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Pegalajar (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2016-06-01 by ivan sache
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Flag of Pegalajar - Image by "Johnbojaen"(Wikimedia Commons), 5 July 2009

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Presentation of Pegalajar

The municipality of Pegalajar (3,145 inhabitants in 2008; 3,946 ha; municipal website) is located 20 km east of Jaén.

The meaning of the name of Pagalajar is disputed. Lorenzo Morillas Calatrava refers to the Arabic words piedras and halajar, meaning together "a pass between mountains", while Emilio Serrano Díaz claims they mean "a rock in the plain". The village was probably known in Arabic as al-Jafr, a village described by al-Muqaddasi as located 18 km of Jaén and rich in water and mills. At that time, irrigation provided by the Fuente Vieja (lit., "the Old Fountain," known today as Fuente de la Reja) and river Guadalbullón, allowed gardening and growth of olive trees; the watercourses were used to power grain and oil mills.
After the reconquest of Jaén by Ferdinand III in 1246, Pegalajar was incorporated into this town; the village was ran each year from a different parish of Jaén. Due to the strategic location of the village and the castle, then located on the border with the Moorish Kingdom of Granada and protecting Jaén, the inhabitants of Pegalajar were granted several privileges; Quesada reported in 1428 that Henry II had suppressed taxes for the villagers. During peace periods, Pegalajar was a main place of transit and trade between the (Christian) Kingdom of Castilie and the Kingdom of Granada. After the fall of the Kingdom of Granada in 1492, Pegalajar lost its strategic importance and became a wealthy rural settlement. While still a small village, Pegalajar applied for independence from Jaén, which was granted, together with the title of villa, on 3 June 1559. With only 1,200 inhabitants, Pegalajar was one of the smallest Spanish villas.

Ivan Sache, 5 July 2009

Symbols of Pegalajar

The flag and arms of Pegalajar (municipal website), adopted on 18 May 2007 by the Municipal Council and submitted on 30 May 2007 to the Directorate General of the Local Administration, are prescribed by a Resolution adopted on 13 June 2007 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration and published on 26 June 2007 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 125, p. 27 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular tafeta flag, in proportions three units in length on two units in height (2:3), cut in the horizontal middle in two equal parts, sapphire blue on top and purple on bottom, charged with the greater municipal coat of arms, including the crown and the motto [not shown on the images], vertically centered and covering one third of the flag's hoist.
Coat of arms: Per pale, dexter gules a castle or crenellated with three towers with five windows and a port sable on each tower a star sable dexter four-pointed middle six-pointed sinister eight-pointed, sinister argent a lion gules crowned arms and langued or. The shield surmounted with a Royal Spanish crown closed.

The symbols were designed by the local historian Dr. Juan Antonio López Cordero, author of the supporting memoir Memoria histórica, heráldica y vexilológica justificativa del escudo y bandera de la Villa de Pegelejar (PDF file).
Since there is no report of historical flag, pennant... in Pegalajar, a brand new flag had to be designed. Sapphire blue recalls the significance of water, especially the Fuente de la Reja and the characteristic landscape of the Huerta [irrigated "garden"] de Pegalajar. Purple recalls that Pegalajar once depended on Jaén.
Cordero gives the colour specifications as follows:
Coat of arms
- Argent: Pantone 414c;
- Or: Pantone 117c;
- Gules: Pantone 192c.
- Sea blue: B+, Pantone 2915c;
- Purple: P+, Pantone 2627u.

The castle and the lion are the arms of the Kingdom of Castile and León, united by Ferdinand III, the conqueror of Pegalejar. The three stars may represent Jesus Christ, God and the Blessed Virgin; their location above the towers are a symbol of divine protection gratend to the fortress of Pegalejar, located on the border with the Kingdom of Granada for three centuries.
[Símbolos de las Entidades Locales de Andalucía. Jaén (PDF file)]

Ivan Sache, 5 July 2009