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Otívar (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2015-10-18 by ivan sache
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Flag of Otívar - Image from the Símbolos de Granada website, 14 May 2014

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Presentation of Otívar

The municipality of Otívar (1,108 inhabitants in 2014; 5,752 ha; municipal website) is located 80 km south of Granada, on the border with the Province of Málaga.

Otívar is of Arab origin, as evidenced by the structure of the village (narrow, steep streets), but there is no historical record of its foundation. Different documents mention a watch tower erected on the Moscaril hill, probably watching the coast and alerting the other posts with fire signals in case of enemy landing.
Otívar is believed to be a Basque toponym, cognate with Be-Otívar, a valley in Guipúzcoa. The village must have emerged on the fish trading road that connected Almuñécar to Granada; street names recall an inn (venta) where the merchants overnighted and the place where they unloaded their cargo (cargadero).

Juan Fernández Cañas, aka el tío Caridad (Uncle Charity), Mayor of Otívar, was a famous guerilla leader during the War of Independence. Also known as the Colonel,he refused to plead allegiance to the Napoleonic regime and set up a group of rebels. They repelled near Nerja a French troop made of 300 soldiers and 300 riders. The guerilla soon seized Nerja, Almuñécar, Salobreña and Motril, the latter town being abandoned by General Werl, who withdrew to Granada, without fighting. Within three months, the Colonel controlled the south of the Province of Granada and prepared to march agianst the capital, which was defended by General Sebastiani. The Colonel was injured during the assault of Padul, ordered by Sebastiani, and hid for 45 days in a cave in Lentegí. Sure of his death, his partisans gave up the fight. Fernández eventually recovered and resumed the struggle, fighting in Almería, Málaga, Alhendín and Granada. Very sick, he ceased the fight in 1812, soon after having been appointed Colonel by the Regency.

Ivan Sache, 14 May 2014

Symbols of Otívar

The flag and arms of Otívar are prescribed by "administrative silence" - that is, after the administration had failed to proceed the registration submission in due time. This was confirmed by a Decree adopted on 30 November 2004 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration and published on 20 December 2004 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 246, pp. 28,986-29,002 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular, in proportions 2:3, made of a green panel with a white diagonal stripe running from the hoist's lower angle to the fly's upper angle and charged with a green wavy stripe.
Coat of arms: Per pale, 1. Argent waves azure ensigned by a 12-ray star of the same, 2. Argent a two-peaked mount vert charged with a monolith argent. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed.

The star represents the Immaculate Conception, the patron saint of Otívar, while the waves stand for rivers Guadalfeo and Verde. The mountains represent the local topography, while the monolith is the monument dedicated to Juan Fernández Cañas, hero of the War of Independence (photo).
[Símbolos de las Entidades Locales de Andalucía. Granada (PDF file)]

Ivan Sache & Klaus-Michael Schneider, 14 May 2014