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Binic-Étables-sur-Mer (Municipality, Côtes-d'Armor, France)


Last modified: 2022-03-06 by ivan sache
Keywords: binic-étables-sur-mer |
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Flag of Binic-Étables-sur-Mer - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 13 November 2021

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Presentation of Binic-Étables-sur-Mer

The new municipality of Binic-Étables-sur-Mer (6,922 inhabitans in 2016; 1,534 ha; municipal website) was established on 1 March 2016 as the merger of the former municipalities of Binic and Étables-sur-Mer.

Ivan Sache, 31 October 2018

Flag of Binic-Étables-sur-Mer

The flag of Binic-Étables-sur-Mer (photo, photo, photo) is white with the municipal logo adopted in 2016.

Olivier Touzeau, 13 November 2021


[Flag]         [Flag]

Flags of Binic - Images by Arnaud Leroy, 13 March 2004, and Olivier Touzeau, 13 November 2021, respectively

Binic was most probably named from pen (Breton, "the head") and ic, the name of a small river. Binic would therefore mean "the mouth of river Ic".
Neolithic remains have been found in Binic, for instance the menhir known as St. Giles' Chair, and other megalithic monuments whose stones were used in the 19th century to rebuild the quays of the port. Binic was later a Celtic, then Roman fortified camp (oppidum).
In the Middle Ages, the village, then called La Ville de Binic, had only 20 houses and was a part of the parish of Étables-sur-Mer.

Binic was granted the municipal status in 1821 only, due to the lobbying efforts by the shipowner François Le Saulnier de Saint-Jouan, a cousin of the famous corsair Surcouf (1773-1827) from Saint-Malo. Le Saulnier was the first elected Mayor of Binic, which then had 1,611 inhabitants.
In 1845, Binic was the most important French port for the so-called grande pêche. The fishers from Binic, along with the Basque fishers, were among the first ones to go fishing on the Newfoundland banks. A ship from Binic called La Catherine was recorded near Newfoundland in 1523. The fishers from Binic invented a method called bénicasser la morue, now lost: it might have been either a method of conservation of cod (morue) or a system of distribution of cods among the ships. In 1845, 37 ships were registered in Binic, hiring 1,800 seaman. The average yearly traffic in the port was 150-160 ships, requiring 600 on-shore workers. Accordingly, there were also 37 pubs in the village.
The fishing campaign to Newfoundland involved three-masters called terre-neuvas, after the French name of Newfoundland, Terre-Neuve. The ships left Binic in April for a six-month campaign. Each ship had a crew of 25-36, including the novices, aged 12. At the end of the 19th century, the three-masters were replaced by schooners and Newfoundland was abandoned for Iceland, the fishing season being February to August. There were still 18 schooners registered in Binic in 1895, but only five of them in 1913.
Binic was progressively transformed in a nice sea resort while fishing activity was maintained, especially scallop fishing, now the main fishing activity in the Bay of Saint-Brieuc. Since 1992, this activity has been mostly located in the neighbouring port of Saint-Quay-Portrieux, where a new port and a modern auction room were built.

The most famous native of Binic is Captain François Rioual. He started his career as a novice and was appointed in 1897, aged 26, captain of the big three-master Belem for her second transatlantic journey Nantes-Montevideo-Belem.
The Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget (1896-1980), founder of genetic epistemiology, started his long scientific career as a malacologist (shell specialist). During his summer vacation in 1909, he had to stay in Binic since there was an epidemic of typhoid fever in Saint-Brieuc. He collected a lot of shells, which he described in Les Mollusques terrestres et fluviatiles des environs de Binic (Près de Saint-Brieuc, Côtes-du-Nord, Bretagne), a paper presented on 23 February 1911 to the Société Neuchâteloise des Sciences Naturelles.

The flag of Binic was a banner of the municipal arms, "Azure two fish fesswise in pale argent a chief ermine" (photo, photo). The municipality also used a flag horizontally divided blue-green, modeled on the department flag, with "BiniC" written in white letters.

Pascal Vagnat, Olivier Touzeau & Ivan Sache, 13 November 2021

Club Nautique de Binic

[Flag]         [Flag]

Burgee of CNB, two versions - Images by Ivan Sache, 24 February 2019

The burgee of the Club Nautique de Binic (photo) is horizontally divided white-red with a black ermine spot in the white stripe.
There is also a version of this burgee that includes the text "Club Nautique Binic" in black all-caps along the lower edge (image).

Ivan Sache & Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 26 February 2019



Flag of Ébles-sur-Mer - Image by Ivan Sache, 9 September 2013

Étables-sur-Mer (Étables until 1949) developed around a church and a priory built in the 13th century. The priory was suppressed during the French Revolution; at the same time, the stone calvary dated form the late 15th-early 16th centuries was dismantled and hidden, to be eventually rebuilt in the 19th century.
In the past, most of the families of the village lived from cod fishing in Newfoundland and Iceland, being hired by the shipowners from the neighbouring town of Paimpol. The nickname of the inhabitants of the village, Tagarins, may refer to fishing. In the fisher's jargon, tagarins were fearless men who would do everything to get the best fishing spots, maybe as a reference to pirates from Algiers of the same name. However, the historian Bernard Tanguy believes that tagarin comes from Latin stabulum or tugdurium, meaning "a group of small houses".

The Our Lady of Hope chapel, built in 1850 following a cholera epidemic, was a place of pilgrimage for fishers, who decorated it with ex-votos. A perfect replica of the chapel was dedicated on 17 March 2008 in the Town of Felicity (official website), founded on 11 March 1986 in California by Jacques-André Istel (b. 1929), an US citizen of French origin, as the "Official Center of the World". Istel visited Étables in 2004 and decided to build the "church on the hill" as a replica of the Étables chapel.

Étables is the birth place of Anne-Thérèse Guérin (1798-1856), who took the coat in 1823 with the Community of Sisters of Providence, as Sister St. Théodore. In 1840, she founded a school in St. Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, and was declared, as Mother Théodore, Superior General of the Sisters of Providence of Saint-Mary-of-the-Woods (official website), a new order separated from the French order, eventually approved by the Holy See in 1887.
Mother Théodore was beatified by Pope John-Paul II on 25 October 1998 and canonized, as St. Theodora, by Pope Benedict XVI on 15 October 2006.

Étables became a sea resort at the end of the 19th century thanks to Oscar Legris (1844-1911), a rich industrial from Versailles, owner of the textile dyeing factory La Kabiline. In 1878, Legris built beach huts and organized warm baths in the Godelins beach, on the model of the neighbouring resort of Saint-Quay. In 1895-1900, he funded the building of a promenade and of another 85 huts, and started the set up of a new borough after having acquired more than 50 small plots (8-9 ha). Legris built 18 villas, differing in size but of the same architecture, arranged along the beach according to the alphabetic order of their names, all being surnames (Amélie, Béatrix, Charlotte, Denise [renamed Saint-Denis], Elisabeth, Flore, Germaine, Henri, Henriette, Isabelle, Jeanne, Lucie, Madeleine [La Korrigane], Noémi, Odon [Ker Odon], Olga, Praxède, Radegonde and Solange). Some of these villas were subsequently decorated by the mosaic artist Isidore Odorico (1893-1945, also a famous football player and manager of Stade Rennais, one of the founders of professional football in France). Each villa was rented, fully furnished, with a matching beach hut. Legris also sold plots to build new villas, whose design (and name!) should comply with strict urbanism regulations.
In 1906, the Hôtel Bellevue and the Hô:tel de la Plage were erected on plots sold by Legris. A project of horse-drawn tramway linking the villas to the beach, drafted in 1910, was deemed too expensive and never realized.

The flag of Étables-sur-Mer, as reported by D. Kervella and M. Bodlore- Penlaez (Guide des drapeaux bretons et celtes [ker98]), is divided blue-yellow by the descending diagonal. The origin of the flag and the meaning of the colours are unknown.

Ivan Sache, 9 Septemner 2012