Last modified: 2017-03-18 by ivan sache
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Flag of Merdrignac - Image by Arnaud Leroy, 1 October 2005
The municipality of Merdrignac (in Breton, Medrigneg; 2,915 inhabitants in 2014, 5,712 ha) is located in central Brittany, 50 km west of Rennes and 30 km east of Loudéac.
Merdrignac was most probably named after its founder, the Gallo-Roman
Maternus. The final ac comes from the Gaulish suffix -acos. In the Gallo-Roman times, the early parish of Merdrignac included the villages of Merdrignac, Illifaut and Trémorel. Merdrignac was located on the main Roman raod linking Condate (Rennes) to Vorgium (Carhaix), as shown by the milestone found there.
Guy of Merdrignac, also lord of La Harsouinaie, ceded in the 11th century the St. Brigitte of Kildare priory in Merdrignac to the canons of the St. Geneviève abbey in Paris, which had a settlement in Paimpont, provided they would praise the lord for the rest of his soul in perpetuity. The name of the family and of the domain was subsequently written Merdrinniaco (1118) and Merdrenniaco (1164). The current written form, Merdrignac, appeared as soon as 1255, but several variants were used until the 15th century (Medrignac, Medreignac, Merdreigniac, etc.).
In the beginning of the 13th century, Robert, Viscount of Merdrignac, married Denise Goyon de Matignon; they made donations to the abbey of Saint-Aubin-des-Bois in 1252, 1257 and 1259. Denise was recognized by the monks as the patron of the abbey. In 1294, the heir of Merdrignac married Jean of Beaumanoir and the domain was transferred to this family.
In 1463, the Duke of Retz erected a market hall in Merdrignac, which boosted the development of the town. On 22 February 1724, Prince Joseph Stuart, first cousin of the last Stuart pretender to the throne of England, died aged 60 in the village of Kerilvala.
Ivan Sache, 1 October 2005
The flag of Merdrignac, is yellow with a red crowned lion in canton.
The flag is derived from the municipal arms, "Or a lion rampant crowned gules".
Hervé Prat, Arnaud Leroy & Ivan Sache, 1 October 2005