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Vertou (Municipality, Loire-Atlantique, France)

Last modified: 2021-06-14 by ivan sache
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Flag of Vertou, current and former versions - Images by Olivier Touzeau, 12 May 2021

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Presentation of Vertou

The municipality of Vertou (25,045 inhabitants in 2018; 3,568 ha; municipal website) is located in the south-western outskirts of Nantes.

Excavations made in the village of la Blandinnière have yielded a tomb with human bones and pottery fragments; other Prehistoric artefacts (arrowheads, bowls) have been found elsewhere in Vertou.
Around 600, the Bishop of Nantes asked St. Martin to found two abbeys in Vertou; the first one was located behind the today's presbytery and its 18th century gate still stands, whereas the second one was located behind St. Peter's Cross. A legend says that Martin planted his pilgrim's staff on the site of today's cure; the staff took root, branched out and grew up as a big yew for centuries. The first parish church was built by St. Martin in 576; the building of a new, bigger church started in 840 but was never completed because of the Norsemen's invasions; a third church was consecrated in 945 and destroyed on 17 September 1793. The current church was built between 1875 and 1887.
From 1470 to 1650, the monks undertook large-scale work. They built the Monks' Causeway, a dam regulating the flow of river Sèvre and allowing navigation, which dramatically contributed to the development of Vertou. In the 17th century, the regulation system was completed with locks; the main lock, still in use, was built by Pierre Desprez in 1755. Trade on the Sèvre was important in the 19th century: in 1830, 1,639 ships carrying 13,082 tons of goods crossed the Monks' Causeway.

The writer François Rabelais (c. 1494-1553) visited the region of Vertou; he stayed in La Haie-Fouassière, where he enjoyed the local fouaces (wheat pancakes baked in the ashes), and in Vertou, where he enjoyed the local green salads, blood sausage and wines. The white wine produced in Vertou belongs to >Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine.

Ivan Sache, 15 May 2018

Flag of Vertou

The flag of Vertou (photo) is white with the municipal logo, which was adopted in 2019, featuring the motto "inspirer...". Beforehand, the flag (photo, photo) was used with a slightly different, horizontal version of the logo.

Olivier Touzeau, 12 May 2021

Flags of Vertou seen in Morges (Switzerland)

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Knatterfahne (left), square flag (middle) and anniversary flag (right of Vertou used in Morges - Images by Arnaud Leroy, 22 June 2006

Vertou has been twinned since 1956 twinned with the Swiss town of Morges, where another excellent white wine is produced. The flag of Vertou has been seen in Morges along with the municipal flag of Morges and the flag of the canton of Vaud. The three flags are in the Knatterfahne format, that is with a square part showing the arms of the entity and a vertical, bicolor tail (white and red for Morges, white and green for Vertou and Vaud). The flags were also seen in square format, following the Swiss use for municipal flags.
Yet another flag representing Vertou was seen in Morges during the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the partnership between the two towns. The flag looks more French than Swiss in its shape than the two previous ones. It is a white rectangular flag with the coat of arms of Vertou in the middle, with the name of the town in green capital letters added in chief.

The coat of arms of Vertou, adopted in 1957 by the Municipality and registered in 1972 by the Commission of Civic Heraldry of the Department of Loire-Atlantique, are "Argent on the trunk of a yew tree eradicated vert a fleur de lis or dexter an ermine spot sable ensigned by a fleur de lis azure and sinister a fleur de lis also azure ensigned by an ermine sport also sable".
The yew recalls the legendary foundation of Vertou by St. Martin. For the Celts, the yew, as a symbol of eternity, was often planted near cemeteries; several villages in Normandy, Brittany... still have a big yew near the cemetary, which indicates a very ancient Celtic origin.

ND & Ivan Sache, 22 June 2006

Quadrille Sèvre-et-Maine


Flag of the Quadrille Sèvre-et-Maine - Image by Raphaël Vinet, 9 November 2002

The Quadrille Sèvre-et-Maine (website) is Vertou's Celtic circle, which was founded in 1973 as the Cercle Celtique Saint-Martin and later renamed Quadrille Sèvre-et-Maine, for the Sèvre nantaise and the Maine, the two rivers that water Vertou. The circle was renamed to Cercle celtique de Vertou in October 2010.
The flag of the Quadrille Sèvre-et-Maine (photo<.A>, designed in 2002 by Raphaël Vinet, also the Quadrille's regular standard bearer, is based on the historical flag of the Duchy of Brittany, the Kroaz-Du (black cross on white). The canton is yellow, charged in the center with the Vertou yew featured on the municipal arms. The yew is flanked by two green grapes, recalling the Vertou vineyards and two diagonal green waves recalling rivers Sèvre and Maine. The three other cantons are charged with five ermine spots.
[Raphaël Vinet - Kreabreizh]

Ivan Sache, 9 November 2010