Last modified: 2013-08-29 by rick wyatt
Keywords: united states | regional flags | new england | franco-american | st. john valley | lewiston |
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image by Dave Martucci, 27 April 1998
The true flag of New England is a red ensign, with a white canton bearing a green pine tree. It is the third basic variant of the New England Flag of 1686, which was also a red ensign with a white canton bearing the red cross of St. George and green pine tree in the canton of the cross. For further details of the flags of New England, see New England flags.
Note: There is a flag being touted as "THE Flag of New England" that is blue with the cross and tree in the canton and six stars in a circle in the fly. This flag has no basis in good history or good vexillology. It was invented by a Flag Company in Ipswich, Massachusetts strictly for commercial purposes and they have sold many to unsuspecting customers. For more info, click here.
I found some information on Franco-American flags in this book :
Bizier, H.-A. and C. Paulette, Fleur de lys : d'hier a aujourd'hui, Montreal: Art Global, 1997.
The Franco-American flag with a fleur-de-lis within a white star is the flag of the Assemblée des francophones du Nord-Est who adopted it in 1983. The blue and white are taken from the flags of the U.S., Quebec, Acadia and France. The star represents the U.S. and the fleur-de-lis represents the French culture of the Franco-Americans.
In the Midwest, Franco-Americans adopted a version of the royal banner of France (the field is very dark blue and the three fleurs de lys are gold). It reminds the French explorers who carried the royal arms during their travel in North America. The flag is known as drapeau de (flag of) Marquette, one of the discoverers of the Mississippi and symbolizes the ancientness of the French presence. It was adopted in 1984 by the Alliance franco-américaine du Midwest that regroups the Franco-Americans of the twelve states of the region.
A last Franco-American flag is the flag of Le Club Français, an association of the St-John Valley in Maine that wants to promote the use of French in the region to reverse the assimilation process. The flag was spotted by Chris Pinette last summer. I suppose that the elements on the flag (which uses the Cajun pattern), a tree, a fleur-de-lis and a yellow star, represent Maine, Quebec and Acadia. The Club has a web page : www.clubfrancais.org/
Luc-Vartan Baronian, 21 January 1998
This flag was designed by my uncle Robert Couturier. This flag is comprised of a white star with an embossed
Marc Couturier, 26 February 2002
There are two distinct Franco-American communities in Maine - those who live in "The Valley" (the St. John River valley that makes up Maine's northern border with Canada) and those who live in the city of Lewiston and its environs (in Central Maine).
In "The Valley" (which is located in "The County"), some 85-90% of the people are of French descent and French is spoken and heard more frequently than English. These people mainly claim descent from the Acadians and frequently fly the Acadia Flag (French tricolor with a gold star on the blue stripe in the upper hoist). If you go to Frenchville, Madawaska, St. Agathe and other strictly French communities along the border, the Acadia Flag is seen more often than the Maine State Flag.
In the Lewiston area, about 45% of the people are of French descent, originally from Quebec to work in the mills. French is barely heard in this area but there is a strong Franco-American community with festivals and societies dedicated to the preservation of the French culture. The most often seen French flag here is that of the St. John the Baptist Union, a Franco-American organization (except during the Bastille Celebration). It consists of a white flag with a blue cross throughout, upon which are six stars and in each quarter on the white there is, in the 1st and 4th, a blue fleur-de-lis and, in the 2nd and 3rd, a green maple leaf.
This flag was designed by Brother Gerard Brassard, a noted American heraldic artist and author of a book on the heraldry of the Roman Catholic Church in America. The flag first appeared in June 1978 and was carried by Franco-American pilgrims traveling to France. The blue cross on white is an inversion of the traditional flag of France, and it bears six stars representing the six states of New England (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island), where most of the Franco-Americans live. The St. John the Baptist Union has its headquarters in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. The origins of Franco-Americans in France and Canada are symbolized by the fleur-de-lis and the maple leaf.
Dave Martucci, 8 September 1996