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Algar (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2020-02-08 by ivan sache
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Flag of Algar - Image from the Símbolos de Cadíz website, 3 May 2014

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Presentation of Algar

The municipality of Algar (1,478 inhabitants in 2013; 2,660 ha; municipal website) is located 90 km east of Cádiz.

Algar s named for the Arab word gar, "a cave", probably referring to the great number of caves found in the neighborhood.
The village was founded in 1773, as Santa María de Guadalupe, by Domingo López de Carvajal, Viscount of Carrión and Marquis of Atalaya Bermeja, on a piece of land purchased from the Council of Jerez for 155,000 ducats. The tradition says that the founder fulfilled a vow he had made during a storm that threatened his ship during a journey from Spain to Mexico. Born in Galicia emigrated to Mexico in order to win a fortune. Coming back with a ship full of silver he approached Puerto de Santa María, when a heavy tempest arose. He prayed to Our Lady of Guadalupe and promised that he would build a village and a church dedicated to Her, if he would survive the tempest. He applied on 18 September 1766 for Royal permission of Carlos III, in order to keep his promise, which was gained permission on 18 September 1773.
The first settlers were 25 poor from the viallges of Bornos, Ubrique, Benaocaz and Villaluenga del Rosario; they had to give back to the village's founder only 1/8 of their annual income.

Ivan Sache & Klaus-Michael Schneider, 7 May 2014

Symbols of Algar

The unofficial flag of Algar is divded green-red by a broad yellow diagonal stripe running from the upper left to the lower right corner of the flag, charged in the middle with the municipal coat of arms.
[Símbolos de Cadíz website]

The coat of arms of Algar is prescribed by Decree No. 2,527, adopted on 18 August 1972 by the Spanish Government and published on 22 September 1972 in the Spanish official gazette, No. 228, p. 17,153 (text). 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 arms, validated by the Royal Academy of History, are dscribed as follows:

Coat of arms: Per pale, 1. Gules a Virgen of Guadalupe in Mexico fimbriated and haloed or standing on an island-shaped base vert, 2. Argent a bend sable. The shield surmounted by a Royal Spanish crown.

The coat of arms was designed by the heraldist José Antonio Delgado y Orellana. The first quarter recalls the original name of the town. The green island symbolizes the territory that seceded from Jerez. The second quarter represents the arms of the Carvajal lineage, as a tribute to the founder of the town.
[Municipal website]

The settlement originally used the arms of its founder, Domingo López Carvajal y Novoa, Barreira y Freire. The shield was quartered due to his four names. The first field displayed the sinister side of the current arms, representing the Carvajal lineage. The second field, representing the Novoa lineage, was divided per chevron with an eagle or in a field gules (upper right), a lion rampant gules on a field argent (lower centre) and a tower or ion a field argent (upper left). The third field, representing the Barreira lineage, displayed two bars vert on a field or with a bordure gules charged by seven saltires argent. The fourth field, representing the Freire lineage, displayed two dragonlions or alongside a bend or on a field vert. The quarter had a bordure argent charged with the writing in letters sable "AVE MARÍA GRATIA PLENA" (Be Saluted Mary, Full of Grace). The shield was surmounted by a Marquis' coronet. These arms were used until the early 19th century. There existed, however, a seal from 1876 displaying the quartered shield of Castile and León with an oval inescutcheon displaying the Bourbonic lilies and surmounted by a Royal crown.
[José Antonio Delgado y Orellana. Heráldica Municipal de la Provincia de Cádiz]

Klaus-Michael Schneider & Ivan Sache, 7 May 2014