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Noirmoutier-en-l'Île;pine (Municipality, Vendée, France)

Last modified: 2020-08-02 by ivan sache
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[Flag]

Flag of Noirmoutier-en-l'Île - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 12 April 2020


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Presentation of Noirmoutier-en-l'Île

The municipality of Noirmoutier-en-l'Île (4,668 inhabitants in 2017; 1,997 ha) is located on Noirmoutier island.

Olivier Touzeau, 12 April 2020


Flag of Noirmoutier-en-l'Île

The flag of Noirmoutier-en-l'Île (photo, photo) is white with the municipal logo.
Each of the four constituent municipalities of Noirmoutier has its own logo derivated from the logo of the Communauté de communes de l'Île de Noirmoutier. According to Gérard Guillet, Mayor of Barbâtre, "the objective is to unite all the actors of the island around a single identity for Noirmoutier. In fact, the community of the four municipalities thus wishes to reinforce the attractiveness of the island by speaking with one voice."
[Logonews, 10 February 2010]

Olivier Touzeau, 12 April 2020


Former flag of Noirmoutier-en-l'Île

[Flag]

Former flag of Noirmoutier-en-l'Île - Image by & Arnaud Leroy, 12 April 2020

Before 2010, another flag could be seen on a roundabout at the entrance of Noirmoutier-en-l'Île (photo), white with a coat of arms, "Quarterly, 1. Gules a cross argent degraded of four steps, 2. Vert a cross quartered or and azure, 3. Azure a cross per pale or and vert, 4. Vair a cross quartered argent and sable.".
Each quarter refers to the arms of an ancient community or religious establishment on the island, as found in the Armorial Général (Généralité of Poitiers, Vol. II, Edict of 1696) (Herald Dick Magazine, 7 July 2018):

- 1. Noirmoutier Abbey (image);
St. Philibert founded a Benedictine abbey in 674 in Noirmoutier, where he would die in 684. The monk's black coat prompted the change of the island's name from Her to Noirmoutier, lit. Black Monastery. Raided by the Northmen, the monks left the island in 819, starting a long peregrination with the saint's relics all over France. They eventually settled in Tournus (Burgundy) in 875, therefore the usual name of the saint, St. Philibert of Tournus, although he never visited the town. The Noirmoutier monastery re-emerged in the 11th century as a small priory dependent of the Tournus abbey. Nothing has remained from the abbey but the Merovingian crypt located under the parish church of Noirmoutier-en-l'Îc;le.
The Armorial shows the arms as "Gules a calvary argent". I guess that the designer of the arms of Noirmoutier transformed the calvary into a cross degraded, rarely used in heraldry, for the sake of homogeneity with the other quarters. "The cross degraded is a variant of the Cross of Calvary, each of its arms ending in three steps. As such, it is symbolic of faith (piety), hope and charity." (My Blazon).

There is little doubt that the second, third and fourth quarters use arms assigned by the Armorial Général rather than genuine ones. The designers in charge of Poitou were in a "quartered cross" mood, seemingly.

- 2. Redusage Priory (image);
The Armorial's folio features five green shields with different quartered crosses, for the priory and another four chapels.
The Redusage priory, like several humble religious foundations, probably disappeared during the French Revolution, leaving no trace in history.

- 3. Saint Hilaire de Riez Priory (image);
The Armorial's folio features five green or blue shields with different quartered crosses, for five priories.
The modern town of Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez, located in coastal Vendée, uses as its arms "Azure a cross quartered or and sable". The priory is recalled by the toponymy (rue du Prieuré).

- 4. Noirmoutier Cistercian community (image).
The Armorial's folio features five shields with different quartered crosses, for five religious communities belonging to different orders.
The Notre-Dame de la Blanche abbey (named for the Cistercian's white [blanc] coat) was founded in 1205 century by Cistercian monks from the Buzay abbey. The "white" abbey was much more powerful than the "black" (Benedictine) priory, controlling most salt marshes of the island. The abbey was suppressed in 1789 and sold as "national good". The abbey's church and cloister were suppressed in 1797.

The municipality of Noirmoutier-en-l'Île is sometimes said to have another coat of arms, the arms of the La Trémoille lineage, "Or, a chevron gules, cantoned by three eaglets azure beaked and membered gules". The quartered coat of arms could be seen as the arms of the island. However, the street names plates of the municipality feature the quartered coat of arms (photo).

Olivier Touzeau & Ivan Sache, 13 april 2020