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Essonne (Department, France): Sport flags

Last modified: 2010-11-13 by ivan sache
Keywords: essonne | etampes | archery | sun: 16 rays (yellow) | cross (blue) | arquebusiers |
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Compagnie des Archers d'Étampes

[Étampes archery flag]

Flag of the "Compagnie des Archers d'Étampes" - Image by Ivan Sache, 22 December 2002

Étampes is a town located in the south of Paris. The flag of the "Compagnie d'Archers d'Étampes", a sports club, is a vertical, swallow-tailed banner. The main field is white. The emblem is a sun, whose design was inspired by representations of the sun in the XVIIth century. The sun was then the emblem of arquebusiers. The name of the town is placed above the emblem. Below the emblem are placed two dates:
- 1179, for the oldest evidence of archery found in the municipal archives of Étampes;
- 1979, for the reestablishment of the Company.
The emblem, town name and dates, as well as the borders of the flag are embroidered in gold.

More historical information on archery in Étampes can be found in the book by Léon Marquis, Les rues d'Étampes et ses monuments, Histoire - Archéologie - Chronique - Géographie - Biographie et Bibliographie, avec des documents inédits, plans, cartes et figures pouvant servir de suppléments et d'éclaircissement aux Antiquités de la ville et du duché d'Étampes, de Dom Basile Fleureau, Étampes, Brière, 1881 [with two reprints, Lafitte, 1986, and Éditions de la Tour Gile, 1996]. The book has been digitalized by the "Corpus Étampois". Chapter I (Exposé général) of the book has a section dedicated to Jeux et arbalétriers.
In 1179, King Louis VII issued a Decree allowing the sale of bows in Étampes, the bow sellers having to pay a tax of "a bow per year". This is the oldest mention of archery in Étampes, which explains the year "1179" written on the banner of the modern company, which was recreated in "1979" (the second year written on the flag). In 1369, King Charles V issued a Decree prescribing to all citizens to learn "how to shoot with a bow and a crossbow". The same Decree prohibited card and dice games. On 21 May 1549, King Henri III set up by Letters Patented companies of arquebusiers and crossbowmen.

[Étampes arquebusiers flag]

Historical flag of the arquebusiers of Étampes - Image by Ivan Sache, 28 April 2008

In 1754, the arquebusiers of Étampes had a flag and a gonfanon, described and shown (black and white graphics) by Marquis. The flags was white with a blue cross, while the gonfanon was white with a 16- rays sun with the interlaced motto "Nec pluribus impar". This is for sure the origin of the flag of the "Compagnie des Archers d'Étampes". In 1774, there were 48 arquebusiers' companies, the company of Étampes being the second biggest after the company of Sainte-Menehould; the next year, the number of arquebusiers in Étampes was decreased from 55 to 40.
The arquebusiers' company of Étampes was disbanded on 15 August 1790 in the Notre-Dame church of Étampes, its flag and gonfanon were "put away".


Ivan Sache, 28 April 2008