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La Rochelle (Municipality, Charente-Maritime, France)

Last modified: 2023-07-03 by
Keywords: rochelle (la) | charente-maritime | triangle (blue) | cross (blue) | letters: srr (red) |
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[Flag of La Rochelle]by Pascal Gross

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Presentation of La Rochelle

La Rochelle is a port of c. 80,000 inhabitants, located on the Atlantic Ocean. During the Religion Wars between Roman Catholics and Protestants, La Rochelle was a Protestant fortress. The Royal army of Louis XIII, commanded by Cardinal de Richelieu finally seized the city, which was allied with England, after a two-year siege (1627-1628).

In 1822, the 45th line regiment was garrisoned in La Rochelle. The regiment included several members of the secrete society Carbonari, who planned to overthrow the Restauration monarchic regime. The conspirers were arrested and transfered to Paris. Four of them were sentenced to death and remained famous as les Quatre Sergents de la Rochelle ('The Four Seargents of La Rochelle'). They became rapidly martyres of the anti-monarchic cause. The conspirers used a specific flag.

La Rochelle is particularly renowned for yachting industry, races and its main marina (Port des Minimes). The city gained also some celebrity in the 80's because of the original transportation policy developed by the late Mayor Michel Crépeau. Most cars were excluded from the city center and replaced with bikes which could be used freely.

Ivan Sache, 9 September 2001

Municipal flag of La Rochelle

The flag of La Rochelle can be seen flying on the embankment of the old harbour. It is a white flag with a blue triangle on which the word La Rochelle is written in alternating black and white letters.

Pascal Gross, 8 September 2001

Société des Régates de la Rochelle

[Burgee of SRR]by Ivan Sache

Société des Régates de la Rochelle was founded in 1860. Until 1890, the only activity of SRR was the organization, every 15 August, of a regatta for rowing boats, fishing boats and a few yachting boats. The profit of the regatta was awarded to seamen's widows.
In 1893 (or 1863?), SRR was reconnue d'utilité publique (state approved), which is unique among French sport associations.
In the 1950s, the SRR developed light and cruise sailing; the club organized in 1964 the first Semaine Internationale de la Voile, with 312 entrants. In 1990, there were 1,279 entrants.

The city of La Rochelle and SRR are today among the main organizers of deep-sea races for multi-hull sailing ships, including the Transat La Rochelle-New Orleans. In 1987, several members of the SRR were in the crew and technical staff of French Kiss, which competed in the America's Cup. In 1991, France won for the first time the Admiral's Cup, with again several members of SRR on board. In 1998, La Rochelle was a stopover port of the Whitbread race, and SRR was appointed local organizer.

Current membership of SRR is 700. The clubhouse of SRR is located on the Port des Minimes. If Paris is awarded the organization of the 2012 Olympic Games, the yachting races will take place in La Rochelle, which has a natural racing basin (3,000 ha) protected by the islands of and Oléron.

The burgee of SRR is white with a blue decentered cross, the red letters SRR in canton and the emblem of the club in the middle of the cross. The emblem of the cross is a white oval with a blue cross outlined in red, surmonted with a crown and flanked by two fishes (?).

Source: SRR website

Ivan Sache, 28 December 2004

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