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Banner of Duchess Ann of Brittany

Last modified: 2016-11-11 by ivan sache
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Presentation of Ann of Brittany

Ann of Brittany (French, Anne de Bretagne; Breton, Anna Breizh; 1477-1514) was the daughter of Duke of Brittany Francis II and of Margaret of Foix. Ann was Duchess of Brittany from 1488 to 1514. Her first marriage, by proxy, with Maximilian I of Austria (1490) was cancelled one year later upon French diplomatic and military pressure. Ann of Brittany was twice Queen of France, following her marriages with Charles VIII (1491-1498) and Louis XII (1499-1514). She was succeeded by her daughter, Claude of France, Duchess of Brittany (1499-1524) and Queen of France (1515-1524) following her marriage with Francis I.

Historiographers with a political agenda have blurred facts, transforming the historic Ann of Brittany into a mythic heroin. On the one hand, the Breton nobles made of the duchess the champion of the Breton independence, forced to marry Charles VII after having been abducted; on the other hand, the historiographers of the French Royal Court depicted her as the champion of the concord between France and Brittany and the precursor of the peaceful union of Brittany to France.
The accumulation of biographical details of uncertain sources, when not completely forged, prevents modern historians to propose a clear image of Ann of Brittany and to accurately evaluate her actual political role. Some historians present her as a stubborn and vindictive person, who accelerated the decline of Brittany, while other present her as a wise and strong-minded princess, who fiercely defended the interest of Brittany.
In today's Brittany, Duchess Ann is a cherished folk character, being equalled in popularity only by St. Ivo (St. Yves), the poor's lawyers.

, 26 March 2016

Banner of Anne of Brittany

[Flag]         [Flag]         [Flag]

Banner of Ann of Brittany, left, as Princess of Brittany; middle, as Duchess of Brittany;right, as Queen of France - Images by Mikael Bodlore-Penlaez, 20 June 2000

As a princess, Ann used a banner quartered Brittany and Foix, from his father, Duke Francis II, and her mother, Margaret of Foix, respectively.
Aq a duchess, she used the arms of Brittany ("Ermine plain"), and as the Queen of France, "Per pale France ande Brittany".
[B. Le Brun. Généalogie et vexillologie des ducs de Bretagne, Ar Banniel [arb] No. 9, 1999]

Mikael Bodlore-Penlaez, 14 June 2000

Commemorative banner


Commemorative banner of Ann of Brittany - Image by Mikael Bodlore-Penlaez, 26 March 2016

The 500th anniversary of the death of the duchess (9 January 1514 in the castle of Blois) was widely commemorated in Brittany, 2014 being elected the "Ann of Brittany Year". The Comité Anne de Bretagne 2014 (Breton, Poellgor Anna Breizh 2014; website) was established in spring 2013 by several Breton cultural associations to organize, support and promote the events related to the commemoration.

Mikael Bodlore-Penlaez designed a commemorative banner (photo), in size 0.95 m x 1. 20 m, white with 11 black ermine spots placed 3, 4, 3 and 4, charged in the center with a purple medallion featuring ermine spots in a lighter shade and a stylized profile of Duchess Ann.
[Bannieloù Breizh, 2 May 2014]

Ivan Sache & Tomislav Todorović, 26 March 2016