Last modified: 2011-04-01 by peter hans van den muijzenberg
Keywords: limousin | regional council | leaf (green) | letter: l (red) | chestnut |
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Flag of Region Limousin - Image by Ivan Sache, 12 September 2010
Bordering Regions: Aquitaine, Auvergne, Centre, Midi-Pyrénées, Poitou-Charentes
Traditional provinces: Limousin, Guyenne and Gascony, Marche, Berry, Poitou
Area: 16,942 km2
Population (1995): 718,900 inhabitants
Regional prefecture: Limoges
The flag of Region Limousin is white with the Region's logo in the middle.
The current logo was unveiled by the Regional Council on 28 March
2007; this was a modernization of the previous logo, made by the Regional Council with the support of the Semiotic Research Center of
the University of Limoges (therefore with a limited cost). The logo
has retained the chestnut leaf and the letter "L" from the previous
logo, the updated logo being "less strict and more dynamic".
As in the previous logo, the chestnut leaf has a geometric outline on the left, recalling technology and artificial intelligence, and a smooth outline on the right, recalling the natural environment. Therefore, the leaf symbolizes the union of new technology and natural heritage. The green colour represents fertility, nature, knowledge, science and hope.
The letter "L" stands for "Limousin". The red colour represents life, force and dynamism.
Chestnut is the emblematic tree of Limousin. Until the introduction of
potatoes around 1850, only rye could be grown on the poor, acid soils
of Limousin. The carefully managed, natural chestnut groves saved the
local population from starvation in harsh winter time for centuries.
According to a census made in 1808, 33,500 ha were grown with chestnuts in Limousin. A 0.6 ha chestnut grove - that is, 50 trees, each producing 20-30 kg chestnuts per year - could feed six people for 100 days. Chestnut conservation was a challenge, which was solved with heat dessication operations performed in specific stone huts called clédiers, once a significant component of the social life in the Limousin countryside. Frozen, broken and damaged chestnuts were used to feed the pigs, the second staple diet in Limousin.
Being not only the "bread tree", chestnut was grown for its resistant wood; easy to work, chestnut wood had many usages in building (lintels, rafters, boards, claddings, floors) and agriculture (fences and ropes, baskets). Around 1850, the local forges, once the main users of chestnut wood, all closed, and the new job of feuillardier appeared in the countryside. The feuillardiers were specialized workers of rural origin, who exploited chestnut coppices for wood merchants. Producing "black stuff" (unbarked) and "white stuff" (barked), the feuillardiers worked in harsh conditions, living in small huts (loges) built near the coppices. Probably on the model of the Limoges porcelain workers, the exploited feuillardiers set up a first workers' union in 1893 in Saint-Yrieix; the different local unions set up a central bureau in 1906, organizing ten strikes during the gilded age of the feuillardiers, 1880-1939, their membership peaking in 1906 at 1,280.
Source: Les Châtaigniers en Limousin website
Ivan Sache, 12 September 20120
Previous flags of Region Limousin - Imagse by Ivan Sache, 12 September 2010
The previous flag of the Regional Council exists either without inscription or with the writing "LIMOUSIN / CONSEIL REGIONAL"
The leaf should convey the idea that Limousin is a Region where nature is very important ("Nature is Future"). The leaf outline is on the right side more rounded (nature and tradition) than on the left side, where it is pixelized, thus symbolizing technology and progress. The red "L" over the leaf stands for Limousin.
Philippe-Pierre Darras, 18 January 1999