Last modified: 2002-11-02 by ivan sache
Keywords: ille-et-vilaine | saint-malo | ermine (white) | cross (white) |
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by Luc-Vartan Baronian
The flag is blue, with a white cross, the canton red with a little animal. The animal has a scarf of ermine (the heraldic fur). I described the animal as an ermine, according to what the lady who had sold it to me in St-Malo told me. However, Nahum (who is more competent than me in heraldry) assured us that it was a dog. I just saw in Flagscan 48 a picture of the flag and arms of St-Malo and the heraldic description of the arms said it was an ermine:
...une hermine passante d'argent lampassée de sable, accolée et bouclée d'or, cravatée d'hermine.
This description was taken from A. Vachon, L'héraldique de Jacques Cartier in Heraldry in Canada, XX, 3, 92.
Luc-Vartan Baronian, 22 January 1998
I've been quite recently in St-Malo and I can assure you it's an ermine. The flag can be seen very often on car stickers as people from St-Malo are very proud of their city and even tourists occasionally stick the flag as a proof of having been there.
Philippe Bondurand, 23 January 1998
We are probably refering to two different things. In 1984 Canada and France made a joint issue of a stamp commemorating the 450th anniversary of Cartier's landing in Canada. On this stamp there was a shield that was decscribed in the Canada Post information sheet as "the ancient heraldic emblem of Saint-Malo - a guard dog rampant" ("l'ancien emblème de Saint-Malo: le dougue rampant"). That is what I was refering to, and the animal on this shield is definitely not an ermine. I can send you a photocopy of the stamp or you can look for it at any stamp dealer's or in a catalogue - ask for Scott 1011.
Nahum Shereshevsky, 24 January 1998
Very interesting. During my stay there, I also purchased a little shield of the city of the type you sew on a backpack. This shield was red with a yellow gate over which was the same little animal. Clearly a rumour has spread that the animal is an ermine, perhaps reinforced by the fact that the animal has an ermine scarf ... Also, there is well-known picture of the explorer Cartier with the St-Malo shield in a corner and everyone in Canada knows that his vessel was called La Grande Hermine.
Luc-Vartan Baronian, 24 January 1998