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Iznatoraf (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2014-03-16 by ivan sache
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Flag of Iznatoraf - Image by Ivan Sache, 9 August 2009

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Presentation of Iznatoraf

The municipality of Iznatoraf (1,126 inhabitants in 2008; 8,654 ha, including the exclave of Bardazoso; municipal website; unofficial website) is located 100 km north-east of Jaén.

Due to its strategic location on the road to the mines of the Sierra Morena, the site of Iznatoraf has been inhabited since the Prehistoric times. The most significant remains date back from the 6th century BC, and are linked to the Argar Culture. Some authors say that Iznatoraf was originally named Antorgis or Anatorgis. The writer Ceán Bermúdez (1749-1829) claims that Hannibal grouped his army at Iznatoraf and sent from there a part of the troops to Italy. After his defeat at the Battle of Munda in 45 BC, Gnaeus Pompeius (aka Pompey the Younger) is said to have fled to Iznatoraf. The Romans called the place Mons Terens or Promontorius, forming the border between the barren and the fertile (Andalusia) lands.
The Moors built on the remains of a Visigothic fortress the citadel of Hisn-al-Turâb (the Castle of Dust, rather than the Castle of the Border). The citadel was reconquered following "voluntary submission" (that is, without fighting) by King Ferdinand III the Saint and Archbishop Ximénez de Rada in 1235. Resettled by colonists from central and northern Spain, Iznatoraf, then known as Aznaltoraf or Heznatoraph, was granted the status of realengo (Royal territory) for a short period. The village did not give obeisance to any lord, military order or church dignitary, and was ruled by the Iznatoraf Code (Fuero de Iznatoraf), a book of 885 laws adapted from the Cuenca Code.
In 1252, King Alfonso X transferred Iznatoraf to the Domain of Cazorla, owned by the Archbishop of Toledo until the 19th century. Located on a height, the village watched its hamlets, La Moraleja and La Torre de Mingo Pliego, as well as the place of Sorihuela, in which emerged Villanueva del Arzobisopo (1396), Villacarrillo (1449) and Sorihuela del Guadalimar (1595). The relations between the village and its "daughters" were not easy and the source of several court cases. Iznatoraf progressively lost most of its original territory. In the 16th century, Iznatoraf was visited by Miguel de Cervantes, who collected in 1591-1592 96 fanegas of wheat for Philip II's galleys, and by St. John of the Cross, who is said to have exorcized in 1577 a person possessed in the village.
The local hero is Bishop Antonio Tavira y Almazán (1737-1807). Appointed Prior of the Uclés Monastery by the Order of Saint James (1788-1791), Tavira was then Bishop of the Canary Islands (1791-1796), where he founded the University of La Laguna (officially established on 11 March 1792 by Royal Decree of Charles IV), of Burgo de Osma (1796-1798) and of Salamanca (1798-1807), where he reformed the university. Tavira also attempted to restrict the jurisdiction of the Inquisition and to modernize the structure of the Spanish church.

Ivan Sache, 9 August 2009

Symbols of Iznatoraf

The flag and arms of Iznatoraf, adopted on 29 January 2004 by the Municipal Council, are prescribed by a Decree adopted on 19 March 2004 by the Directorate General of the Local Administration and published on 19 April 2004 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 75, pp. 9,467-9,469 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular, with proportions three units in length on two units in height, quartered per saltire: 1st and 3rd quarters, purple; and 2nd and 4th quarters, green flag, fully charged with the crowned the coat of arms of Iznatoraf.
Coat of arms: Per pale, 1. Vert a cross trefoiled or cantonned with four eight-pointed stars of the same, 2. Gules a castle or with three crenels masoned sable port and windows azure flanked dexter and sinister by a hand proper, placed per bend sinister and per bend, respectively [...] The shield in Spanish shape, surmounted with a Royal Spanish crown closed.

The flag (photo) was officially presented on 30 August 2003 by the Chronicler of Iznatoraf, Tomás Moreno Bravo (text). A flag was made with coloured sawdust for the Corpus Christi Festival 2004 (photo).

The symbols were proposed by the historian and heraldist Andrés Nicás Moreno, author of the memoir Memoria histórica, heráldica, vexilológica y sigilográfica de Izantoraf (Jaén), approved by the Municipal Council on 8 August 2003, and published in 2004 in Boletin del Instituto de Estudios Giennenses, 189, 177-212 (PDF file). The appendix to the memoir includes three plates of historical facsimiles (documents and seals) and the proposed symbols. The graphic design of the flag and coat of arms is credited to Juan Millán Bruno.
The coat of arms is based on a colour seal used on local acts for the first time in 1857 and also documented in the sigillographic collection of the National Historic Archives (record dated 1876). These seals are related to medieval seals dated 1325 kept in the Úbeda Historic Archives, directly linked with the Municipality of Cazorla, of which Iznatoraf depended since the transfer of the village to the Archbishop of Toledo.
The charges represented in the two quarters are of medieval origin. The Greek cross trefoiled is the emblem of the Archbishops of Toledo; the cross is simple, meaning that the Archbishops exerted the temporal power only, the religious power being ran by the Bishop of Jaén. When exerting both powers, the Archbishops of Toledo used a double cross of the same design. The fours stars around the cross represent the four villas forming the historical territory of Iznatoraf: Iznatoraf proper, La Moraleja (Villanueva del Arzobispo), La Torre de Domingo Pliego (Villacarrillo) and Sorihuela del Guadalimar. The second quarter represents the castle that once existed in the village to watch the domain of Cazorla. The hands represents the hommage and the strategic importance of the big village of Iznatoraf; the castle is also common in the municipal heraldry of the Jaén Province, recalling that it formed the border with the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada.
Vert in the first quarter is the colour of the Archbishops of Toledo, who used this colour for their galero and tassels on their arms. The cross on their arms was or, and the stars are represented or, too, for the sake of aesthetics. Gules and or in the second quarter refers to the Kingdom of Castile, recalling that King Ferdinand III reconquered the village and granted him the status of Royal territory.
As for the flag, nothing has been found on any kind of flag in Iznatoraf, so that the flag had to be designed from scratch. Purple recalls the Archbishops of Toledo, who had purple clothes, purple being also common in church heraldry. Green recalls the Muslim heritage (customs, traditions and gastronomy).

The colour specifications are given on the Pantone scale as follows:
- Purple: P-- 2627U;
- Green: V- 339U;
Coat of arms
- Vert: Green 339 U;
- Gules: Red 192 C;
- Or: Gold 117 C;
- Skin: Orangey 021 C.

Ivan Sache, 9 August 2009