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Côtes-d'Armor (Department, France): Cultural flags

Last modified: 2014-01-11 by ivan sache
Keywords: bagad | bourbriac | cross (black) | ermine: 11 (black) | societe d'emulation des cotes-du-nord | griffin (yellow) |
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Bagad du Pays de Bourbriac

[Bagad de Bourbriac]

Flag of Bagad de Bourbriac - Image by Ivan Sache, 25 July 2003

Bourbriac is a small town (c. 3,000 inhabitants) located south of Guingamp.

According to Philippe Rault (Ar Banniel [arb] #3, Summer 1997), the Bagad du Pays de Bourbriac uses a flag made of a traditional Breton black cross on a white field, charged in the middle with a white rectangle bordered red with 11 black ermine spots (4 + 3 + 4). The charge might refer to the ancient arms of Penthièvre.

Ivan Sache, 25 July 2003

Société d'Emulation des Côtes-du-Nord


Flag of Société d'Emulation des Côtes-du-Nord, reverse and obverse - Images by Olivier Touzeau, 21 October 2002

The Société d'Emulation des Côtes-du-Nord (today the Société d'Emulation des Côtes-d'Armor) was founded on 31 January 1861, by Jules-Henri Geslin de Bourgogne, Joachim Gaultier du Mottay and Jules Lamare. Its aim was "to cause, support and coordinate in Côtes-du-Nord, the efforts of all the men of goodwill, cultivating sciences, the letters and arts". At the time, the activities of the society included:
- monthly meetings opened to all the members and during which the most various subjects related to the department were exposed through conferences or communications;
- the annual publication of a volume of memories, containing in particuliar the main works of the society;
- an annual excursion;
- the provision to the members of a significant library.

The flag of the Société d'Emulation des Côtes-du-Nord can be seen in the book Saint-Brieuc, principal centre touristique des Côtes-Du-Nord en dix excursions, printed by the Presses bretonnes de Saint-Brieuc for the Society in 1932. The author of the book is Viscount Henri Frotier de la Messelère, then secretary-general of the society.
Born in the manor of Premorel in Plesder (Ille-et-Vilaine) on 2 November 1876, Henri Frotier de la Messelière lived long years in Saint-Brieuc, where he died on 6 December 1965. He was a Doctor in Law, and he is the author of many genealogical works, including a famous Recueil de généalogie (1904, 1350 pages, 260 illustrations) and the Filiations bretonnes (1912-1926, 5 volumes, 3 783 pages), and sketches and charts, inventories and descriptions of monuments of the department. His printed works, handwritten notes and drawings, intended to retain the life "in spite of the attacks of time", are preciously preserved at the Archives of the Department. He thus drew, indexed and identified several castles, manors and vaults of Côtes-du-Nord, preceding with one half-century the national Inventaire des Monuments historiques (National Register of Historical Monuments).

Thomas Girard-Lamaury, 21 October 2002

The obverse of the flag shows "the main regions of the Côtes-du-Nord", which are, clockwise from upper hoist :

  • Penthièvre: "Ermine a border gules" was the banner of arms of Gui de Penthièvre, son of the Dule of Brittany Arthur II.
  • Dinan (?).
  • Rohan: "Gules nine mascles or" is the coat of arms of the Rohan lineage.
  • Poher: "Gules, two leopards" were the arms of the Lords of Poher (1426), apanagists of the Counts of Cornouaille.
  • Saint-Brieuc (in the middle): Saint-Brieuc is the préfecture of the department, which explains its central location on the flag, which does not represent the geography of the department. "Azure, a griffin or armed and langued gules" are the arms of the city of Saint-Brieuc. The griffin represents the union of the Montfort and Penthièvre families.

and what looks like the Latin motto of the Society.

The reverse of the flag shows the six Dioceses of the departement of the Côtes-du-Nord, which are, clockwise from upper hoist:

  • Tréguier: The wheat sheaves placed 2+1 come from the arms of the Brosse family. The banner of arms of Lamballe, the capital city of Penthièvre, is quartered, 1 & 4 Brosse, 2&3 Penthièvre.
  • Saint-Brieuc.
  • Dol.
  • Saint-Malo.
  • Vannes
  • Cornouaille.

Olivier Touzeau & Ivan Sache, 21 October 2002

There is today only one Diocese in Côtes d'Armor, called Diocese of Tréguier-St-Brieuc. The other dioceses are from the other departments of Brittany (Finistère, Ille-et-Vilaine and Morbihan).

Yves Le Martret, 30 June 2004