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Union démocratique bretonne (Political party, Brittany, France)

Unvaniezh Demokratel Breizh

Last modified: 2016-11-12 by ivan sache
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Flag of the UDB - Image by Ivan Sache, 27 March 2016

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Presentation of the UDB

The UDB (website) is a leftist, ecologist Breton party, campaigning for the autonomy of Brittany.
The UDB held its first congress in Quimper in December 1964: 18 members attended, while the official party's leaflet, Le Peuple Breton, included only four pages. In the late 1970s, membership increased to 1,000 while 15,000 copies of Le Peuple Breton were released every month. At the time, the party defended a Marxist ideology and anti-colonialism.
The UDB signed in 1974/1976 the Brest Charter (Declaration on the struggle against imperialism in Western Europe, 1974/1976). Also concerned by political ecology, the UDB officially supported in 1978 the people's movement against the building of a nuclear power plant in Plogoff (the project was abandoned in 1981, which constituted a milestone in people's campaigning).

Close to extinction in 1984 because of splinters and membership erosion, the UDB resurfaced in the 1990s. References to Marxism were dropped, while the UDB recentered on specific Breton issues - such as the reunification of Brittany, the preservation of the Breton language, and the local employment crisis. The UDB joined the ALE (Alliance Libre Européenne) and the RPS (Régions & Peuples Solidaires), the networks of autonomist parties at the European and national level, respectively.
The UDB obtained three seats - and another one in alliance - at the Regional Council of Bretagne in 2004, which was its first electoral success. In 2012, Paul Molac (b. 1953), the candidate of the UDB (although not affiliated to the party), supported by the Parti Socialiste and Europe écologie-Les Verts, was elected MP for the 4th Constituency of Morbihan (Ploërmel). Soon labelled "the first Breton autonomist MP", Molac stated that he was "autonomist within a national framework" and "first of all, republican". He seats in the Parliament with the Ecologist Group. Molac was elected Regional Councillor in 2015 on the list led by Jean-Yves Le Drian. Molac also served as the first President of the Brittany Cultural Council, founded in 2009.

Ivan Sache, 27 March 2016

Flag of the UDB

The flag of the UDB (photo, photo, photo, photo, photo, photo, photo) is yellow with the party's emblem in the middle.
The emblem of the UDB in most recent use (since 2013) is made of a stylized seabird filled with the Breton flag (in fade, grayish colours) and the black letters "UDB" in the lower right part of the emblem, slightly overlapping the bird.

The former emblem of the UDB features the same seabird, but filled with Celtic ornamentation, all in black, and the letters "UDB" in a more cursive font. On the flags (photo, photo, photo), the letters were sometimes placed above the bird.
Yellow and black seem to be the original colours of the UDB. The early (1960s) posters of the UDB(image, image, image, image) already used a yellow background.
The emblem with the bird appears on posters (
image, image) in the 1980s.

Ivan Sache, 27 March 2016

ormer flag of the UDB

[Flag]         [Flag]

Former flag of UDB, two versions - Images by Ivan Sache, 27 March 2016

During its Marxist period, the UDB used red flags with the Gwenn-ha-Du in canton (for sintance, in a demonstration held in 1972 in Nantes). Tne former emblem of the UDB (yellow letters in a black disc) was added at fly was subsequently added in the center of the flag.
[P. Rault. Les drapeaux bretons de 1188 à nos jours [rau98]]

Ivan Sache, 27 March 2016

Strollad Komunour Breizh


Flag of the Breton Communist Party - Image by Ivan Sache, 6 January 1999

The Breton Communist Party was a leftist, Marxist-Leninist and separatist movement, which seceded from the UDB in January 1971 and dissolved in the mid 70s. It had no connection with the French Communist Party.
The flag of the Breton Communist Party was a Gwenn-ha-Du with a red five-pointed star replacing the ermines in the white canton.
[P. Rault. Les drapeaux bretons de 1188 à nos jours [rau98]]

Ivan Sache, 6 January 1999