Last modified: 2009-06-06 by ivan sache
Keywords: saint-paul | ship (black) |
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Flag of Saint-Paul - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 4 February 2009
The municipality of Saint-Paul (99,291 inhabitants in 2005; 24,128 ha) is located on the north-western shore of the island. Stretching out from the seashore to the mountains, the municipal territory includes a part of the caldeira (cirque) of Mafate.
The oldest settlement on the island, Saint-Paul was the cradle of the French colonisation because its bay was considered as the safest mooring in the island. The first French landed on 29 June 1646, Sts. Peter and Paul's Day but effective colonisation started in 1663, when two French from Madagascar, Louis Payen and Pierre Pau, settled with ten servants in the cave of the First French (grotte des Premiers Français). In 1665, Étienne Regnault, first governor of the island, settled there with twenty colonists appointed by the Company of India; they immediatly grew wheat, grapevine, rice and tobacco in the place called Old Saint-Paul ("Vieux Saint-Paul").
In 1703, Saint-Paul had some 30 houses, where most of the 500 inhabitants of the island lived. A hurricane destroyed Old Saint-Paul in 1718; the next year, coffee cultivation started and colonisation was allowed in the hinterland; Saint-Paul economically declined so that Governor Mahé de la Bourdonnais transferred the capital of the island to Saint-Pierre in 1738. In the early 19th century, sugarcane replaced coffee as the main crop in Saint-Paul, later superseded by geranium.
Source: Municipal website
Ivan Sache, 10 February 2009
The flag of Saint Paul is white with the municipal logo. On all the flags I have seen in town, the logo surmonts the name of the town, as SAINT-PAUL and the motto "Terre de France" (Land of France), while other reported flags only bear the name of the town, as VILLE DE SAINT-PAUL.
Olivier Touzeau, 4 February 2009