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Algeria: Abd-el-Kader's revolt (1835-1847) - Part 3

Last modified: 2016-03-20 by ivan sache
Keywords: abd-el-kader | sidi-brahim | mazagan |
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The flag of Sidi-Brahim

The 8th Battalion of Infantry of Orléans entranched in the marabout's tomb (also called a marabout or kuba) of Sidi-Brahim from 23 to 26 September 1844 (Larousse says 23-25 September 1845), where they were besieged by Abd-el-Kader's troops.

The soldiers entrenched in the kuba made a Tricolor flag, using:

  • Caporal Laveyssière's cravate for the blue stripe
  • a handkerchief for the white stripe
  • Lieutenant de Chapdelaine's belt (partially) for the red stripe

The hoist was made of a fig branch.

The flag was probably destroyed during the surrender, but was not caught by Abd-el-Kader's troops.

Source: P. Charrié. Drapeaux et étendards du XIXe siècle [chr92]

This episode has became legendary and the last days of September are ceremonial days for Infantry troops (with more or less the same status as Camerone's Day for the Foreign Legion). Sidi-Brahim is now the trademark of a very strong red wine produced in Algeria.

Ivan Sache, 7 October 2001

The Flag of Mazagan

[Flag of Mazagan]

Flag of Mazagan - Image by Ivan Sache, 9 September 2001

In February 1840, the French military post of Mazagan, close to Mostaganem (now Mestghanem, on the coast between Oran and Algiers) was attacked by more than 12,000 Arabs. The post was kept by captain Lelièvre and 123 soldiers from the 10th Company of the 1st Battalion of African Light Infantry. The post resisted from 2 to 5 February. During the assault, the French flag hoisted on the post was hit by 120 rifle balls, 4 gun bullets, and its hoist was broken three times. Lieutenant-General Guéheneux allowed the 10th Company to keep the original ensign as a trophy. The flag has been preserved in the Army Museum in Paris since 1927. The flag was exceptionally awarded the Moroccan Order of Cherifan Merit on 7 August 1927.
The flag was similar to those hoisted on military posts, i.e. 222 (height) x 200 (width) cm.

Source: P. Charrié. Drapeaux et étendards du XIXe siècle [chr92]

Ivan Sache, 9 September 2001