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Occitanie (France)

Last modified: 2002-01-18 by ivan sache
Keywords: occitanie | star: 7 points (yellow) | cross: occitan |
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Occitany is the name given to the area where Langue d'Oc was spoken, essentially:32 département of Southern France. Related languages are or were also spoken in the Aran valley in Catalonia, Piemonte alpine valleys and the Calabrian city of Guardia Piemontese in Italy and some villages in Wurtemberg (Germany, now extinct).

According to the maedievist P. Bec (entry Langues et littératures occitanes in Encyclopaedia Universalis, 1998), Langue d'Oc can be divided into three main dialects:

  • Northern Occitan, itself divided in Limousin, which was spoken in the traditional provinces of Limousin and Marche , Auvergnat, which was spoken in the traditional provinces of Auvergne and Bourbonnais, and Provençal Alpin, which was spoken in the traditional province of Dauphiné.
  • Median Occitan, which is the most closely related to the classical Langue d'Oc, itself divided in Languedocien, which was spoken in the traditional provinces of Languedoc, Guyenne, County of Foix and Roussillon, and Provençal, which was spoken in the traditional provinces of Provence, Comtat Venaissin and County of Nice.
  • Gascon, which is the less related to the classical Langue d'Oc, and was spoken in the traditional province of Gascogne and Béarn.

Dimensions of the flag

The flag has no official dimensions. The flags I've seen use to have the same proportions as the French one.

History of the Flag

The Occitan flag now in use has two variants: with or without the star.

The original flag (without the star) is the Languedoc star. It was the County of Toulouse emblem before the annexion by France (1271) and then became the Languedoc province emblem. It is said it was brought to Occitanie by Raimond de Sant Gèli, the Raimond IV of Toulouse, back from a Crusade in the XIIth century. The twelve terminations represent the 12 months of the zodiacal wheel. A christian interpretation of the 12 apostles came later.

The star is the emblem of the Félibrige revival movement, founded the 21st May, 1854 by Frédéric Mistral and other 6 Provencal poets. So the 7 number. The 21st May is the Saint Estela Day, Estela is a feminine name meaning star. The félibre word comes from an old provençal text: "the seven felibres of the Law". Again 7.

The star was added to the flag by the Partit Nationalista Occitan, a nationalist/separatist organisation founded in 1959. It permits to differentiate the Languedoc province and the Occitanie as a group of provinces including Auvergne, Gascogne, Limousin, Provence and a part of Dauphiné. It is now in use by many "occitanists" even not members of the PNO.

Joan-Francés Blanc 30 October 1996

This flag, without the star, appears in the Flags of Aspirant Peoples chart [eba94], #65, with the following caption:

OCCITANIA (Langue d'Oc)
South France

Ivan Sache, 14 September 1999

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