This page is part of © FOTW Flags Of The World website

Melilla (Spain)

Autonomous City of Melilla, Ciudad Autónoma de Melilla

Last modified: 2011-06-10 by eugene ipavec
Keywords: melilla | spain | enclave | coat of arms | castile | leon | castle | cauldron | snake | lion | pillars of hercules | dragon | knight | plaza de soberanía |
Links: FOTW homepage | search | disclaimer and copyright | write us | mirrors

[Melilla (Spain)]
image by Antonio Gutiérrez, taken with permission from the S.E.V. website, 05 Jun 2003

See also:


The flag of Melilla is blue with the arms of the town in the middle. In use since 14 March 1995.

Pascal Vagnat, 22 Feb 1996

Yesterday evening there was a documentary (...) filmed mostly in the Spanish town of Melilla (...). The interesting thing is that the flag of Melilla had a very light shade of blue, akin' to the shade in the Bavarian flag. So I took the coat-of-arms from the image by Jaume Ollé and placed it on a light blue field. Are there any official specs for this flag?

Jorge Candeias, 21 Oct 1999

I was born there. Yes, as far back as I know, the flag background was dark blue; definitively.

However, after Spain joined the European Union and the flag of Europe was flown there as well (to avoid confusion, I guess), it seems there was that piece of legislation describing the background as "light blue" which is used today.

Carlos Belmonte, 20 May 2006

[Melilla (Spain), variant]
image by Jorge Candeias


[Coat-of-arms (Melilla, Spain)]
image by Antonio Gutiérrez, taken with permission from the S.E.V. website, 05 Jun 2003

In Info-Bulletin no.89 I found this:

Arms of Melilla:
Light blue shield with two baskets [cauldrons] (chequered red-gold), from where black snakes crawl out. The border shows the arms of Castile and Leon (a golden castle on red and a purple lion on silver). Above the shield a golden crown with a golden tower on which a knight in white clothes and a sword is standing. On his chest a red cross. Further it shows a white ribbon with the motto: Praeferre Patriam Liber Parentem. Between crown and shield (in black) the name of the city. On both sides of the shield two pillars of Hercules, on those pillars in red: Non Plus Ultra. Below the shield a green dragon.

Mark Sensen, 26 Sep 1995

I would offer the following translation of Praeferre Patriam Liber Parentem Decet: "A free homeland is of greater importance than the death of a kinsman."

Peter Johnson, 11 Jan 2010

The arms of Melilla are those of the Duchy of Medina Sidonia. The motto recalls the heroic act of Duke Guzmán the Good (1255-1309) during the siege of Tarifa by Sultan Ibn Yacoub and the infamous Infant John (1294): when the besiegers announced they would kill Guzmán's son, they had captured, if the town did not surrender, Guzmán did not surrender but threw down his dagger to them.

Source: Heraldry blog by José Juan Carrión Rangel

Guzmán is portrayed upon the crown on the coat of arms of Melilla. On the images shown on the FOTW website, he his shown standing and raising a sword, while on Rangel's images, he is shown throwing his dagger from the town wall.

Ivan Sache, 12 Jan 2010