History of la Comissión of Flags and Embassies
In 1976, the Commission of Embassies and Flags was created within the Central Board due to the demand of the festeros themselves in relation to a better organization and tuning of the acts of the guerrillas and embassies. At that time, these events were completely abandoned to their own fate, which meant that they were held in an anarchic manner, in remote streets, without any showiness. During these years there was a great crisis in this aspect of the acts that are considered to be the basis of the Festival. The majority of the groups did not shoot at the guerrillas and the event itself – as well as that of the embassies – was a pure carnival. For all these reasons, some festering shooters, aware that these important events were somewhat forgotten, proposed to the Central Committee the creation of a specific commission to try to organize them and restore them to the status and dignity they lacked at the time. The first president of this commission was the Moorish realist Octavio Moreno Amat, who was replaced the following year by Roberto Navarro Candelas of the Muslim group. But it was in 1978 when he set out in a definitive way with the purpose of reforming the acts of his competence, and he was then appointed president José Blanes Peinado, who would be president until 1990.
The work of this commission will be noticed very soon: all the groups -including, of course, their captains- were forced to shoot, the shooting was organized with excellent security and development results, the itinerary was changed taking it through more central streets towards the Municipal Stadium, where the embassies’ act was organized giving it a solidity and dignity that little by little made it one of the most witnessed -after the parades and procession- of our Festival. Likewise, the Christian Ambassador, who until then was always accompanied by the group of Christians, will also be accompanied by the other groups of the side in rotation.
It was precisely this committee that introduced a major change in the embassies in 1979: the texts that had been recited by the ambassadors up to then and since the reappearance of the festivities in 1945 were discarded. The first ambassadors that used the new texts were Juan Deltell Jover (Christian Ambassador) and Miguel Barcala Vizcíno (Ambassador Dwell). It was felt that they should be replaced by ones more in keeping with the Eldensian feeling and that from the historical point of view they should be somewhat more real than the previous ones. The texts that were introduced, and that are recited nowadays in the June festivities, are: for the Mora Embassy, the text from Alcoy – which is the oldest of the known festive parliaments – attributed then in a way that was considered definitive, to our fellow countryman D. Juan Rico y Amat, romantic writer and poet, who was political leader and corregidor in Alcoy from 1848 to 1850. As for the text of the Christian Embassy, it was adopted the one that with the name of “The Flag of the Cross” wrote in the last century the famous poet Eldense D. Francisco Laliga Gorgues, and that had been given birth by Alberto Navarro Pastor in the Magazine of the Moors and Christians Festivities of Elda in 1967.
In 1984 it was decided -with very good criteria- to move the celebration of the act of the Embassies to the Town Hall Square, neuralgic centre of the city, which was the pending subject of the festive ones that composed the corresponding commission, and that was a complete success of public and organization. For this reason, a pomp was organized in each of the embassies that caused a sensation and gave a greater enhancement to the event in the accompaniment of each ambassador to the castle.
From 1989 onwards, the embassies were represented by Andrés Moreno Amat, a Moorish ambassador, and Carlos Amo Sirvent, a Christian ambassador. In 1995, after the resignation of the first of them due to personal problems, Jorge Bellod López was chosen as Ambassador of the Mohammedan hosts, who together with Carlos Amo hold these positions which have been given the category and dignity they deserve. In 1996, they premiered their own beautiful costumes made in Elda to give greater prominence to the figure of the Ambassador and the Embassies themselves. It is a curious circumstance that this Christian Ambassador -Carlos Amo Sirvent- is the great-grandson of the one who in the 1860s and following years also held the position of Ambassador -in this case it seems that of the Moorish side- Mr. Antonio Sirvent Maestre, whose family jealously guards a sword with the inscribed date of 1869.
Finally, in 1994, the year of the fiftieth anniversary of our Festival, the committee introduced the Estafeta in both embassies, which consists of an emissary on horseback who carries a message to the castle to surrender to the fortress, but is despised in the form of a rebuff. The president of this commission in these years (1991 to 1994) was the well-known festive Manuel González Payá, and from 1995 to 2002 it has been Joaquín Marco Ferriz.
Already in the year 2003, being the new president of the Commission of Embassies and Alardos the zíngar Eduardo Andreu Such, the relief of the ambassadors is going to take place. Carlos Amo and Jorge Bellod will pass the baton to the new ambassadors: Luis Miguel Amorós Ortega -Christian-, and José Santiago Cortés Molla -Moro.
Since 2007, when a new Central Board began chaired by Vicente Amat Núñez and later by Antonio Martínez Miralles, the festive leader of the Muslim group Francisco López Vicente has been in charge of the Commission and there has also been a change of ambassadors in the persons of two other festive leaders who will be in charge of reciting the embassies of our Festival. They are Isidro Juan Gallardo as Christian Ambassador and Damián Varea de Lamo as Moorish Ambassador, who have stood out for their good work of true dramatic vein since they belong to an amateur theatre group of the Eldense party.
From 2011, within the organization chart of the new Board chaired by Pedro García Calvo, the Moroccan Moor Pedro Serrano Gutiérrez assumes the presidency of the committee, being carried out in this stage important novelties as the preparation of the current suits of the ambassadors, the preparation of covers for the fences in the Embassies, and some more aspects in the accomplishment of the embassy acts, that contribute to that these acts are considered one of the most cared acts of the Fiesta Eldense.
In 2014, and in the second Board of President Pedro García Calvo, Cristiano José Antonio Sánchez Maciá takes over the presidency of this commission. In recent years, the relief of the ambassadors has taken place again, and the charges of the Hueste de Cadí David Juan Monzó as Ambassador Moro since 2016 and the Contrabandista Alberto Rodríguez López as Christian Ambassador since 2018.
In the third Joint of Pedro García Calvo, assumes the charge of the presidency of this commission the Contrabandista Gaby Navarro Muñoz.