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Toulouse (Municipality, Haute-Garonne, France)

Last modified: 2017-05-31 by ivan sache
Keywords: haute-garonne | toulouse | cross: toulouse | cross: clechee | rugby | stade toulousain |
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[Flag of Toulouse]

Municipal flag of Toulouse - Image by Pierre Gay, 24 April 2003

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Presentation of Toulouse

The municipality of Toulouse (437,715 inhabitants in 2006 [urban area, 1,102,882 inh.]; 11,830 ha) is the préfecture of the Department of Haute-Garonne, préfecture of the Region Midi-Pyrénées and the capital of the traditional province of Languedoc.

Languedoc was originally constituted by the domains owned by the Counts of Toulouse. Therefore, the history of Toulouse globally matches the history of Languedoc.

Ivan Sache, 24 April 2003

Municipal flag of Toulouse

The flag of Toulouse, featuring the yellow Cross of Toulouse on a red field, is the banner of arms of the Counts of Toulouse.

The first known Cross of Toulouse is shown on Count Raimond VI's seal, dated from 1211. Then widely used all over Languedoc, the Cross of Toulouse appeared on the municipal arms of Toulouse and the provincial arms of Languedoc in the 14th century.
Pierre Saliès (Archistra, December 1994) claims that the Cross of Toulouse is a modification of the Latin Cross, attributed to Count Raimond VI. In 1099, Raimond VI took part to the reconquest of Jerusalem with the Crusaders. As a Crusaders' chief, Raimond would have adapted a cross slightly different from the Latin Cross bore by the low-rank Crusaders. According to this theory, the edges of the arms of the cross were cut into two pieces and curved. To be fixed on a shield, such a cross required twelve rivets. The design would have progressively evolved towards the Cross of Toulouse.

Roger Camboulives believes that the origin of the Cross of Toulouse is pre-Christian. Its origin could have been a twelve-ray solar wheel. Such a cross has been found in Saint-Michel-de-Lanes, in Lauragais, not far from Toulouse. The twelve discs, possibly symbolizing the twelve zodiacal mansions, were in the 13th century rather associated with the twelve apostles. A remote origin of the cross is possible, and Camboulives mentions the Turfan cross, in Eastern Turkestan, as a possible archetype of the Cross of Toulouse. According to this theory, the emblem would have traveled from East to West and materialized the migration of the Wisigoths from the Black Sea to Toulouse. Similar crosses have been found in northern Italy (Pisa and Venice), Provence (Venasque and Forcalquier) and Spanish Catalonia (Santa María de l'Estany). The cross could have been brought to Count Guillaume Taillefer (951-1037) by his wife, Emme de Venasque, Marchionness of Provence.

Ivan Sache, 24 April 2003

Stade Toulousain

[Stade Toulousain]

Flag of Stade Toulousain - Image by Ivan Sache, 17 October 1999

Stade Toulousain is one of the leading French rugby teams.
The club's flag, vertically divided red-black, the club's colours, is hoisted in the stadium.

Ivan Sache, 17 October 1999