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Deauville (Municipality, Calvados, France)

Last modified: 2004-07-17 by
Keywords: calvados | deauville | anchor (yellow) | towers: 3 (red) | leopard (yellow) | lion (yellow) | yacht club |
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[Flag of Deauville]by Arnaud Leroy

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Presentation of Deauville

Deauville is a sea resort (4,500 inhabitants) located on the Channel.

In 1825, Deauville was nothing but a small village (113 inhabitants) called Auvilla or Dosville, built on a hill set back from the sand beach. At that time, sea was considered as dangerous and fishers were at the bottom of the social scale.

In the middle of the XIXth century, the English fad of sea bathing reached the coast of Normandy. The coast of Calvados was less windy and rocky than the coast of pays de Caux, in Upper-Normandy, where the first sea resorts had been built. Members of the upper classes in Paris decided to build sea resorts on the coast of Calvados, which was the nearest friendly coast. Some of these resorts were built in existing fishers' villages, such as Houlgate and Trouville.

Deauville, however, was built from scratch by a consortium led by duke of Morny, prince Demidof and doctor Oliffe.
Charles, duke of Morny (1811-1865) was the natural son of queen Hortense (1783-1837, wife of Louis Bonaparte, king of Holland) and count Auguste Flahaut de la Billarderie (1785-1870, Napoleon I's aide-de-camp and probably Talleyrand's natural son). Since Hortense was Napoleon III's mother, Morny was the emperor's uterine half-brother. Morny was the main henchman of the coup of 2 December 1851 which ended the Second Republic and prepared the proclamation of the Second Empire. He was appointed Minister of Interior soon after the coup, and later president of the Legislative Corps (1854-1865), strongly influencing the political evolution of the Second Empire. Morny was involved in all of the industrial and financials operations set up under the Second Empire (Morny est dans l'affaire). Morny was portrayed by the writer Alphonse Daudet (1840-1897) in his novel Le nabab (The tycoon).
Anatoli Nikolaiewitsch Demidof, prince of San Donato (1812-1870) married princess Mathilde Bonaparte (1820-1904, whose brilliant salon was frequented by Marcel Proust, who portrayed the old princess in a very benevolent way in A la recherche du temps perdu).
Doctor Oliffe was physician at the British embassy in Paris.

The consortium selected the place of Deauville because of its sand beach and the possibility to build a horsetrack close to the beach. The building of the resort started in 1860, and Deauville became rapidly the prefered sea resort of the upper classes of the Empire and all Europe. In 1918, mayor Eugène Cornuche increased and modernized the city. The boardwalk (planches) was built on the beach in 1923, using azobe, an African wood with a specific mauvish brown specific colour. The airfield of Deauville was inaugurated in 1930.

Today, Deauville is known as the absolute chic sea resort in Normandy. Evil tongues nicknamed the posh city (the 21st district of Paris, by reference to the 20 administrative districts of the capital city) or "a Paris suburb in an operette Normandy". The Deauville season begins on July with the Grand Prix de Deauville horse race. Other main events of the season are the yearling auction (last week of August), the Deauville Polo Cup (Golden Cup, last Sunday of August), and the Festival of American Cinema (autumn).
The beach of Deauville was immortalized by Claude Lelouch's movie Un homme et une femme (1966), starring Anouk Aimée and Jean-Louis Trintignant, and especially by the film song Chabadabada, written by Pierre Barouh.
Deauville is also one of the main centers of chic yachting, and is twinned with Cowles.

Ivan Sache, 6 January 2004

Description of the flag of Deauville

The municipal flag of Deauville can be seen for instance on the rond-point de l'Europe, along with the flags of the sister-cities of Deauville. This flag is very similar in design to the flag of Trouville-sur-Mer, being white with the municipal coat of arms crowned and with an anchor in the background.

Ivan Sache, 6 January 2004

Coat of arms of Deauville

The coat or arms of Deauville was adopted in 1878. It blazons as follows (Brian Timms):

D'azur au pal d'argent chargé de trois tours crénelées de gueules et accompagné de quatre pattes de lion d'or mouvant des flancs de l'écu, deux à dextre en barre et deux à senestre en bande; au chef de gueules chargé d'un leopard d'or armé et lampassé d'azur.

In English (same source):

Azure on a pale argent between four gambs two in dexter in pale bend sinisterwise and as many in sinister also in pale bendwise or three towers in pale gules a chief gules a lion passant gardant or.

The arms, without the chief, were those of Brancas, seigneurs in the XVIIIth century.

Ivan Sache, 6 January 2004

Alternative flag of Deauville

[Alternative flag of Deauville]by Arnaud Leroy

The flag most commonly used in Deauville is white with the municipal logotype.

Ivan Sache, 6 January 2004

Deauville Yacht Club

[Deauville YC]by Ivan Sache

The first port basin was built in Deauville in 1866. In 1878, the Société des Régates de Deauville-Trouville organized a regatta with 48 boats. In 1926, the aircraft manufacturer Louis Bréguet (1880-1955), an expert yachtman who won a medal in the Paris Olympic Games in 1924, founded the Comité de la Société des Régates de Deauville. With the support of the Société des Régates du Havre and the Cercle de la Voile de Paris, Bréguet transformed in 1928 the into the Deauville Yacht Club (DYC).

In 1945, the marina of Deauville and the DYC clubhouse were trashed. The DYC was recreated and organized in 1949 the Croisière Internationale du Pavillon d'Or to celebrate its refoundation. In 1962, the DYC created the Cowes-Deauville race.

The burgee of the DYC is quartered blue-red by a white cross with a yellow leopard in canton. It seems to have been inspired by the municipal coat of arms.

Ivan Sache, 6 January 2004