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Genevois (Traditional province, Savoy, France)

Last modified: 2004-07-10 by
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[Flag of Genevois]by Nicolas Deprez

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History of Genevois

The traditional province of Genevois is the former feudal domain of the counts of Geneva, now divided between Switzerland (the city of Geneva and the surrounding municipalities which consitute the canton of Geneva) and France (the French Genevois, limited by lake Léman, the river Rhône and the massif of Bornes).

The counts of Geneve challenged the power of the Humbertian counts of Savoy in the IXth century. Humbert I supported the German emperor, whereas count of Geneva Gerold opposed to him. The counts of Geneva had for vassals the lords of Faucigny. In the XIIth century, the counts of Geneva were forced to recognize the rights of the bishop on the city of Geneva, and withdrew to Annecy.
The lineage of Genevois ended in 1394 when Robert died. Robert was the last of the five sons of count Amédée III, who had been elected pope as Clement VII in 1378, this election starting the Great Western Schism. In 1401, count of Savoy Amédée VIII bought from Odon de Villars the rights on Genevois, which was incorporated to Savoy.

In 1434, Amédée VIII, following the French model, made of Genevois an apanage granted, along with Faucigny, to his son Philippe. Ten years later, Philippe died without heir and the apanage was reincorporated to the duchy.
The second apanage of Genevois was granted to Janus (1460-1491) and was organized as an autonomous state. The prince set up a court in Annecy, as well as a Private Council, a Resident Council and a Chamber of Accounting.
The third apanage of Genevois was granted in 1514 by Charles III to his son Philippe. In 1528, the count of Genevois was granted the duchy of Nemours by the king of France. Genevois was de facto independent from Savoy and was not involved in the wars. During the French occupation (1536-1559), Genevois kept its independence and its ruling court, the Council of Genevois. The counts of Genevois spent most of their time in the court of the king of France and often struggled with the dukes of Savoy.
In 1659, Jeanne-Baptiste de Savoie-Nemours married duke Charles-Emmanuel II and Genevois was eventually incorporated to Savoy.

Ivan Sache, 6 January 2004

Description of the flag of Genevois

A seal of the count of Geneva, kept in the departmental archives of Haute-Savoie, shows a checkered seal made of nine pieces. The apanagist counts used a similar shield, checkered of nine pieces or and azure.

The modern banner of Genevois follows the same pattern, the pieces being rectangular when the flag is made in porportion 2:3.

The pieces of the banner of arms of Genevois are used in the municipal flags of Avully. A few other municipal flags in the canton of Geneva are also mostly yellow and blue.

Ivan Sache, 6 January 2004

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