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Orléans (Municipality, Loiret, France)

Last modified: 2003-05-31 by
Keywords: loiret | orleans | joan of arc | jeanne d'arc | coeur-de-lys | flaur-de-lys: 3 (yellow) | crown: mural (yellow) |
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[Orleans]by Arnaud Leroy

Source: Pascal Vagnat & Mairie d'Orléans


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Presentation of the city

Orléans is a city of ca.110,000 inhabitants (220,000 inh. when including the outskirts), located on the river Loire, 115 km South of Paris.

In the Gaul time, the city of Canubium was in the center of the Carnute country and the druids had an annual meeting there. The revolt against the Roman occupation started here in 52 BC. In 451, the city under the protection of bishop St. Aignan resisted victoriously Attila's Huns.
During the Xth and XIth centuries, Orléans was one of the centers of the young Capetian monarchy, the two other centers being Chartres and Paris.
Orléans is famous for the siege of 1428-1429 during the Hundred Years' War and the intervention of Joan of Arc (a.k.a. as 'la pucelle d'Orléans', pucelle being a familiar term for a virgin). The Joan of Arc's festival ('Fêtes Johanniques') has been commemorating these events each spring since 1435 except during wartime. On 7 May, the "very authentic standard" of Joan of Arc is presented to the population.

Orléans is the birth city of the poet and polemist Charles Péguy (1873-1914), who was in the same time Dreyfusard, humanitarian socialist, patriot (he died during First World War) and fervent Roman Catholic.

Orléans is also known for rose gardening and its forest.

There have been four princely houses of Orléans. The second house (Orléans-Valois) is famous for the poet Charles d'Orléans (1394-1465) and his son Louis II (1462-1515), King of France as Louis XII (1498-1515). The fourth house of Orléans (Orléans-Bourbon) is famous for Philippe II (1674-1723), a.k.a. le Régent' (1715-1723, during the minority of Louis XV), Louis-Philippe Joseph (1747-1793), a.k.a. Philippe-Egalité, who voted the death of Louis XVI and was himself guillotinized later on, and his son Louis-Philippe II (1773-1850), King of the French as Louis-Philippe I (1830-1848).
Henri d'Orléans (b. 1903), Count of Paris and Orléaniste pretender to the throne of France, recently passed away. The members of the Orléans family are buried in the Royal Chapel of Dreux, not far from Versailles.

The Algerian city of Orléansville (later on El-Asnam and now Ech-Cheliff) as well as La Nouvelle-Orléans / New Orleans were named after the Orléans houses.

Ivan Sache, 20 November 1999


Description of the flag

The flag of Orléans is vertically divided yellow-red with the municipal coat of arms placed in the middle of the flag.
On the coat of arms, the three white charges are coeurs-de-lys (lily hearts). The use of coeurs-de-lys in Orléans dates back to the XVth century, and is probably related to the liberation of the city by Joan of Arc on 8 May 1429. The motto hoc vernant lilia corde can be translated as "this heart makes the lilies flower". It dates back to the reign of Louis XI (1498-1515), who was also Duke of Orléans. It refers to the spring of France, blossoming again after the dark seasons of the Hundred Years' War. The chief of France, azure with the three fleurs-de-lys or, recalls that Orléans was among the 36 "good cities" (bonnes villes) whose Mayor was invited to the Royal coronation ceremony. The cross below the shield is the War Cross (1939-1945).

Source: GASO website

[Flag of Orleans]by Ivan Sache

The municipal flag without the arms is widely used throughout the city. The flag with the coat of arms might probably be used for ceremonial purposes only and be kept somewhere inside the city hall.

Ivan Sache, 18 September 2002

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