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Pays Bigouden (Traditional district, Brittany, France)

Bro Vigoudenn

Last modified: 2002-10-19 by ivan sache
Keywords: ermines: 22 (red) | pays bigouden | bro vigoudenn |
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[Bro Vigoudenn]by Ivan Sache

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Presentation of Pays Bigouden

Pays Bigouden is a traditional Breton district. Bigouden is the name of the traditional feminine cup (basically a near-cylindrical piece of lace). Pays Bigouden groups twenty municipalities spread over the three cantons of Pont-l'Abbé (litterally Abbot's Bridge), capital city of the district, Guilvinec and Plogastel-Saint-Germain. The district is located in the south of the departement of Finistère. The district had a logo, but fortunately it was decided to change it for a true flag.

Ivan Sache, 3 April 1998

Description of the flag

The flag was designed by Bernard Le Brun and became official on 24 June 1996. The story is very complicated because previous designs, also produced by B. Le Brun, caused long-lasting debates in the district, showing the interest of Bretons in their history and flags. The whole story, including images of the former logo and the first proposals, is related by B. Le Brun in the first issue of Ar Banniel [arb].

The flag has proportion of 2:3.
The colours are yellow and red, recalling the arms of Pont-l'Abbé. Red replaces orange, which was used in the first drafts of the flag as a traditional colour of Pont-l'Abbé, but later considered unsuitable from heraldic and aesthetic points of view.
The first vertical third of the flag is a yellow field charged with red ermine spots. The ermine spots represent the municipalities of Pays Bigouden. Their number may vary for the following reason: the canton of Plogastel-Saint-Germain includes three municipalities which do not belong to the traditional Pays Bigouden (in France, the administrative divisions made after 1789 usually do not match exactly earlier divisions). Depending on the decision of these three municipalities to be associated or not with Pays Bigouden country, the number of ermine spots shall be 20, 21, 22 or 23. One of the three municipalities rejected the association, therefore the current flag has 22 ermine spots.
The rest of the flag is made of five horizontal stripes, alternatively red and yellow. In early drafts, a vertical black fimbriation separated the ermine field from the horizontal stripes, but it was suppressed as unnecessary and unaesthetic.

Ivan Sache, 3 April 1998

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