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Auvergne (Traditional province, France)

Last modified: 2010-11-12 by ivan sache
Keywords: auvergne | gonfanon (red) |
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Flag of Auvergne - Image by Arnaud Leroy, 16 December 2002

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History of Auvergne

Auvergne is Arvernia, the country of the Arvernes, Vercingétorix's tribe.
In 507, Clovis expelled Alaric and the Wisigoths from Auvergne after the battle of Vouillé (near Poitiers). In the 10th century, Auvergne was a possession of the Duke of Aquitaine, later divided into four parts:
- the County of Auvergne, with Vic-le-Comte as its capital;
- the Dauphiné of Auvergne, which remained in the family of Duke William of Aquitaine;
- the Temporal [possession] of the Bishopric of Clermont, confiscated by Queen Catherine de Médicis (1519-1589), who was also Countess of Auvergne;
- the Land of Auvergne.

The Land of Auvergne, except the County of Clermont, was conquered by King of France Philip II August in 1213 and granted, as his apanage, to Alfonso of Poitou, brother of Louis IX (St. Louis). In 1360, King John II the Good transformed the County into a Duchy-Peerage, which he granted to his son John, Duke of Berry, who transfered it to his son-in-law, the Duke of Bourbon. In 1531, King François I confiscated all the domains owned by the Constable of Bourbon, who had betrayed France for Austria. The Counties of Auvergne and Clermont were incorporated to the Royal Domain in 1610, as was the Dauphiné of Auvergne in 1693.

Ivan Sache, 16 December 2002

Flag of Auvergne

The flag of Auvergne is a banner of the arms D'or au gonfanon de gueules frangé de sinople (Or a gonfanon gules ringed and edged vert), assigned to the province by Jacques Meurgey in his Notice historique sur les blasons des anciennes provinces de France (Historical note on the coats of arms of the ancient French provinces, 1941).

While Meurgey does not give any explanation of the arms, the gonfanon is said to stand for the banner used by Eustace III, Count of Auvergne and Boulogne, when he seized Jerusalem with his brother Godfrey of Bouillon in 1099.

Ivan Sache, 16 December 2002