Last modified: 2002-10-12 by ivan sache
Keywords: fleur-de-lys (yellow) | restauration | carbonari | four sergents of la rochelle (the) |
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by Pierre Gay
When the Bourbons returned in 1814 they brought back the White Flag with the semy de lys as national flag.
François Velde, 30 June 1995
After the defeat of Waterloo (18 June 1815) and the second abdication of Napoléon (22 June 1815), King Louis XVIII came back from exile (in Ghent) and was reestablished on the throne of France (Restauration). Its ultra-conservative rule caused an increasing opposition in the country, especially by the way of secrete societies. The most famous of them was the carbonari movement (or carbonarism), which had initially developed in the Kingdom of Naples against the Napoleonian domination (1806-1815) and later against the Italian rulers.
Carbonarism then moved to France, and fought for liberal ideals, unification of Italy and return of Bonaparte family on the throne of France. Carbonari were organized in ventes of 20 members, called bons cousins. They took part to General Berton's plot in Nantes and to the Four Sergents' plot in La Rochelle.
The Four Sergents (Boris, Goubin, Pommier and Raoulx) were guillotinized in Paris in 1822. Their great courage initiated a liberal campaign and they became legendary.
The flag used by the Four Sergents was part of the collection of
Imperial Prince Napoléon (a.k.a. Jérôme
[1822-1891], grand-father of Louis (1914-), the current Bonapartist
pretender.]. It was 100 cm x 172 cm, with three vertical
On the obverse was painted in white: CONSTITUTION/ET/NAPOLEON II*.
On the reverse was painted in white: HONNEUR/ET/PATRIE
The flag had a tricolor sash, its finial was a simple golden peak.
The flag was used by the carbonari ventes between 1821 and 1822. It was seen during the plot of the 29th line regiment in Belfort, then in Paris, and finally in La Rochelle. It was preserved in La Rochelle, given to the Lieutenant-Colonel Caron, then to M. Dubourjal, then to Marquis d'Audan who finally offered it to Prince Napoleon in 1888.
*Napoléon II was Napoléon I and Maria-Luisa's son, King of Rome, Duke of Reichstadt, born in 1811 and more or less kept prisoner in Schönbrunn palace until his death in 1832. He was recognized Emperor by the Chamners in Paris after his father's abdication but never reigned.
Source: Pierre Charrié [chr92]. Drapeaux et Etendards du XIXe siècle.
Ivan Sache, 9 September 2001