Last modified: 2014-04-11 by ivan sache
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The municipality of Montoro (9,895 inhabitants in 2008; 58,612 ha; municipal website) is located 40 km north-east of Córdoba.
Located on a spur dominating a meander of the Guadalquivir, Montoro was known in the Antiquity as Epora. During the Punic Wars, the town took the Roman party and was, therefore, not submitted by force. In 206 BC, the loyalty of Epora was rewarded by the status of civitas foederata (Federated Town), granted to only three towns in the region (Gades, Malaca and Epora). Epora was subsequently loyal to Caesar during the Civil War, a loyalty rewarded by the title of municipality granted by Augustus; Epora was then a mansion on the Via Augusta. During the Moorish period, Montoro was known as Kantara-Estesan or Hins (Castle) Muntur; threatened by the Christians, the town was fortified in the early 8th century by the revamping of two castles and a wall.
Reconquered from the Moors on 24 August 1240 by King Ferdinand III the Saint, Montoro was incorporated into the Kingdom of Castile in 1245. Transferred to the Marquisate of El Carpio in 1658, Montoro was erected the capital of a Duchy by Philip V in 1662. The status of the town, however, remained disputed, the inhabitants requiring the protection of the king against the duke. On 8 August 1808, Ferdinand VII granted to Montoro the title of "Ciudad Noble, Leal y Patriótica" (Noble, Loyal and Patriotic Town), as a reward to its contribution to the struggle against the French invaders. Often considered the most picturesque town in the Córdoba Province, Montoro was listed in 1969 as an Artistical and Historical Monument by the Ministry of Culture.
Ivan Sache, 15 July 2009
The flag of Montoro, adopted on 28 November 2005 by the Municipal Council and submitted on 12 December 2005 to the Directorate General of the Local Administration, is prescribed by a Decree adopted on 3 January 2006 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration and published on 24 January 2006 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 15, p. 74 (text).
The flag is described as follows:
Flag: The official flag of Montoro (Córdoba) shall be crimson, with dimensions 250 cm x 125 cm. The fabric shall be made of taffeta and silk. The central part will be charged with the official coat of arms of Montoro as prescribed by the Decree of 18 February 2005 of the Directorate General of the Local Administration. This shall be surrounded by a golden cartouche bearing the Latin writing: "Quam bene custodit summo de vertice Taurus Auriferum Monten Regibus iste suis". The corners shall be charged by facsimile copies of the coats of arms kept in the Montoro Municipal Archives, starting in upper hoist with an emblem dated 1540 related to the lawsuit of the town of Montoro against the town of Los Pedroches. The second coat of arms, on the upper part, is related to the lawsuit of Montero against the lord of the towns of El Carpio and Los Pedroches, also dated 1540. The third coat of arms, placed in the lowest corner to the previous, shall be the one shown by Father J. Beltrán in his Epora Illustrada . Finally, the emblem dated 1808 bearing the title of town granted by Fernando VII as a reward to the courage of its inhabitants during the War of Independence, shall be placed in the lower left corner.
There is little knowledge on historical flags used in Montoro. Some inhabitants recall a crimson flag charged in the middle with the municipal coat of arms, hoisted on the balcony of the Town Hall on festival days; another flag with a blue background seems to have been used during the Second Spanish Republic. The municipal archives keep a document dated 12 September 1702, prescribing to pay 330 reals for a colour granted to the Montoro Militia. The design of the flag required 19 varas (a length unit) of taffeta of different colours, including 3.5 varas, that is c. 2.5 m, of crimson taffeta. In 1810, during the French occupation, the Corps of the Civic Guard of Montoro, made of three infantry and one cavalry companies, had two standard bearers. The Military Museum of Seville keeps a colour of the National Militia of Montoro, founded in 1820; the flag is crimson, although faded with time, with a Royal shield divided in four quarters with two lions rampant and two towers, a laurel wreath and a band related to the corps. The corners of the flag are charged with the coat of arms of Montoro, copied from the privilege granted by Ferdinand VII in 1808, but without the title "Noble, Leal y Patriótica".
The modern flag of Montoro is charged in the middle with the municipal official coat of arms, plastron-shaped with a bull on a mount or [doubly canting as toro, "a bull", and monte oro, "a golden mount"], surmounted by a Duke's coronet and surrounded by a garland of laurel leaves tied below the shield with a branch of palm with thin leaves, the garland being interlaced with a scroll bearing "noble, leal, patriótic". The shield has a blue field with a black bull passant on a golden mount, surmounted with a golden crown with jewels in turn red and green. All around is a golden [indeed, silver] garland with the Latin motto, shown below the shield on J. Beltrán's Epora Illustrada (1750), "Quam bene custodit summo de vertice Taurus Auriferum Monten Regibus iste suis." The corners of the flag are charged with shields, on the model of the colour kept in the Military Museum of Seville. The first shield, placed in the upper left corner, shows a bull passant looking to dexter, in front of three hills surmounted by three big trees. On one of them stands a small castle difficult to see because of the bad state of the original document. The upper parts of the shield are surmounted by eagle's heads. The second shield, placed in the upper right corner, shows a valient bull running near a watercourse, looking to sinister, in front of a spur surmounted by a castle. On the other side are three trees. The third shield, placed in the lower right corner, is a simple sketch with a bull and an oak placed on a mount; such a shield can be seen on the front facade of the Town Hall. The last shield, placed in the lower left corner, is quite similar to the modern coat of arms.
[José Ortiz García, official chronicler of Montoro - Montoro cultural blog]
The coat of arms of Montoro, submitted on 9 February 2005 to the Directorate General of the Local Administration, is prescribed by a Decree adopted on 18 February 2005 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration and published on 4 March 2005 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 44, p. 56 (text).
The coat of arms is described as follows:
Coat of arms: Plastron-shaped shield. A bullstanding on a mound or. The shield surmounted by a Ducal's coronet and surrounded by a branch of laurel interlaced with a scroll inscribed with "NOBLE, LEAL, PATRIÓTICA" and a palm. The shield azure a bull passant sable standing on a mound or, the crown or with gems in turn vert and gules, the laurel and palm sable.
The bull recalls that the town was a municipality, then represented by an oxen, subsequently changed for a bull, in the Roman period. The mound and the bull refer to the different historical episodes involving the fortress of Montoro.
[Símbolos de las Entidades Locales de Andalucía. Córdoba (PDF file)]
Ivan Sache, 15 July 2009
On 15 April 1814, the Cortes of Cádiz [the sessions of the Constituent Assembly held in Cádiz during the French occupation, 1810-1814] approved the creation of the National Militia to protect the municipalities and to maintain public order. The colour of the Infantry Regiment of the National Militia of Montoro, designed in 1820, was used until 1870, a few years before the eventual disbanding of the militias. The shields were transferred on a new piece of fabric sometime in the 19th century, with some new embroidery. The restauration started in 2006 kept the 19th century restauration to preserve the global strcuture of the colour. The central shield was submitted to a specific restauration since it had lost most of its colours.
[Montoro cultural blog]
Ivan Sache, 15 July 2009