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Batalha Municipality (Portugal)

Concelho de Batalha, Distrito de Leiria

Last modified: 2015-09-05 by klaus-michael schneider
Keywords: batalha | st.mary | infant jesus | crosslet(fleury) | nuno alvares pereira |
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[Batalha municipality] image by Sérgio Horta, 8 Dec 2006
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About the Flag

It is a quite typical Portuguese municipal flag, with the coat of arms centred on a plain red background.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 8 Dec 2006

Coat of arms

[Batalha municipality CoA] image by Sérgio Horta, 8 Dec 2006

The arms are argent on a cross throughout gules between four crosslets fleury of the same the dexter chief and the sinister counterchief and vert the sinister chief and the dexter counterchief thye Virgin Mary dressed azure and mantled argent and crowned and nimbed or holding Infant Jesus unclad and crowned and nimbed or. Mural crown argent with four visible towers (town rank) and white scroll reading in black upper case letters "VILA DA BATALLHA".
António Martins-Tuválkin, 8 Dec 2006

"Batalha" means "battle"; this town was founded around the Battle Monastery, a votive construction erected after the victory in the Battle of Aljubarrota, which opposed Portugal against Castille, ending the dynastic crisis of 1383-1385. (Aljubarrota, the town which gave its name to the nearby battle, lies within the Batalha municipality.) The green crosses on the Coat of Arms refer to the arms of the Avis Order: argent a cross fleury vert . The master of this monk-warrior order was the new king appointed to the supporters of Portuguese independence in 1383-1385, El-Rei Dom João I (King John I of Portugal). The red crosses come from the crest of the Pereira family arms (gules a cross fleury argent voided; crest: the cross of the arms gules between two wings displayed argent), but unvoided perhaps for symmetry; this comes from Fieldmarshall Dom Nuno Álvares Pereira, whose millitary scills were responsible for the outcome. St. Mary is perhaps also for Nuno Álvares, as he later in life professed as a Carmelite monk, taking the cloister name Nuno de Santa Maria. The main cross might refer to St. George, patron of the Portuguese Army and perhaps also for the English archers who fought along on the Portuguese side of the battle - or, again, for Nuno Álvares, because his personal flag reputedly included a large red cross.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 8 Dec 2006

Flag and coat of arms adopted and published in the official journal Diário do Governo : I Série in 1937.06.11.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 8 Dec 2006

Version without Coat of Arms

Plain (monocoloured) portuguese subnational flags are not allowed to have variations without arms: plain flags always carry the coat of arms.
Jorge Candeias, 18 Jul 1999

Presentation of Batalha

Batalha municipality had 15 542 inhabitants in 2000, and it is divided in 4 communes, covering 130,3 km². It belongs to: Leiria District, traditional province Beira Litoral, 1999 ref. adm. region Estremadura e Ribatejo, and C.C.R./NUT2 Centro.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 8 Dec 2006

Nuno Álvares Pereira's Personal Flag

[Nuno Álvares Pereira's flag#1]
image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 18 Feb 2007
[Nuno Álvares Pereira's flag#2]
image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 18 Feb 2007

I was promised a short but comprehensive account about Constable Nuno Álvares Pereira aimed for a non-Portuguese audiance to be sent along an image of his legendary flag, but I haven't got it yet. So I'm attaching his flag with shields on the corners (left image) and with squares on the corners (right image). Meanwhile you may want to check this webpage.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 18 Feb 2007

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