Last modified: 2014-04-30 by ivan sache
Keywords: franco-prussian war |
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Flag of volontaires de l'Ouest - Image by Marc Pasquin, 22 January 2014 (reconstruction, no original seen)
After the surrender of the Papal forces during the Resurgimiento, some of the Pontifical Zouaves joined the French forces during the Franco-Prussian war as the Légion des volontaires de l'Ouest and were allowed to carry a modified French regimental colour. A copy of this flag was owned by the Regiment of the Canadian Pontifical Zouaves. It was donated to the Musée de l'Amérique Française (Quebec City); a writen description of the flag, based on observations of it, appear in the book Les Zouaves de Québec au XXe siècle by Diane Audy.
The obverse is composed of a squarish tricolore (assumed French, of standard size of the period). In the center is a sacred heart representation surrounded by the words "CŒur Sacré de Jésus Espoir et Salut de la France" [Sacred Heart of Jesus Hope and Salvation of France]. In each corner are the words "Dieu" [God] "Patrie" [Fatherland]. The reverse is said to be a plain tricolore.
No indication is given as to why the Canadian Zouaves had a reproduction of the flag as, apart from having both being founded by Pontifical Zouaves veterans, there was no connection between the two2 organisations. The only real explanation I can come up with is that it might have been given to them by a French organization at some point as a gift.
Marc Pasquin, 17 January 2014