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City of Cartagena (Murcia, Spain)

Murcia Province

Last modified: 2006-05-27 by
Keywords: murcia | cartagena | municipality | canton | blood | coat of arms |
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[City of Cartagena (Murcia, Spain)] 2:3
by Santiago Dotor

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Description and history

I have information about Cartagena flag, current and past. Firstly, the canton of Cartagena [of 19th century First Spanish Republic fame] was not only the city of Cartagena and its region: in fact the cantonal capital was Murcia (but the city of Murcia was soon under the control of central government). The canton claimed also the province of Albacete.

The flag was the 1869 federalist uprising flag: plain red. The story goes that in the city there were no red flags, so a Turkish flag was used, and a soldier covered the crescent and star with his blood. This is why the flag of Cartagena was later dark red (blood red). Currently it is dark red with coat-of-arms in the centre. The federalists in Spain were led by the Catalan Pi i Margall and by Gálvez in Cartagena. The conquest of Cartagena was made posible with the help of Prussian warships. Most of this information is quoted in the book Mr. Witt en el Cantón.

Jaume Ollé, 25 September 1998

According to my sources, Cartagena was never conquered. It was sieged by Generals Martínez Campos and López Domínguez. The cantonalists sent two frigates to sail the coast from Cartagena to Málaga to raise support and obtain supplies. In spite of bombing Almeria and threatening to do so with Alicante, they were unsuccessful, being finally captured by a German frigate as pirate ships. Neither of the prime ministers, Pi i Margall, Salmerón nor Castelar could end up Cartagena's resistance. General Pavía's coup established a new government which offered the cantonalists an overall pardon together with readmission in the army of the rebel troops. This put an end to Cartagena's short independence.

Santiago Dotor, 2 October 1998