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Finistère (Department, France)


Last modified: 2012-10-07 by ivan sache
Keywords: finistere | penn-ar-bed | bretagne | lion (black) | ram (white) | ermines: 5 (black) | proposal | ermine (yellow) | ermine (blue) | cap sizun | stars: 12 (blue) | morlaix | ermine (green) |
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[Flag of the General Council]

Flag of the General Council of Finistère - Image by Ivan Sache, 28 September 2009

See also:

Administrative data

Code: 29
Region: Bretagne
Traditional province: Brittany (traditional Breton provinces of Cornouaille and Léon, traditional district of Pays Bigouden)
Bordering departments: Côtes-d'Armor, Morbihan

Area: 6,733 km2
Population (2006): 883,001 inhabitants

Préfecture: Quimper
Sous-préfectures: Brest, Châteaulin, Morlaix
Subdivisions: 4 arrondissements, 54 cantons, 283 communes.

The department is named after its geographical location, at land's end (in Latin, finibus terrae).
In 1857, the municipality of Locunolé was transferred from the department of Morbihan to the department of Finistère.

Ivan Sache, 11 November 2009

Penn-ar-Bed , the Breton name of the department, is cognate with Welsh pen y byd, Irish ceann an bheatha and Scots Gaelic ceann na bithe, all of which mean "end of the earth".

Vincent Morley, 7 April 1997

Flag of the General Council of Finistère

The new flag of the General Council of Finistère is similar to the new logo of the General Council, "refreshed" in spring 2009.
The flag is vertically divided dark yellow-black. The yellow stripe is charged with an even more stylized version of the coat of arms (but with the ermine spots less stylized than in the previous version), while the black stripe is charged with the white lettering "CONSEIL GÉNÉRAL / Finistère / Penn-ar-Bed (in italics)".

The flag awarded to the Val d'Élorn Secondary School (collège) at Sizun can be seen on a photo published in Le Télégramme de Brest, 17 July 2009.
As reported on 11 June 2009 in Penhars Info, the General Council has proposed to erect three flag poles in front of each collège managed by the General Council. The flags to be hoisted are the flags of Finistère, France and the European Union, representiong the three authorities involved in the management of the school. The first copies will be offerred by the General Council, while revamping and subsequent change of the flags should be paid by the schools. This announcement has elicitated sour comments about the omission of the Breton flag.

[Former flag of the General Council]         [Former flag of the General Council]

Former flag of the General Council, two variants - Images by Ivan Sache, 22 September 2009

The former flag of the General Council is white with the arms of the department, flanked by the writing "CONSEIL GENERAL / FINISTERE" (top) and "Penn-ar-Bed" (bottom, in italics). A version of the flag with a light blue background was used for the first time in 1998.
According to Pascal Vagnat, the arms of the Department, adopted by the Finistère Heraldry Commission in 1975, are:
Parti : au premier d'or au lion morné et contourné de sable, au second d'azur au bélier saillant d'argent onglé et accorné d'or, les deux animaux affrontés sur la partition ; au chef d'argent chargé de cinq mouchetures d'hermine de sable (Per pale: 1. Or a lion disarmed and contourned sable; 2. Azure a ram salient argent unguled and horned or, the two animals affronty over the partition; a chief argent five ermine spots sable).

Ivan Sache, 28 September 2009

Former flag of the department of Finistère

[Former flag of the department]

Former flag of the department - Image by Ivan Sache, 28 September 2009

Pascal Vagnat reported in 1999 the flag of the General Council without "CONSEIL GENERAL", therefore representing the department. Due to the change in the logo, this flag must be obsolete.

Ivan Sache, 28 September 2009

Proposal of a flag for the department of Finistère

[Flag proposal]

Flag proposed by Bernard Le Brun - Image by Ivan Sache, 1 March 2004

A proposal of flag for the department of Finistère was submitted by Bernard Le Brun to the President of the General Council of Finistère, Charles Miossec, on 29 June 1993:

The flag is made of two parts with the colours, inverted, of the coat of arms of the department. Blue symbolizes Cornouaille and the sea which waters our coasts. Gold represents Léon and the wealth provided by the various activities of the department, that is agriculture industry, trade and fishery. The broken line separating the blue and yellow fields recalls the three points of Finistère. The two countercolored ermines recalls the parts of our department taken from neighbouring traditional provinces, that is Trégor, east of Morlaix, and Vannetais, east of Quimperlé.

The three points of Finistère are, from north to South, pointe Saint-Mathieu, pointe de Penhir and pointe du Raz.

Bernard Le Brun received an official answer from Charles Miossec's staff on 9 August 1993:

For the moment, we do not consider manufacturing a flag for our department. However, we keep M. Le Brun's proposal for further evaluation.

Source: P. Rault. Les drapeaux bretons de 1188 à nos jours [rau98]

Ivan Sache, 1 March 2004

Communauté de Communes de Cap Sizun

Flag of Communauté de Communes de Cap Sizun - Image by Ivan Sache, 30 April 2006

Cap Sizun is the southernmost point of the department of Finistère. Very isolated, Cap Sizun has maintained a very specific cultural identity proudly defended by its inhabitants, called Capistes.
Cap Sizun is mostly known for the fishing port of Audierne and the Pointe du Raz, one of the most visited sites in France. The place was so crowded that a conservation and restoration plan had to be set up some years ago.

Communauté de Communes de Cap Sizun, was created on 17 December 1993. The municipalities members of the Community are: Audierne, Beuzec-Cap-Sizun, Cléden-Cap-Sizun, Confort-Meilars, Esquibien, Goulien, Mahalon, Plogoff, Plouhinec, Pont-Croix, Primelin and Sein. The Community has its seat in Audierne.

The flag of Communauté de Communes du Cap Sizun is based on the logotype of the authority. It shows on a white background a sketchy geographical representation of the region framed within a light blue border. The green "leaf" represents Cap Sizun; the notch in the lower right part of the "leaf" most probably represents the river Goyen, which is navigable from Audierne to Pont-Croix. The green triangle on the left of the logotype probably stands for the island of Sein, whereas the blue item between the Pointe du Raz and the island of Sein must represent the lighthouse phare de la Vieille. The 12 blue stars represent the 12 municipalities members of the institution.
In early April 2006, the flag of Communauté de Communes du Cap Sizun could be seen in Audierne (over the town hall and the tourist office) and in Confort-Meilars (over the town hall). It was also hoisted over a ship moored in the port of Tréboul-Douarnenez and was carried by a competitor of the Land's End's Marathon (Marathon du Bout du Monde), ran on 2 April from the Pointe du Raz to Douarnenez.

Ivan Sache, 18 January 2008

Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Morlaix

Flag of CCI Morlaix - Image by Ivan Sache, 14 August 2010

Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Morlaix (CCI Morlaix, website) was founded in 1833 to manage the commerce port of Morlaix, a town located in North Brittany.
In 1970-1972, CCI Morlaix built the deep-sea port of Roscoff- Bloscon, which superseded Morlaix as the main commerce port of North Brittany. Still managed by CCI, the port of Morlaix is today mostly a yachting port.
In 2003, CCI inaugurated a new fish salesroom in the port of Bloscon, which caused the relocation of most fishing activity from the old port of Roscoff to Bloscon; a marina is expected to be inaugurated in the next years.
CCI Morlaix is also in charge of the Morlaix-Ploujean airport, built in 1939 and reactivated in 1973 with the creation of the Brit'Air regional airline. The company, incorporated into Air France in 2000, has its headquarters and flight training center in Morlaix.

The flag of CCI Morlaix, as seen in June 2010 in the port of Roscoff- Bloscon, is white with the CCI's logo.
The logo of CCI Motlaix is made of a blue square with the lower left corner rounded-off, charged with the writing "CCi (green) / MORLAIX (white). Three smaller, similar blue squares forming a bigger blue square quartered by a white cross are placed above the upper right corner of the main square.

Former flag of CCI Morlaix - Image by Ivan Sache, 14 August 2010

The former flag of CCI Morlaix, white with the former logo of the CCI, was seen (a single copy) in June 2010 in the port of Morlaix. The logo is made of a blue square charged with a green ermine spot, on its right the writing "CCi / MORLAIX" in blue letters.

Ivan Sache, 14 August 2010