Does the flag of Andalucia hold a hidden, ancient truth?

Can you see the hidden message? Credit: Miguillen/Creative Commons

Without a doubt, one of the most famous men of legends in history is the mighty Hercules. 

Known for being the son of Zeus, his incredible strength and the Twelve Labours that he performed for King Eurystheus, Hercules is the protagonist of many myths, even inspiring a hit Disney film! 

However, did you know that one of the most famous stories about Hercules happened right here in Andalucia? The legend states that time ago when the continents were connected, and Africa and Spain sat together, Hercules had to cross the mountain located between them that was once Atlas. According to some Roman sources, while on his way to the garden of the Hesperides on the island of Erytheia, instead of climbing the great mountain, Hercules used his superhuman strength to smash through it. By doing so, he connected the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea and formed the Strait of Gibraltar. One part of the split mountain is Gibraltar and the other is either Monte Hacho or Jebel Musa. These two mountains taken together have since then been known as the Pillars of Hercules

Today in Andalucia’s flag you can see Hercules in the middle of these two columns, and at the top of the columns, although difficult to make out, it reads ‘dominator Hercules fundator’, which translates to dominator Hercules the founder. Does this mean that the legends are true and the mighty Hercules was in fact the founder of Andalucia? 

Archaeologists have reported that they have located the site of the lost Temple of Hercules Gaditanus near Cadiz, Spain, which was an ancient pilgrimage destination visited by the likes of Roman dictator Julius Caesar and Carthaginian general Hannibal.

Perhaps the truth has been lost, or forgotten in time, but the symbol of their founder still stands proud on the flag of the Andalucian people to this day, as a reminder to all who wish to see.

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Written by

Jennifer Popplewell

Jennifer is a proud northerner from Sheffield, England, who is currently living in Spain. She loves swimming in rivers, talking to the stars and eating luxurious chocolate.