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Batumi (Town, Georgia)


Last modified: 2011-11-11 by ivan sache
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[Flag of Batumi]         [Arms of Batumi]

Flag and arms of Batumi - Images communicated by The State Council of Heraldry at the Parliament of Georgia, 25 January 2011

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Presentation of Batumi

The town of Batumi (123,500 inhabitants in 2008; 1,900 ha), the capital of the Autonomous Region of Adjara (south-west Georgia), is located on the Black Sea, 20 km form the border with Turkey. Batumi is the marine gateway of Georgia, with the country's biggest sea port.

Batumi was known by the ancient Greeks and Romans as Batusi, from bathys, a Greek world meaning "deep", referring to its convenient port. Incorporated in the 5th-15th centuries into different Georgian feudal states, Batumi was seized by the Ottomans at the end of the 15th century; expelled in 1609 by Mamia Gureli, the Turks eventually reconquerred the region at the end of the 17th century, making of Batumi the capital of the Lazeti sandjak (district), depending on the Trabzon Governorate.
Following the Russian-Ottoman War, the San Stefano Treaty (3 March 1878) and its subsequent revision during the Berlin Congress (13 June-13 July 1878) transferred Adjara to Russia. The Russian troops entered Batumi on 25 August 1878. Per an English request at the Berlin Congress, Batumi was made a free port, with little profit for the local population; the free status was abolished in 1886.
On 12 June 1883, the Russian State Council suppressed the Batumi Region, transferring the town to the Kutaisi Province; following appeal by the inhabitants of the town, Batumi was granted a municipal status on 28 April 1888. The Batumi Region was reinstated in 1903. At the time, Batumi was a well-developed town with a significant commerce port.
According to Article IV of the Brest Treaty signed on 3 March 1917 between Russia and Germany, the border between Russia and Turkey had to be restored as it was in 1877, transferring back Batumi to Turkey, which was unacceptable for the locals. The Trabzon Conference, aimed at a border negotiation, was not successful and the Ottoman army annexed Batumi on 14 April 1918. Further negotiations held on 11-26 May and 31 May-4 June 1918 in Batumi led to the proclamation of the independence of Georgia, confirmed on 26 May and to the incorporation of the self-proclaimed Republic of Batumi into the new state. The Ottomans withdrew from the region after the defeat of their allies in the war, and were succeeded in 1919 by a British occupation government. The peace treaty signed on 7 May 1920 between Russia and Georgia did not prevent Russia to invade Georgia, Tbilisi being occupied on 25 February 1921. On 12 March 1921, the Ottomans entered Batumi, with the "official" aim of ousting the Russians. The Georgian government left Batumi on 17 March on its way to exile, while the remains of the Georgian army and volunteers, commanded by General George Mazniashvili, expelled on 21 March the Turks from Batumi and Adjara.

Source: Municipal website

Ivan Sache, 6 December 2010

Flag of Batumi

The flag and arms of Batumi are prescribed by Decree No. 16-3, adopted on 30 October 2009 by the Municipal Council.

The State Council of Heraldry at the Parliament of Georgia, 25 January 2011

The flag is blue with three horizontal white stripes and an escutcheon, "Per fess wavy, 1. Gules three bezants or, 2. Argent", in the middle. The proportions of the flag shall be 2:3.
In the coat of arms, the aforementioned escutcheon is placed over a shield "Azure three bends argent", itself placed over two anchors or crossed per saltire, surmounted by a three-towered mural crown or, surrounded by a scroll argent charged with the name of the town in Georgian capital letters sable.
The escutcheon was shown, as the arms of Batumi, on a colour plate published by H.G. Strohl in Jahrbuch der K.K. Heraldischen Gesellschaft 'Adler' (three plates labelled Kaukasien, "Caucasus"), Vienna, 1901. These arms, granted on 17 June 1881 to the Batumi Region, are surmounted by a golden Imperial crown and surrounded by golden oak branches tied by a red Alexander's ribbon. The golden bezants (Byzantine coins) represent trade, while the wavy division, as well as the anchors in the modern version of the arms, symbolize the sea port of Batumi.

Ivan Sache, 6 December 2010