was used as his camp by King Alfonso XI before the Battle of Salado (1340). In 1498, the Catholic Monarchs granted to the town the title of "Real" (Royal) and several privileges, as a reward to the loyalty of its inhabitants during the civil unrest of the 15th century and their courage in the struggle against the Moors.

Ivan Sache, 18 July 2009

Symbols of El Real de la Jara

The flag and modified coat of arms of El Real de la Jara, adopted on 20 May 2005 by the Municipal Council and submitted on 26 May 2005 to the Directorate General of the Local Administration, are prescribed by a Decree adopted on 3 June 2005 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration and published on 15 June 2005 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 115, p. 66 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular flag of 1.80 m in length and 1.30 m in hoist, green, crossed from the upper right angle to the lower left angle by a white diagonal stripe of 50 cm in width. Over all, centered, the municipal coat of arms.
Coat of arms: Shield in Spanish shape. Per fess, 1a. Argent a Cross of the Order of Saint James gules, 1b. Azure a castle or masoned sable port and windows gules, 2. Vert on a base clay a wall argent a stag surrounded by two bushes vert. A border or with the motto "REAL ES POR SU LEALTAD"[Royal for its loyalty] in letters sable. The shield surmounted with an ancient medieval Royal crown.

There is no vexillological tradition in El Real de la Jara; accordingly, a brand new flag was designed, using as its colour background a colour taken from the coat of arms, here green.
The municipality previously used a coat of arms designed in the beginning of the 20th century by Manuel San José the original coat of arms, which costed 20 pesetas and measures 50 cm x 65 cm, can be seen in the Town Hall. A different coat of arms was approved by the Ministry of Justice in 1899 as "Per fess, 1a. Or a Cross of Saint James gules, 1b. Azure a wall argent a stag proper on a base clay surrounded by two bushes". The description is incomplete and does not match the coat of arms used previously; those arms were also heraldically uncorrect, which caused their updating.
[Municipal website]

The Cross of the Order of Saint James recalls that the Order was commissioned by King Ferdinand the Saint to reconquer the fortress and to watch it. The castle is self-explaining. The stag recalls that the knights were guided by a stag (sent by God) to the weakest point of the wall during their victorious assault. The motto refers to the Royal Charter granted in 1498 by the Catholic Monarchs.
[Símbolos de las Entidades Locales de Andalucía. Sevilla (PDF file)]

Ivan Sache, 18 July 2009