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Municipality of Garafía (La Palma Island, Santa Cruz de Tenerife Province, Canary Islands, Sp

Last modified: 2010-03-20 by eugene ipavec
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[Municipality of Garafí (La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain)]
image by Franc Van Diest, based on this image



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Introduction

The town of Garafía (2,006 inhabitants; 102.99 km²) is located 90 km from Santa Cruz de la Palma. The seat of the municipality is the village of Santo Domingo. Garafía is one of the widest but least inhabited municipalities of the island, the villages being isolated from each other by deep ravines [1].

Ivan Sache, 24 Feb 2007


Description

The flag and arms of Garafía, adopted on 5 July 1995 and published on 5 July 1995 in the Canary islands official gazette [2], are presented as follows [3]:

The flag of Garafía is vertically divided green-yellow-blue with the municipal coat of arms (without the scroll) in the middle. The green stripe recalls the pine shown on the coat of arms. The yellow stripe recalls wheat, which was once the staple food in the region. Yellow is also the colour of sunset, recalling that Garafía is located in the western part of the Canary islands. Finally, yellow is the colour of the "codeso" (Adenocarpus complicatus (L.) J. Gay), a broom-like shrub to that grows profusely on the heights of Garafía. The blue stripe recalls the sky shown on the coat of arms and the observatory of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias [4], built on Roque de los Muchachos (Children's Rock) on a plot granted by the municipality of Garafía.

Ivan Sache, 24 Feb 2007


Coat of Arms

The coat of arms of Garafía is: Per pale azure 14 mullets placed 3, 3, 3, 3 and 2 argent a pine proper fusted grafted in base gules a spiral motif or. The shield is surmounted by a Royal crown. The scroll bearing in Gothic letters the title "VILLA DE GARAFIA," granted by the King in 1906, is not shown on the flag. The pine is the representation of the old emblematic tree located on the place called Cruz Castillo, on the road linking the boroughs of Roque del Faro and Franceses. It is a Canary island pine, aka pino Canario, in Latin "Pinus canariensis" C. Smith. This species, the tallest tree in the Canary islands, is endemic to these islands (but absent on Gomera island) and is registered on the IUCN List of Threatened SpeciesŪ [5]. The authorities are well aware of the importance of retaining forest cover on the extremely permeable volcanic "soil" of the island in order to ensure water supplies. Exploitation of its timber has been banned and this ban is strictly enforced. The Canary island pine has been successfully naturalized in Australia and South Africa. On the shield, the pine symbolizes the natural resources and the economic development of Garafía. The spiral is the representation of the pre-Hispanic petroglyphs particulary common in the district of Garafía, especially in the sites of Zarza (11 "plates") and Zarcita (9 plates). On the shield, it represents the cultural heritage of Garafía.

The stars are not explained in the source, but they most probably refer to the aforementioned Insitute of Astrophysics.

Jorge Hurtado made a detailed image of the coat of arms [6].

Ivan Sache, 24 Feb 2007


Sources:
  1. http://www.infolapalma.com/garafia/, several pages and images missing
  2. http://www.gobcan.es/boc/1995/084/006.html
  3. http://www.infolapalma.com/garafia/garescudes.htm
  4. http://www.iac.es/gabinete/orm/indice.html
  5. http://www.iucnredlist.org/search/details.php/39603/all
  6. http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Atrium/3642/images/esc_garafia.jpg
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