Last modified: 2021-02-13 by ivan sache
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Flag of Étreillers - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 4 November 2020
The municipality of Étreillers (1,203 inhabitants in 2018; 869 ha) is located 10 km west of Saint-Quentin.
During the First World War, the village was crossed by the Hindenburg
Line, a system of fortifications set up by Generalfeldmarschall
Hindenburg (1847-1937) and Generalquartiermaster Ludendorff
(1865-1937) after the Battle of the Somme (July-November 1916); the
allied attempt of breakout failed but the Germans withdraw on 24
February 1917 on the Hindenburg Line to decrease the length of the
front. During the withdrawal, the Germans destroyed all villages,
roads etc. to protect the Line.
Completely destroyed, the village of Étreillers was rebuilt after the war with the support of the inhabitants of Vernou-sur-Brenne (Indre-et-Loire).
Olivier Touzeau & Ivan Sache, 4 November 2008
The flag of Étreillers (photo) is white with the municipal coat of arms, "Quarterly, 1. Argent a rooster of the same outlined sable, 2. Argent three bends gules sinister a canton argent charged with a star sable, 3. Argent two bends gules sinister a canton argent charged with a star sable, 4. Argent a hen of the same outlined sable",
The arms were inaugurated during the commemoration of the First World War organized on 26 and 27 August 2017. Designed by the local historian Patrice Nobécourt, also President of the Festivals' Committee, they were inspired by the arms of the Lescot family and by the steeple of the parish church.
The Lescot family was lord of most of Étreillers in the 18th century. The Armorial Général shows the arms of Jacques Lescot, King's Councillor and Grenetier (officer in charge of the salt barn - grenier á sel) in Saint-Quentin, as "Quarterly, 1. and 4. Argent a roaster gules, 2. and 3. Azure three bends or a star of the same in the sinister canton" (image).
The heraldist Henri Jougla de Morénas (1903-1955) gives the arms with different tinctures: "Quarterly, 1. and 4. Azure a rooster argent, 2. and 3. Gules three bends argent a star of the same in sinister canton".
The Armorial Général also features the arms of Jean-François Lescot, Apostolic Royal Notary in Abbeville, as "Per fess, 1. Azure a rooster or, 2. Azure three bends or" (image).
The rooster, in French, coq, in local picard, cot, makes the arms of Lescot canting. Together with the hen, if also form a straightforward reference to the odd steeple of the parish church of Étreillers (photo), which appears to be France's only example of a steeple topped by two weather vanes instead of the emblematic cock. The local tradition claims that a local lord once offered a cock modeled from his own coat of arms. The villagers perceived it as yet another symbol of domination of the lord over the village; upset, they raised funds to acquire a second, hen-shaped weather vane that was set beside the lord's weather vane.
Ivan Sache, 5 November 2008