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Bègles (Municipality, Gironde, France)

Last modified: 2024-04-06 by olivier touzeau
Keywords: bègles | gironde |
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Flag of Bègles - Images by Olivier Touzeau, 22 April 2022

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Presentation of Bègles

Bègles (30,813 inhabitants in 2021 on 996 ha) is a commune in the Gironde department. It is a suburb of the city of Bordeaux and is adjacent to it on the south.

Historically sandwiched between the road from Langon to Bordeaux and the river Garonne, the territory of Bègles was fragmented into several sites of populations isolated from each other. On the western part, a district called “La Raze” (or La Rase) from the 13th century, drew a vast triangle planted with vines, sparsely populated and very poor in trees. It was divided into many vineyard plots, crossed by small paths and "streets". To the south-southeast, a town sat around the first Christian sanctuary. The east showed an expanse of marshland, such as the Saint-Maurice marsh, where a population of fishermen lived around the many esteys that flowed into the river. Between these hamlets (or cournau, isolated village), there was a network of local roads.

In the 6th century the Benedictines of the Abbey of Sainte-Croix de Bordeaux built the Sanctus Pétrus de Bécula church. Dedicated to Saint Peter, patron saint of fishermen, it became a place of pilgrimage until the Revolution. The current church was rebuilt in the 13th century by the Benedictines who placed a relic of Saint Maur there. In the 12th century, the first attested seigniorial family appeared, the Centujean, owner of a huge estate planted mainly with vines. Territorial quarrels between the abbots of Sainte-Croix and the seigniory of Centujean will last for centuries.
In 1295, the King of France Philippe le Bel annexed Bègles to the jurisdiction of Bordeaux. The members of the brotherhood of Saint-Pierre were responsible for the economic interests of the town, whose life was centered around the church.

In 1598, Henri IV promulgated the Edict of Nantes which put an end to the Wars of Religion between Catholics and Protestants. The edict authorized Protestant worship, but only in the suburbs of cities (outside the walls).
In 1604, Marshal Alphonse d'Ornano, mayor of Bordeaux since 1599, designated the parish of Bègles ("Baigle") to house a temple for "those of the Pretended Reformed Religion" (the edict of Nantes thus designates Protestantism) . On October 18, 1685, the king promulgated the Edict of Fontainebleau, the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. The temple was demolished and razed by 350 workers. The goods and materials were handed over to the Manufacture Hospital by court order. The Catholic clergy celebrated their victory by having a Calvary built on the site of the destroyed building.

During the revolution, the vineyard was preponderant. But following the diseases of the vine in the 19th century, the decline of large properties upset the cadastre of the territory. The retreat of the vine gave way to a progressive and often anarchic population. The winegrowers then became workers in the industries that were starting. The first three elements that forged the originality of Bègles were put in place: the appearance of cod drying rooms, the establishment of the railway complex and the amputation of the northern part of the town in favor of the Bordeaux boulevards.
In 1820, the city consisted of three villages and nine hamlets for a total of 535 houses and 2,050 inhabitants. It produced an abundance of fruits and vegetables as well as a high quality Graves wine. Along with cod, radishes became one of its main resources. Around 1830, on land freed by vines, the first cod drying rooms were set up in Bègles, which became the second largest cod center in France, after Fécamp. The 1880s marked the establishment of the town's first heavy industry. The oil refinery was built right in the vineyards. Bègles became the first industrial suburb of Bordeaux and the most populated until 1931.

During the First World War, two aeronautical factories set up in Bègles: Nieuport and Louis Blériot. In 1923 the Club Athlétique Béglais (C.A.B.) began to make a name for itself by becoming the Côte d'Argent rugby union champion.

Ruled by the left under the Popular Front, the city was ruled by the Union de la Gauche too from 1959 to 1989 bringing together communists, socialists, Christians, secularists and non-parties. During this period, the city set up an important social program and equipped itself with modern infrastructures typical of the sixties, housing, sanitation, retirement home, crèche, library.

In 1989, Noël Mamère (former journalist and politician in favor of political ecology) was elected mayor of Bègles. On June 5, 2004, in a highly publicized coup, Noël Mamère celebrated the first same-sex marriage in French history in Bègles, which was finally annulled by the district court on July 27, 2004 (decision confirmed by the Bordeaux Court of Appeal, April 19, 2005 and by the Court of Cassation, March 13, 2007). On June 15, 2004, Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin suspended Noël Mamère from his duties as mayor pursuant to article L 2122-16 of the general code of local authorities. Noël Mamère appealed against his suspension but, on July 9, 2004, the Administrative Court of Bordeaux upheld the decision of the Minister of the Interior. During this period, it was his first deputy-mayor, Michel Mercier (PS), who effectively exercised the functions of mayor.

Olivier Touzeau , 22 April 2022

Flag of Bègles

The flag of Bègles is white with logo: photo (2021).

Olivier Touzeau, 22 April 2022

Sport clubs

Union Bordeaux Bègles

[Union Bordeaux Bègles]    [Union Bordeaux Bègles]    [Union Bordeaux Bègles]

Flag of the Union Bordeaux Bègles - left and center, before 2018 ; right, current logo - Images by Olivier Touzeau, 22 April 2022

Union Bordeaux Bègles is a French rugby union team playing in the Top 14, the first level of the French professional league system. They earned their Top 14 place by winning the promotion playoffs that followed the 2010–11 season in the second-level Rugby Pro D2. Upon promotion to the Top 14 in 2011, they were assured a place in the European Challenge Cup. In 2015, they earned their European Champions Cup place, after winning the European playoffs against Gloucester Rugby in Worcester.
They were founded in 2006 as a result of a merger between two Bordeaux clubs, Stade Bordelais and Club Athlétique Bordeaux-Bègles Gironde. They play at the Stade Chaban-Delmas in Bordeaux.

Several models of flag do exist. Among them: white with pre-2018 emblem in full colors (photo), vertically divided bordeaux and white with pre-2018 emblem counterchanged (photo), white with 2018 logo in bordeaux and white (photo - 2018 new logo, see [UBB Official website]).

Olivier Touzeau, 22 April 2022