Last modified: 2020-09-12 by ivan sache
Keywords: charente-maritime |
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Flag of the Communauté d'agglomération de La Rochelle - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 25 February 2017
The Communauté d'agglomération de La Rochelle (162,781 inhabitants in 2011; 32,696 ha) groups 28 municipalities: Angoulins, Aytré, Bourgneuf, Chàtelaillon-Plage, Clavette, Croix-Chapeau, Dompierre-sur-Mer, Esnandes, L'Houmeau, La Jarne, La Jarrie, La Rochelle, Lagord, Marsilly, Montroy, Nieul-sur-Mer, Périgny, Puilboreau, Salles-sur-Mer, Saint-Christophe, Saint-Médard-d'Aunis, Saint-Vivien, Saint-Xandre, Sainte-Soulle, Thairé, Vérines, Yves.
It succeeded in January 2000 the Communauté de Communes de La Rochelle, then made of 18 municipalities; another 10 municipalities joined in 2014.
The flag of the Communauté d'agglomération de La Rochelle (photo) is white with the logo of the authority and sky blue corners at upper hoist and lower fly, as if the logo was surrounded by an ellipse.
The logo is made up of two triangles, the lower right plain blue like on the current logo of the town of La Rochelle, and the upper right made of blue and white stripe, like the historical flag of La Recohelle.
Olivier Touzeau, 25 February 2017
Flag of the CARA - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 18 August 2016
As of 1 January 2016, the CARA (website) grouped 34 municipalities (total population, 81,036 inhabitants; total area, 60,400 ha). The CARA is seated at Royan, the most populated of the 34 municipalities (18,138 inh.). The second most populated municipality is Saint-Georges-de-Didonne (5,080 inh.), while another 13 municipalities have between 2,000 and 5,000 inhabitants. The least populated municipality of the CARA is Saint-Romain-sur-Gironde (61 inh.).
The CARA owns the Royan Atlantique racetrack, located in the municipality of Les Mathes - La Palmyre, which was fully restructured, revamped and increased from 2011 to 2013. The new horsetrack was inaugurated on 30 June 2013. Spreading over 24 ha, the site includes a grass track for trotting race (1,425 m), a track for flat races (1,375 m), a steeplechase course, and a training center catering 120 horses.
The flag of the CARA (photo) is white with the logo of the institution in the center.
Olivier Touzeau & Ivan Sache, 18 August 2016
Flag of Rochefort Océan - Image by Ivan Sache, 4 December 2019
The Communauté d'agglomération de Rochefort Océan (63,159 inhabitants in 2015; 42,135 ha) was established in 2014 as the merger of:
- the Communauté d'agglomération du Pays Rochefortais (56,319 inh.; 31,490 ha), which succeeded in 2000 the Communauté de communes du Pays Rochefortais, established in 1993. It was composed of the municipalities of Rochefort (seat), Île-d'Aix, Breuil-Magné, Cabariot (2001), Échillais, Fouras, Loire-les-Marais, Lussant, Moragne, Muron, Port-des-Barques, Saint-Agnant, Saint-Coutant-le-Grand, Saint-Hippolyte, Saint-Laurent-de-la-Prée, Tonnay-Charente, Vergeroux, and Yves (which joined the Communauté d'agglomération de La Rochelle); - the Communauté de communes du Sud Charente (7,477 inh.; 13,261 ha), established in 1994. It was composed of the municipalities of Soubise (seat), Beaugeay, Champagne, La Gripperie-Saint-Symphorien, Moëze, Saint-Froult, Saint-Jean-d'Angle, and Saint-Nazaire-sur-Charente.
Ivan Sache, 4 December 2019
Flag of Oléron - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 15 February 2019
Oléron (22,324 inhabitants in 2016; 174 km2, the second largest island of European France, after
Corsica, is located off the Atlantic coast, on the southern side of thePertuis d'Antioche strait.
The island is divided into 8 municipalities, La Brée-les-Bains, Le Château-d'Oléron, Dolus-d'Oléron, Le Grand-Village-Plage, Saint-Denis-d'Oléron, Saint-Georges-d'Oléron, Saint-Pierre d'Oléron, and Saint-Trojan-les-Bains, which formed in 1995 the Communautés de communes de l'Île d'Oléron.
The Communautés de communes use a flag (photo) derived from the alleged coat of arms of the island ("Lozengy azure and or a pallet vert"), with the letters "IØ" on the green bar.
Quite interestingly, yhe island's strong identity is now connected to an emblem that is in no way historically connected to the island, and is not even connected to any historical tradition.
The arms are locally presented as those of the former Bailiwick of Oléron. The arms "Lozengy azure and or a pallet vert" are indeed shown in the Armorial Général (image), with the caption "La ville d'Oléron", that is, "The town of Oléron", and not "L'île d'Oléron", "The island of Oléron". The arms were indeed assigned to the town of Oloron-Sainte-Marie, located in Béarn close to the Spanish border, whose name was once Oléron. The coats of arms featured in the neighboring plates of the Armorial support this identification, especially those assigned to the canons of the St. Mary cathedral in Oléron / Oloron and those assigned to the Ossau and Aspe valleys.
There is no historical evidence, either, of an administrative or
military division called "Bailiwick of Oléron". The official list of the
Representatives to the States General called by Louis XVI in 1789 does
not list Oléron as a bailiwick but as a "secondary seneschalty". part of
the Seneschalty of Saintes.
Louis-Étienne Arcère (Histoire de la ville de la Rochelle et du Pays d'Aulnis, 1754) writes: "Oléron island, which currently depends on the Seneschalty of Saintonge, somewhat belongs to Aunis; it was once under the jurisdiction of the Seneschal of La Rochelle and is surrounded by the military government of Aunis."
There is no record of any historical armorial bearing for the island, which never had a proper administrative status.
The arms featured in the Armorial and now used by the island have nothing to do with the town of Oloron, either. The Armorial shows more than 60 arms designed on the same pattern, "Lozengy ... a pale ...", assigned to different nobles, cannons and burghers from the same area; such series of fanciful arms were invented and duly registered in the Armorial by its zelacious staff when the putative arm bearers refused to register them or, mostly, when time or information was lacking.
The most probable source for the arms of the island is the Armorial
national de France, published in 1842 by H. Traversier & L. Vaisse.
Oddly enough, the book describes and shows the same arms both for the
town of Oloron and the island of Oléron. The book is arranged by
geographical sections, so the mere coincidence might have remained
unnoticed to the authors, who might have been fooled by the coincidental
similarity with the lozengy arms of the nearby Province of Angoumois.
Someone in search of an emblem to promote the island to visitors might have noticed the arms, which conveniently use colors recalling the sea, the sand and the forests of the island. The design, presented as the genuine, historical arms of the island, progressively made its way in the local identity until being widely recognized by the islanders. Three municipalities (Dolus-d'Oléron, Le Grand-Village-Plage, and Saint-Trojan-les-Bains) have adopted arms based on the primary design.
The misattribution of the arms seems, however, to have begun even earlier: it is duly shown (image) in Plans des principales places de guerre et villes maritimes frontières du royaume de France, published in 1736. by Pierre Lemau de la Jaisse.
Olivier Touzeau & Ivan Sache, 10 March 2019
Île de Ré
Flag of Ré - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 25 April 2020
Ré island (17,455 inhabitants in 2016; 8,532 ha, therefore the 4th biggest island in metropolitan France) is located off La Rochelle, on the northern side of the Pertuis d'Antioche strait.
A popular tourist destination, the island has a summer resident population of about 220,000. There is a good network of cycle tracks, and a mild climate. The 2.9 km bridge, completed in 1988, connects the island to La Rochelle on the mainland. Previously, the island was connected through roll-on roll-off ferries .
In the mid-12th century, a Cistercian monastery was founded on the island, which
became English in 1154, when Eleanor of Aquitaine became Queen of England through her marriage with Henry Plantagenet. The island reverted to France in 1243, when Henry III of England returned it to Saint Louis through a treaty. In 1360, with the Treaty of Brétigny, the island briefly became English again, until the 1370s.
In February 1625, the Protestant Duke of Soubise, who led a Huguenot revolt against King Louis XIII, invaded and seized Ré with 300 soldiers and 100 sailors. From there he sailed up to Brittany, where he led a successful attack on the royal fleet in Blavet, although he could not take the fort. Soubise then returned to Ré with 15 ships and soon occupied Oléron island as well. He named himself "Admiral of the Protestant Church". A few months later, in September 1625, Charles, Duke of Guise, organized a landing in order to recapture the islands, with the support of the Dutch and English navies. The island was invested, forcing Soubise to flee to England.
In 1627, an English invasion force under the command of George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, attacked the island in order to lift the Siege of La Rochelle. After three months of combat in the Siege of Saint-Martin-de-Ré, the Duke was forced to withdraw.
The island's main port, Saint-Martin, was fortified by Vauban in 1681. The old city of Saint-Martin, within the walls of the citadel, was inscribed in 2008 to the World Heritage List by ,UNESCO along with 11 others fortifications designed by Vauban across France.
During World War II, the beaches of the island were fortified by German forces with bunkers, in order to block a possible seaward invasion. Many of the bunkers are still visible.
The Communauté de communes de l'Île de Ré, created in 1993, groups the 10 municipalities of the island, from east to west: Rivedoux-Plage (2,280 inh.), La Flotte (2,762 inh.), Sainte-Marie-de-Ré (3,366 inh.), Saint-Martin-de-Ré (seat; 2,231 inh.), Le Bois-Plage-en-Ré (2,248 inh.), La Couarde-sur-Mer (1,206 inh.), Loix (729 inh.), Ars-en-Ré (1,307 inh.), Saint-Clément-des-Baleines (644 inh.), and Les Portes-en-Ré (606 inh.).
The flag of the Communauté de communes (photo, photo) is umber with the authority's logo.
Olivier Touzeau, 25 April 2020