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Pinon (Municipality, Aisne, France)

Last modified: 2021-02-13 by ivan sache
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Flag of Pinon - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 5 July 2020

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Presentation of Pinon

The municipality of Pinon (1,728 inhabitants in 2018; 948 ha) is located 15 km south-west of Laon.

Pinon belonged at the beginning of the 12th century to the monks of the Saint-Crépin-le Grand abbey in Soissons. Enguerrand II de Coucy succeeded them in 1130 and built a fortified castle surrounded by water. Leaving for the Holy Land, he bequeathed the lordship to his youngest son, Robert de Coucy, who took the title of lord of Pinon. He is by his mother, Alix II de Dreux, the grandson of Robert I de Dreux and the great grandson of the king of France Louis VI.
Enguerrand VII de Coucy, before dying during an expedition against the Turks in 1397, transmitted the domain of Pinon to his daughter Marie, wife of Robert de Bar, who died in Palestine. She sold half of the estate to Duke Louis I d'Orléans, younger brother of King Charles VI. The Duke d'Orléans, lord of Pinon, was assassinated in Paris in 1407 by the minions of the Duke of Burgundy, John Fearless: this murder is at the origin of the Civil War between Armagnacs and Burgundians.
The Pinon estate was sold in 1425 to the de Biche family.

Pinon was Aisne's most damaged municipality in the two World Wars.
Pinon was occupied in September 1914 by the German army, which organized the rear base of the Chemin des Dames front. The castle of Pinon served as headquarters for General von Klück, commander of the First German Army, and was visited by Kaiser William II and the Kronprinz. During the winter of 1917, French units counter-attacked. The 62nd infantry regiment was distinguished by its bravery in fighting. During the battles fought on 27 and 28 May 1918 in the Pinon forest, the 219th infantry regiment and the 264th infantry regiment heroically resisted to the German attack by a powerful support of artillery and the use of yperite gas.
The castle of Pinon, the church and the Town Hall, as well as the majority of the houses of the village were entirely destroyed during the wars. Pinon was awarded the War Cross 1914-1918 on 17 October 1920.

In 1940, Pinon was an important place in the battle of the Ailette. The 7th Battalion of Chasseurs alpins BCA) suffered losses at 60% of its workforce. Its commander, Commander Soutiras, was shot down. A remembrance ceremony is celebrated every year in front of the monument of the 7th BCA, in the presence of a detachment of troops from Savoy. Since 1970, Pinon has been twinned with the town of Bourg-Saint-Maurice (Savoy), in memory of the 7th BCA which was stationed in this town until 2012.
The city was bombed many times by the Allied aviation in 1944. Out of 221 buildings, 81 were completely destroyed. Pinon was granted the 1939-1945 Cross of War with bronze star.

Olivier Touzeau & Ivan Sache, 5 July 2020

Flag of Pinon

The flag of Pinon (photo, photo) is white with the municipal coat of arms, "Quarterly, 1. and 4. Gules a pine cone argent, 2. and 3. Vert a five-branched vepre or. Inescutcheon fessy vair and gules a canton argent".

The pine cones (pommes de pin) undoubtedly make the arms canting.
The Armorial Général features "Azure a chevron or cantonned by three cone pines 2 and 1 of the same" as the arms of several members of the Pinon lineage: Étienne Pinon, "Conseiller du Roy en sa Cour de Parlement, en la grande Chambre" (image); Jeanne Pinon, wife of Michel Viallard, Lord of Hersse (image; Nicolas Pinon, "premier Président au Bureau des Finances de la Généralité de Paris" (image); Bernard Pinon, "Conseiller en Parlement en la section des Enquêtes" (image); Pierre Pinon (with a white label in chief), "(feu) Chevalier Seigneur de Villemaine, Trésorier de France à Paris" (image; and N. Pinon, "Conseiller du Roi en ses Conseils et Président en son grand Conseil" (image).

The French heraldic counterpart of "vepre" is créquier, a word used in northern France to designate blackthorn, derived from Lower German kreke via Eastern Dutch crieke. The heraldic créquier, dated to the late 14th century, is "a tree with roots". Dom Duplessis (Description géographique et historique de la Haute-Normandie), fooled by the seven branches, erroneously related créquier to the Old German word Kerk, "a church".
As featured on the canting arms of the Créquy family, the créquier should have seven branches, unless stated in the blazon.
[O'Kelly de Galway, 1901; Viton de Saint-Allais, 1816; Duhoux d'Argicourt, 1899; Au blason des armoiries]

The Armorial Général features "Or a vepre gules" as the arms of Alexandre, Knight Lord of Créqui (image); Marie-Louise Isabelle Clara de Créquy (image); Charlote de Créquy (image); Jean-François de Créquy Vuicquenghen (image); Alphonse de Créquy, Marquis of Canaples (1629-1711) (image); François, sire de Créquy, "Maréchal de France et général des Armées de sa Majesté" (1625-1687) (image); Pierre de Créquy, Knight Lord of Oberval (image); Antoine de Créquy, Knight Viscount of Vrolanti (image); Henry-Jacques de Créquy, Knight Baron of Bainchin and other places (image; and Antoine Léonard de Créquy, Knight Viscount of Langle (image).

The inescutcheon bears the arms of Robert II de Coucy-Pinon. The two War Crosses are appended to the shield. The Latin motto "montis vires vallisque lenitas" reads "The Mountain's Strength, the Valley's Sweetness".

Olivier Touzeau & Ivan Sache, 5 July 2020