Last modified: 2011-06-10 by ivan sache
Keywords: nantes | melen-ha-gwer | ermines: 11 (green) | football | ermines: 5 (black) | brigade loire |
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FC Nantes Atlantique (since 1992) was founded in 1943 as FC Nantes by
the merging of several amateur clubs of the town of Nantes. It joined
the First League in 1963 and never left it since then. Nantes was
national champion in 1965, 1966, 1973, 1977, 1980, 1983, 1995 and
2001; won the national cup in 1979, 1999 and 2000; was semi-finalist
of the European Cup Winners' Cup (the defunct C2) in 1980; and was
semi-finalist of the Champions' League in 1996.
The supporters of the FCNA use different combinations of the club colours, green and yellow (divided horizontally, vertically, quartered...); we show below only the most striking of these flags.
François Tournier, Ivan Sache & Jérôme Sterkers, 17 December 2005
Melen-ha-Gwer flag - Image by Raphaël Vinet, 8 March 2002
According to P. Rault (Les drapeaux bretons de 1188 à nos jours) [rau98], the Melen-ha-Gwer (Yellow and Green) was designed by Raphaël Vinet for the supporters of FCNA. He substituted to the Gwenn-ha-Du the colours of the FCNA.
by Ivan Sache
Melen-ha-Gwer flag, variant - Image by Ivan Sache, 27 February 2001
During the football match Nantes-Sochaux, 29 August 1998, a variation of the Melen-ha-Gwer was seen and reported in Ar Banniel [arb], #7 (Winter 1998), p. 22. The flag had five black ermine spots placed horizontally in the yellow canton.
Ivan Sache, 8 March 2002
Brigade Loire flag - Image by Ivan Sache, 14 December 2002
This flag was designed in 1999 by François Tournier for the
Brigade Loire supporters' club, after the following rules:
- including the three colours yellow and green (colours of the club) and black (colour of Brittany, highlighting the historical inclusion of Nantes into Brittany). The association of yellow, green and black is the "trademark" of the Brigade Loire.
- being easy to manufacture
- being easy to recognize
- being easy to wave in the stadium
- highlighting the identity of the supporters' club Therefore, the flag was based on the following elements:
- the association of geometrical parts easy to stitch together (vertical and/or horizontal elements), without anything painted on them
- stripes of different height, to be different from the chequy, horizontally or vertically striped flags already used by other groups.
The resulting flag was made of five horizontal
yellow-black-green-blck-yellow stripes, with the respective
Yellow stands for the town of Nantes and the football club, the players being nicknamed Les Jaunes (The Yellows).
Green stands for the river Loire, which waters Nantes. Loire is also the name of the stand used by the Brigade Loire.
Black, on both sides of the green stripe and therefore of the river Loire, means that Nantes, and by extension the department of Loire-Atlantique, north and south of the Loire, historically belongs to Brittany. These two black stripes also recall the two arms of the cross on the flag of the Duchy of Brittany, the Kroaz Du.
The square proportion is not mandatory, especially for the manufacturing of the velum, a huge flag that covers the whole stand, but the stripe proportion must be respected in all cases.
François Tournier, 14 December 2002
Other Brigade Loire flags - Image by Ivan Sache, 3 May 2006
Other flags seen on TV images and on the supporters' club website are based on the traditional Breton flag, too. The white field is here coloured with the colours of the club, green or yellow.
Ivan Sache, 3 May 2006