Last modified: 2020-11-14 by ivan sache
Keywords: zarza la mayor |
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Flag of Zarza la Mayor - Image by Ivan Sache, 23 March 2020
The municipality of Zarza la Mayor (1,228 inhabitants in 2019; 17,028 ha; municipal website) is located on the border with Portugal, 100 km north-west of Cáceres and 30 km north of Alcántara.
Zarza la Mayor, locally known as La Zarza ("Brambles"), was originally known as Zarza de Alcántara, to be renamed to Zarza la Mayor ("Greater Zarza") during the reign of Philip IV (1621-16645) as a reward for the town's heroism. The town was burned down four times by the Portuguese during wars.
A key place during the Christian reconquest of Upper Extremadura, Zarza was the site of four castles of Arab origin, Benavente, Bernardo, Peña de Fray Domingo and Racha-Rachel. The latter castle and the most significant, erected in the 9th century, was known as Peñafiel (lit., "Loyal Rock"). Reconquered by Alfonso IX in 1212, before the seizure of Alcántara, Peñafiel was offered to the Order of Alcántara, which established there a powerful Commandery.
The Royal Silk Factory (indeed, Royal Company of Commerce and Factories of Extremadura) was established in Zarza in 1749 close to the parish church; the nearby mulberry plantations were expected to feed silkworms. Unfortunately, the "Big House" was not successful because of the lack of clue of its managers.
Ivan Sache, 23 March 2020
The flag of Zarza la Mayor (photo), adopted on 13 February 1992 by the Municipal Council and validated on 16 November 1999 by the Assessing Council of Honors and Distinctions of the Government of Extremadura, is prescribed by an Order issued on 3 March 2000 by the Government of Extremadura and published on 18 March 2000 in the official gazette of Extremadura, No. 32, p. 2,268 (text).
The flag is described as follows:
Flag: Tierced on top, red at hoist and blue at fly on a blue background. Charged in the center the municipal coat of arms in full colors.
The flag is supported by a memoir redacted by Bienvenido García Martín.
Red appears on the Castilian coat of arms and on the national flag, recalling that Zarza was once part of Castile and is now part of Spain.
Green appears on the flag of Extremadura and recalls the Zarza plains.
Blue is the color of the sky.
The coat of arms of Zarza la Mayor, adopted on 17 October 1990 and 26 July 1991 by the Municipal Council and validated on 1 July 1991 by the Assessing Council of Honors and Distinctions of the Government of Extremadura, is prescribed by an Order issued on 30 July 1991 by the Government of Extremadura and published on 8 August 1991 in the official gazette of Extremadura, No. 61, p. 1,678-1,679 (text).
The coat of arms is described as follows:
Coat of arms: Per pale, 1. Azure a cotice argent, 2. Or a bramble vert burning. A bordure argent in chief a lion rampant purpure crowned or fimbriated sable surrounded on each flanks by a Cross of Alcántara vert four lions purpure crowned or and fimbriated sable two on each flank. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed.
Ivan Sache, 23 March 2020