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Finistère (Department, France)

Penn-ar-Bed

Last modified: 2005-03-05 by
Keywords: finistere | penn-ar-bed | bretagne | lion (black) | ram (white) | general council | ermines: 5 (black) | proposal | ermine (yellow) | ermine (blue) |
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[Flag of the General Council]by Jaume Ollé

Flag of the General Council of Finistère


See also:


Administrative data

Code: 29
Region: Bretagne
Traditional provinces: Brittany (traditional Breton provinces of Cornouaille and Léon, traditional district of Pays Bigouden)
Bordering departments: Côtes-d'Armor, Morbihan

Area: 6,733 km2
Population (1995): 840,600 inhabitants

Préfecture: Quimper
Sous-préfectures: Brest, Châteaulin, Morlaix
Subdivisions: 4 arrondissements, 52 cantons, 283 communes.

The department is named after its geographical location, at land's end (Finis Terrae, in Latin).


Flag of the General Council of Finistère

The flag of the General Council is white with the coat of arms of the department in the middle.

The left part of the shield shows a black lion on a yellow field, to represent the traditional province of Léon, today the north of the department.
The right part of the shield shows a ram on a blue field, to represent the traditional province of Cornouaille, today the south of the department.
The chief of the shield is white with five stylized ermine spots.

The inscription below the shield, Penn-ar-Bed, means in Breton land's end and is therefore the Breton name of the department.

Ivan Sache, 1 March 2004

Penn-ar-Bed is cognate with Welsh pen y byd, Irish ceann an bheatha and Scots Gaelic ceann na bithe, all of which mean end of the earth.

Vincent Morley, 7 April 1997


Proposal of a flag for the department of Finistère

[Flag proposal]by Ivan Sache

A proposal of flag for the department of Finistère was submitted to the president of the General Council of Finistère, Charles Miossec, on 29 June 1993:

The flag is made of two parts with the colours, inverted, of the coat of arms of the department. Blue symbolizes Cornouaille and the sea which waters our coasts. Gold represents Léon and the wealth provided by the various activities of the department, that is agriculture industry, trade and fishery. The broken line separating the blue and yellow fields recalls the three points of Finistère. The two countercolored ermines recalls the parts of our department taken from neighbouring traditional provinces, that is Trégor, east of Morlaix, and Vannetais, east of Quimperlé.

The three points of Finistère are, from north to South, pointe Saint-Mathieu, pointe de Penhir and pointe du Raz.

Bernard Le Brun received an official answer from Charles Miossec's staff on 9 August 1993:

For the moment, we do not consider manufacturing a flag for our department. However, we keep M. Le Brun's proposal for further evaluation.

Source: P. Rault. Les drapeaux bretons de 1188 à nos jours [rau98]

Ivan Sache, 1 March 2004

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