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Alcoutim Municipality (Portugal)

Concelho de Alcoutim, Distrito de Faro

Last modified: 2014-11-06 by klaus-michael schneider
Keywords: alcoutim | aleo | castle(silver) | moor's head | king's head | wreath |
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[Alcoutim municipality]
2:3 image by Jorge Candeias, 8 July 1999
[Alcoutim municipality#2]
2:3 image by Jorge Candeias, 8 July 1999

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About the Flag

It is a fairly typical Portuguese municipal flag, with the coat of arms centred on a green and white quartered field.
Jorge Candeias, 1 May 1998

Coat of arms

[Alcoutim municipality CoA] image by Sérgio Horta, 1 May 1998

I’ve seen two versions of the arms, and the one I drew is the one seen in older sources, so it may have been changed a little recently. The description, however, is identical: a red field with a silver castle in chef sided by a Christian king at dexter and a Moorish king at sinister. The remaining field is occupied by the word "ALEO" in gold surrounded by two crossed branches of some unidentifiable plant. The coat of arms is completed by a silver 4-towered mural crown and by a scroll reading "VILA DE ALCOUTIM" (see left flag image above).
The word "aleo" is seen in other municipal arms, but I have no idea of their meaning, and the plant would perhaps mean something if only I could identify it. The chef relates to the traditional arms of the old Kingdom of the Algarve (the two kings) and the castle is a representation of the castle of Alcoutim, part of the old defense line of the border with Spain (by the way, I’ve visited the town recently, and in the other side of the river, near the Spanish town of Sanlúcar de Guadiana there is an imponent Spanish counterpart of the castle of Alcoutim).
Jorge Candeias, 1 May 1998

Flags and arms addopted and published in Diário da República: I Série on 13 February 1985
Sérgio Horta, 1 May 1998

Coat of Arms Variation

In the recent variation of the shield, the letters are smaller, completely surrounded by the plant, and the castle has a different shape, similar to the shape of the castles in the Portuguese arms (see right flag image above).
Jorge Candeias, 1 May 1998

Version without Coat of Arms

[Alcoutim municipality plain] 2:3 image by António Martins-Tuválkin, Apr 2010

Plain (monocoloured) Portuguese subnational flags are not allowed to have variations without arms: plain flags always carry the coat of arms.
Jorge Candeias, 18 July 1999

Presentation of Alcoutim

Alcoutim is a town that belongs to the district of Faro, region of Algarve. The municipality has an area of 575 km², about 4400 inhabitants and is divided into four communes. It’s one of the poorest municipalities of the Algarve, if not the poorest, placed at the northeastern tip of the region, separated from Spain by river Guadiana and from the region of Alentejo by the river Vascão. It has nearly no industries, having an economy totally dependent on agriculture.
Jorge Candeias, 1 May 1998

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