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Mértola Municipality (Portugal)

Concelho de Mértola, Distrito de Beja

Last modified: 2015-11-13 by klaus-michael schneider
Keywords: mertola | knight | horse(passant) | shield(ogival) | shield(st. james) | hammers(2) |
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[Mértola municipality] 2:3 image by Sérgio Horta, 21 Dec 2006
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About the Flag

It is a fairly typical Portuguese municipal flag, with the coat of arms centred on a field quartered of white and red.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 21 Dec 2006

Coat of arms

[Mértola municipality CoA] image by Sérgio Horta, 21 Dec 2006

The arms are Sable a knight in clad armour Argent holding a shield of St. James (argent a Latin cross fitchy and fleury Gules) mounted on a horse passant Argent bridled and maned Or, in dexter chief two hammers of the first placed palewise per fess. Mural crown Argent with four visible towers (town rank) and white scroll reading in black upper case letters "VILA DE MÉRTOLA".
The arms refer to the conquest in 1238 of this important Moorish city (Mārtulah = مارتله; from Roman toponym Myrtilis Iulia) and represents St. James’ knight Dom Paio Peres Correia — whose role in the Iberian rechristianization granted his likeness, name, and arms a presence in the toponymy and heraldry of many places in the peninsular Southwest, on both sides of the current border. "Mértola" might have been a misspelled version of "martelo", which means "hammer", thus the hammers might be canting elements.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 21 Dec 2006

Version without Coat of Arms

[ municipality plain] 2:3 image by António Martins-Tuválkin, Apr 2010

Flag and arms published in the official journal Diário da República: III Série on 2 February 1987, this date is remarkably late, probably due to a minor revision in the arms and/or in the flag; there is surely an earlier grant from the 1930’ies.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 21 Dec 2006

Presentation of Mértola

Mértola municipality had 8712 inhabitants in 2001, and it is divided in seven communes, covering 1292,8 km². It is part of: Beja District, traditional province and NUTS III Baixo Alentejo, and 1999 ref. adm. region and C.C.R. / NUTS II Alentejo.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 21 Dec 2006

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