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Vendée (Department, France)

Last modified: 2021-07-11 by ivan sache
Keywords: vendee |
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[Flag]         [Flag]

Flags of Vendée - Images by Pascal Gross & Ivan Sache, 13 July 2015

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Administrative data

Code: 85
Region: Pays de la Loire
Traditional province: Poitou
Bordering departments: Charente-Maritime, Loire-Atlantique, Maine-et-Loire, Deux-Sèvres

Area: 7,016 km2
Population (2013): 655,506 inhabitants

Préfecture: La Roche-sur-Yon

  • Fontenay-le-Comte, Les Sables-d'Olonne
    Subdivisions: 3 arrondissements, 17 cantons, 29 intermunicipal authorities, 269 municipalities.

    The department is named after river Vendée (82 km), a tributary of the Sèvre Niortaise.

    Ivan Sache, 14 November 2009

    Flags in current use

    The flag of Vendée most commonly over the last years (photo, official website; photo; photo, Tour de France 2011; photo; photo) is vertically divided red-white, with the logo of Vendée in the centre and "VENDEE / CONSEIL GENERAL" written in white letters at lower hoist.
    Another version of the flag (photo), seemingly much less common, bears only "VENDÉE", countercoloured, at the top of the flag.

    Ivan Sache, 13 July 2015

    Older reported flags

    Plain flags

    [Flag]         [Flag]

    Former flags of Vendée, two wersions - Images by Pascal Gross, 26 October 2009

    Flags with the logo of Vendée in the centre but no additional writing were reported, either vertically divided red-white or plain white (photo).

    Ivan Sache, Jaume Ollé & Pascal Vagnat, 26 October 2009

    Flags with writing

    [Flag]         [Flag]

    Former flags of Vendée, two wersions - Images by Jaume Ollé & Ivan Sache, 26 October 2009

    The original flag of the General Council of Vendée (Société Vexillologique de l'Ouest) is white with two vertical thin red and white stripes in the centre, charged with the with the logo of Vendée. The writing "VENDEE CONSEIL GENERAL" appears below the logo.
    The original flag appears to have been soon superseded by a more popular flag, hoisted for instance on the sailboats that compete in the Vendée Globe 2008-2009 race (photo). The flag is vertically divided red-white, with the logo of Vendée in the center and the writing "VENDÉE / CONSEIL GÉNÉRAL" placed in the bottom of the flag, countercoloured.

    Ivan Sache, 26 October 2009

    Logo of Vendée

    The logo of Vendée was designed by the Carré Noir agency. The first logo was adopted on 15 January 1980 by the General Council. The double heart is a stylization of the Sacred Heart, the emblem of the Catholic insurgents during the French Revolution, featured on the coat of arms of the Department of Vendée registered on 20 October 1943 by the Commission of the State Seals and Arms.
    On 22 June 988, the General Council proposed to modernize the logo; the double heart was redesigned; the new design kept its heraldic definition but better matched the modern values of Vendée. After a consultation of all the Mayors and General Councillors of the department, the General Council adopted the new logo on 18 September 1989.
    [Société Vexillologique de l'Ouest]

    In March 1999, the association Une Vendée pour tous les Vendéens sued the General Council, arguing that the cross surmounting the double heart made of the logo as a religious symbol, in contradiction with State secularity, which has been established in France in 1905. The Court of Nantes, however, rejected the claim, stating that "the logo does not refer to religion but to history [...]".

    The Sacred Heart of Vendée, a plain red heart topped with a plain red Christian cross, was used during the Vendée insurrection between 1793 and 1796.
    After the execution of Louis XVI, the Republican government of the Convention ordered the conscription of 300,000 new soldiers. In the region of Vendée, a general insurrection, led by noble and peasant leaders, bursted out. The "Catholic and Royal Army" (the "Whites", as opposed to the "Blues", the Army of the Republic) used a white flag seme with fleurs-de-lis, often charged with the words "Vive Louis XVII", referring to the young son of Louis XVI. The leaders wore on the chest a woolen badge with the Sacred Heart.

    Ivan Sache, 5 September 2003

    Viking flag of Vendée

    [Flag]         [Flag]

    Viking flag of Vendée, two versions - Images by Tomislav Todorović, 23 March 2020

    ean-Emmanuel Brethomé, the designer of the flag of L'Île-d'Olonne, created on 15 February 2015 a Viking flag of Vendée, whose definitive design was adopted on 21 February 2015 "following a vote".The flag (photo, photo, photo, photo), inaugurated on 8 March 2015, is white with a decentered dark red cross voided throughout (St. Olaf's cross) and a red Sacred Heart in canton.

    The flag represents the Viking history of Vendée, recalling the Viking establishments in Noirmoutier, Yeu, Bouin, the Olonne marshes and the islands in the former Pictones' Gulf (today, the Rochefort and Brouage marshes).
    The flag is aimed at federating the Scandinavian and Vendean cultures.
    [Designer's blog, 22 March 2015]

    The flag also exists without the emblem in canton (photo).


    Earlier Viking flag Vendée - Image by Tomislav Todorović, 23 March 2020

    An earlier version of the flag (photo, photo, photo) had inverted colors, a brighter shade of red and the modernized Sacred Heart taken from the logo of the Departmental Council.

    Ivan Sache, 23 March 2020

    Association des Vendéens de Paris et d'Île-de-France


    Flag of Association des Vendéens de Paris et d'Île-de-France - Image by Ivan Sache, 22 August 2020

    The Association des Vendéens de Paris et d’Île-de-France, officially Union Fraternelle des Vendéens de Paris (UFVP), was founded on 5 March 1893 registered on 27 May 1893.

    The booklet published in 1993 to celebrate the association's centenary provides an historical account of the association and its evolution. UFVP was established as a philanthropic society whose main goal was to welcome and support people who "went up" from Vendée to Paris in search of a job, very often to no avail. The association supplied those in greater need with cash, food, and medical aid, and organized their repatriation to Vendée when deemed necessary. To maintain the connection between all members, those who could not attend meetings included, the review Le Vendéen de Paris was founded in December 1897. The member's lists indicate that UFVP was a genuine mutual-aid society, since regular members did not belong to the upper classes, not even to the upper middle classes: they were slate workers, carpenters, coachmen, delivery men, boilermakers, janitors, wattmen, bus controllers, railroad workers, blacksmiths, haberdashers, saddlers or footmen.

    UFVP upgraded its official status after the First World War. On 24 November 1929, the war veteran Arsène Groizeleau required from the authorities the permanent invitation of UFVP to the ceremony commemorating the most famous child of Vendée, Georges Clémenceau; as the "Father of Victory", Clémenceau, who died on 24 November 1929, is honored any 24 November by a rejuvenation of the flame burning on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier under Arc of triumph in Paris; General Gouraud accepted the request, so that UFPV was invited to the first ceremony scheduled to 22 November 1930. Dr. Chevallereau, President of the association, was commissioned to rejuvenate the flame while honored were rendered by the 239th Infantry Regiment, from Vendée. Since then the flame has been rejuvenated every year by a member of the assocaition, in 1949, General de Lattre de Tassigny (born in Mouilleron-en-Pardes, also Clémenceau's birth place). The association is also invited to the celebration of the 11 November 1918 armistice in Sainte-Hermine. Clémenceau served as a medical doctor in this town, where his statue was inaugurated in 1921, the only one not posthumous all over France.
    Georges Clémenceau was offered in 1927 the presidency of honor of the association, which he kindly accepted.

    From 1922 to 1925, several stories in local patois were published in Le Vendéen de Paris by a mysterious "père la Moucoire". In order to know who he was, the association's board invited him to preside the yearly banquet, which he refused, saying he was ill. His death and funeral were announced short after, but his precise identity was never unveiled.
    With time, the association turned into a cultural and folkloric association, which organized festivals, dinners and events with sometimes up to 300 participants. On 21 May 1938, when coming back from an excursion, the members of the association welcomed, by pure chance another celebrity from Vendée, the engineer and airman René Couzinet who triumphantly landed in Le Bourget after his return flight through South Atlantic on the Arc en Ciel III. Couzinet and his crew presided the association's next banquet, except the chief pilot, the famous Jean Mermoz, who had another commitment.

    The flag of UFVP (photo) is white with the association's logo.

    Esteban Rivera & Ivan Sache, 22 August 2020