Last modified: 2017-02-11 by ivan sache
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Flag of Santa Elena - Image from the Símbolos de Jaén website, 4 December 2015
The municipality of Santa Elena (970 inhabitants in 2013; 14,400 ha; municipal website) is located 80 km north of Jaén, on the border with Castilla-La Mancha (Province of Ciudad Real.
Santa Elena is the site of the huge rocky columns known as the Organ; spreading over 87 ha, the site, which was registered on 23 November 2001 as an Andalusian Natural Monument. The place has been settled for ages, as evidenced by rock paintings among the 69 Andalusian prehistoric sites that were inscribed in 1998 on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The paintings of the cave of Los Escolares, discovered in 1973 by a group of schoolboys, were vandalized in 2014.
[El Pais, 21 April 2014]
The Iberian sanctuary of Collado de los Jardines, locally known as the Cave of the Puppets, has yielded some 2,500 bronze ex-votos, discovered in 1916-1919 by I. Calvo and J. Cabré, shown in the National Museum of Archeology of Madrid.
[L.M. Gutiérrez Soler, C. Rueda Galán, J.P. Bellón Ruiz. Collado de los Jardines (Santa Elena, Jaén). Revisión de la zona arqueológica asociada a la cueva-santuario. In L. Benitez de Lugo, G. Esteban Borrajo, P. Hevia Gómez (eds.). Protohistoria y Antigüedad en la provincia de Ciudad Real (800 a.c. - 500 d.c.)]
The Almohad Caliph Al-Nasir established in 1212 his camp in Santa Elena, short before being defeated on 17 July by Alfonso VIII in Las Navas de Tolosa. A church was erected in Santa Elena to keep the miraculous cross wore during the battle by Archbishop of Toiedo, Rodrigo Jiménez de Rada. The victory was subsequently known as the Triumph of the Holy Cross and the church was dedicated to St. Helen.
P>Santa Elena is one of the New Settlements of Sierra Morena and Andalusia, established by Royal Letters (text) signed on 5 July 1767 in Madrid by King Charles III. The document contains "instructions and the settlement charter to be applied in those [settlements] newly established in the Sierra Morena with natives and Roman Catholic foreigners". The Preamble of the Letters states that Pablo de Olavide, Knight of the Order of St. James, "Assistant" of the king in Seville and Intendent of the Army of Andalusia, is appointed Superintendant General in charge of the direction of the new settlements to be established in Sierra Morena. The king "proposes" that Juan Gaspar de Thurriégel, of Bavarian citizenship and Roman Catholic religion, introduces 6,000 Roman Catholic, German and Flemish colonists in the kingdom.
The New Settlement was named for the old, ruined St. Helen church. In 1793, King Charles V ordered the suppression of the church and the erection of a brand new one in colonial style.
Ivan Sache, 4 December 2015
The flag of Santa Elena, submitted on 3 October 2013 by the Municipal Council to the Directorate General of the Local Administration, is prescribed by a Resolution adopted on 11 October 2013 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration and published on 22 October 2013 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 208, p. 20 (text).
The flag is described as follows:
Flag: Rectangular, with a relation of 3/2 between its maximum and minimum dimensions, made of three horizontal stripes of equal proportions. The upper stripe, Umayyad green, the central stripe, celestial blue, and the lower stripe, garnet. The municipal coat of arms shall be placed in the central part, proportionally overlapping the three stripes.
The flag was designed by Juan Carlos Torres, Official Chronicler of Santa Elena, and the designer Julio Garrido.
The upper stripe is of the colour of the New Settlements of Sierra Morena and of Andalusia. The central stripe is of the traditional colour of the Immaculate Conception, the patron saint of the New Settlements, while the lower stripe is of the colour of the cloak of St. Helen, the town's namesake. This colour recalls porphyry, used in the tomb of St. Helen's family and the statues of the Roman emperors of the 4th century standing on St. Mark's square in Venice. Green and blue are also shown on the flag of the New Settlements of Sierra Morena and Andalusia.
The flag was inaugurated on 6 March 2014 (Diario de Jaén, 7 March 2014; video).
The coat of arms of Santa Elena, adopted on 1 October 2013 by the Municipal Council and submitted on 3 October 2013 to the Directorate General of the Local Administration, is prescribed by a Resolution adopted on 11 October 2013 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration and published on 22 October 2013 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 208, p. 21 (text).
The coat of arms, of "immemorial use", is described as follows:
Coat of arms: Quarterly, 1. Argent a Latin cross shining or, 2. Sable a crescent argent reversed, 3. Gules a castle or masoned sable port and windows azure, 4. Argent a lion rampant gules crowned langued and armed or. The shield in Spanish-French shape, surmounted by an Infante's coronet.
Ivan Sache, 4 December 2015