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Nantes (Municipality, Loire-Atlantique, France): Historical flags

Last modified: 2003-05-17 by
Keywords: nantes | wave (blue) | cross (white) | ermines (black) | ship (yellow) |
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XIVth century

The oldest flags of Nantes are shown on portolanos dated XIVth century.

[Flag of Nantes, 1339]by Ivan Sache

Angelino Dulcent's portolano (1339) shows a flag with four horizontal yellow stripes alternating with three horizontal white stripes and a blue stripe along the hoist charged with two white wavy stripes. The waves probably symbolize the river Loire.

[Flag of Nantes, XIVth century]by Ivan Sache

On Jaffouda Cresquer's portolano (1375), the flag of Nantes has only six horizontal stripes, still alternating yellow and white, and two wavy blue stripes alternating with two wavy white stripes.

Ivan Sache, 7 January 2002


XV-XVIth century

[Flag of Nantes, XV-XVIth century]by Ivan Sache

Two anonymous portolanos (now kept in the French National Library), from XVth and XVIth century, respectively, show for Nantes a square flag with a white cross and red, yellow, yellow, and blue quarters.

Ivan Sache, 7 January 2002


XVIIIth century

[Flag of Nantes, XVIIIth century]by Ivan Sache

A plate by Joseph Roux (1766) shows for the first time a Breton black cross on the flag of Nantes. The cross is voided and each quarter is charged with five ermine spots placed 3 + 2.

[Flag of Nantes, XVIIIth century]by Ivan Sache

At the same time, a variant is said to have had four ermine spots placed in a lozengy pattern in each quarter.

[Flag of Nantes, XVIIIth century]by Ivan Sache

At the end of the XVIIIth century, the ermine spots in the first quarter of the flag seem to have been replaced by the arms of the city without their chief. The blazon is described as:

De gueules au navire d'or, aux voiles éployées d'hermine, voguant sur une mer de sinople, et au chef d'hermine (Gules, a vessel or with sails strewn with ermines, sailing on a sea vert, ermines in chief).

One of the first known flags of that period has a plain yellow, stylized vessel in first quarter, and seven ermine spots placed 4 + 3 in the three other quarters.

[Later flag of Nantes]by Ivan Sache

Later, the vessel was portrayed in a more natural way, as it appears on the coat of arms, with sails and flags strewn with ermines. Such a flag with five ermine spots placed 3 + 2 in the second, third and fourth quarters, was reported

Later versions of the flag of Nantes usually had four ermine spots placed in a lozengy pattern in the second, third and fourth quarters, like in the current municipal flag,

Ivan Sache, 7 January 2002


Source

The information source for this page is the book Les drapeaux bretons de 1188 à nos jours, by P. Rault [rau98].

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