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Town of Olivenza (Badajoz Province, Extremadura, Spain)

La Muy Noble, Notable y Siempre Leal Ciudad de Olivenza

Last modified: 2010-10-08 by eugene ipavec
Keywords: extremadura | badajoz | olivenza | irredentism | portugal | gironny | coat of arms (wall: yellow) | coat of arms (tower: yellow) | coat of arms (tree: olive) |
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Official Design
[Town of Olivenza (Badajoz Province, Spain)]
Design in Actual Use
[Town of Olivenza (Badajoz Province, Spain)]

images by António Martins-Tuválkin, 13 Jan 1998 and 01 Dec 2004

See also:

Presentation of Olivenza

Olivenza is a 600 border municipality which has been under Spanish control since 1806 but this has never been recognized by Portugal. In Portuguese official maps the border is unmarked in that region (left bank of Guadiana river south of Badajoz). Although the annexation is still unrecognized (a matter brought every now and then in diplomatic circles), the question is far from being a major problem between both countries, and has even an anecdotical flavour among Portuguese public opinion.

Source: [ban]

António Martins, 13 Jan 1998

According to (apparently unedited) official information posted here (in one of the technically worst web pages I've ever seen!), the flag of this Spain-administered town is not square, as given in our page.

It says:

La bandera de Olivenza será de seda, rectangular con 1,50 metros delargo y 0,95 metros de ancho, orlada por cordones, rematados porborlas junto al mástil, donde la bandera se envaina mediante undobladillo dentado, y en la varilla horizontal que la mantienedesplegada mediante un dobladillo continuo. El mástil será de metal dorado y rematado en su extremo por una punta de lanza de hierro.La distribución de la bandera se realiza a través de un gorinado enverde y oro, llevando el escudo de armas de Olivenza.Sobre la bandera y rodeando el escudo por su parte inferior banda decolor blanco con la inscripción en letras negras: ĞLa Muy Noble, Notable y Siempre Leal Ciudad de Olivenzağ.

Shortened and translated:

The flag shall be made of silk (!) with 150×95 cm (!), gorinado (dislexeme for gironado, "gyronny") of green and golden, with the arms of Olivenza over all. thin including a white scroll bellow the shield with black inscription reading «La Muy Noble, Notable y Siempre Leal Ciudad de Olivenza» («The Very Noble, Noteworthy and Ever-Loyal City of Olivenza»).

But a separate section of this page, entitled History of the Flag, shows two images taken from our own site, in square shape...

I'm not familiar with Spanish municipal flags, but in Portugal there are always two versions – a square one for parade and indoor use, and a rectangular one for hoisting. Since the original design was made by the Portuguese Heraldry Institute (again according to the said article in Banderas [ban]), confusion may have arised from there.

The design used is also not the one specified by the legal blazon:

De gules, una torre detrás de un lienzo de muralla, todo de oro; de entre ambos sale un olivo verde que queda resaltado de la torre, Timbrado con la Corona Real Española.
or "Gules on tower or issuant from a castle wall of the same a tree vert issuant likewise." (Or something like that.)

This is the design shown in our images, based on the said article in Banderas [ban], but all depictions I could find (and some I could not) show a regular castle, not a tower behind a wall, and a mural crown (as proposed the by the Portuguese Heraldry Institute), and not a Spanish royal crown: (again)

This mural crown is sometimes shown in white (as usual in Portuguese municipal flags), other in yellow (as usual in spanish heraldry), with red doors or sometimes yellow (closed).

I'm attaching a thus modified version of the flag, as it probably isused: ratio 30:19 (or ~2:3, more probably), yellow over green gyronnybackground (the legal text seems to describe gyronny unlike the usualpractice) and mural crown – this following the police municipal badge above, with white/silver wall surronded with flower stems, like a royal crown (or is this a Spanish police crown?).

António Martins-Tuválkin, 01 Dec 2004

History of the flag

In 1991, the Spanish Royal Academy of History (Real Academia de Historia) asked the Portuguese Heraldry Institute (Instituto Português de Heráldica, I.P.H.) for an opinion about how the (new) flag of Olivenza should look like. It is weird that this proposal is gyronny and bears a mural crown of 5 towers (distinction of municipalities in Portugal with city status), as the usual status attributed to Olivenza is that of town. The Spanish Royal Academy of History took the design proposed by the I.P.H., but omitted the scroll and instead of a mural crown used a closed royal one.

António Martins, 13 Jan 1998

Portuguese Heraldry Institute proposal
[IPH Proposal for Olivenza (Badajoz, Spain)]
image by António Martins