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Bourgogne-Franche-Comté (Region, France)

Last modified: 2021-06-20 by ivan sache
Keywords: bourgogne-franche-comté | bourgogne | franche-comté |
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Flag of Region Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, three versions - Images by Olivier Touzeau, 1 June 2021

See also:

Administrative data

Departments: Côte-d'Or, Doubs, Jura, Nièvre, Haute-Saône, Saône-et-Loire, Yonne, Territoire de Belfort
Bordering Regions: Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Centre-Val de Loire, Grand Est, Île-de-France
Bordering country: Switzerland
Traditional provinces: Alsace, Bourgogne, Champagne, Nivernais, Orléanais

Area: 47,784 km2
Population (1995): 2,737,100 inhabitants
Regional prefecture: Dijon

Flag of Region Bourgogne-Franche-Comté

The flag of the region is a banner of arms, "Quarterly, 1. Azure semé de lis or within a border gobony argent and gules (Burgundy Modern), 3. and 3. Azure billetty a lion rampant crowned or armed and langued gules (Franche-Comté), 4. Bendy of six or and azure within a bordure gules (Burgundy Ancient)".
The "semé de lis or" is now shown with a real "semé" and not with three or five fleurs-de-lis, as were drawn the flags of the former Region Burgundy.

In February 2017, the President of the Region, Marie-Guite Dufay, let know that there would be a new flag for new region, and that it had been asked to specialists to create the flag. She added that the flag would not include the logo.
[Le Journal de Saône-et-Loire, 15 February 2017]

The new flag was unveiled on 12 July 2017 in Saint-Jean-de-Losne, a small municipality located at at the border between the two former regions, on river Saône.
Marie-Guite Dufay said that she wanted Bourgogne-Franche-Comté to have its own coat of arms, because "the challenge is not so much that of managing a new administrative territory that of building and making, with the inhabitants, a new common identity". This mission was entrusted to a collective of historians and archivists gathered around Professor Jean-Claude Duverget, to propose a new coat of arms for the region Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, in strict compliance with the rules of the heraldry.
The members of the group were mainly archivists and historians of both former regions, members of learned societies: Édouard Bouyé, director of the departmental archives of Côte-d'Or; Jean-Claude Duverget, former professor of history and Regional Councillor of Franche-Comté from 1986 to 2010; Pierre Gresser, honorary professor of history at the University of Franche-Comté; Rémi Mathis, from Franche-Comté, heritage curator at the Bibliothèque nationale de France; Gérard Moyse, former director of the departmental archives of Haute-Saône.
Their proposal was realized by Rémi Mathis: "a composite coat of arms, which associates the two former regions, with their specific history, united in one, strong of two inheritances that complement each other."

The proposal was submitted to the National Heraldry Commission, who issued a favorable opinion on 6 April 2017.
[Regional Council, 19 July 2017; France3 Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, 12 July 2017; Vivre en Côte-d'Or, 12 July 2017]

The Region has also been using since the beginning of 2017 a white flag charged with the new logo of the Region (photos, photo). The flag is also used with a yellow background (photo).
Unveiled in November 2016, the logo received lots of criticism. It shows the words "REGION BOURGOGNE FRANCHE COMTE" in black united by four horizontal yellow dashes for the two accents on the "E" and hyphens.

A provisional logo (image) was in use from January to November 2016, with the words "région BOURGOGNE FRANCHE-COMTÉ" in orange. Some flagmakers websites showed it on a white background, but I could not find any official evidence of the provisional logo on a flag.
It seems that, during its first monthes, the Regional Council used either both traditional flags of Bourgogne and Franche-Comté (photo) or no flag at all.
In April 2016, the traditional flag of Franche-Comté was removed from the front of building of the former Regional Council in Besançon and replaced by a second French flag. The flag of Burgundy was removed from the roof of the building of the former Regional Council, leaving an empty mast.
[L'Est Réplicain, 7 April 2016]

Olivier Touzeau, 1 June 2021

Former Region Bourgogne

Administrative data

Departments: Côte-d'Or, Nièvre, Saône-et-Loire, Yonne
Bordering Regions: Auvergne, Centre, Champagne-Ardennes, Franche-Comté, Île-de-France, Rhône-Alpes
Traditional provinces: Bourgogne, Champagne, Nivernais, Orléanais

Area: 31,582 km2
Population (1995): 1,623,900 inhabitants
Regional prefecture: Dijon

Flag of the Region


Flag hoisted on the Regional Council - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 30 July 2017

The most widely used flag in Région Bourgogne and by the Regional Council was the traditional flag of Burgundy. The flag hoisted on the roof of the Regional Council (photo) was the variant with 5 fleurs-de-lis (2-1-2) in the first and fourth quarters.

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Flag of the Regional Council, three versions - Images by Olivier Touzeau, 30 July 2017

Before 2016, the Regional Council of Bourgogne used a white flag with its logo for institutional use. The flag with only the graphic part was probably in use until 2015 at the same time that flags with wordings.
The flag reported in 1998 by Pascal Vagnat included the full logo with wording (“Région de Bourgogne” in black). It was probaly in use from the late 1980ies to 1999/2000.
In 1999 or 2000, the wording of the logo was modified (use of another font, in blue). The flag until 2015 (photo) had frequently the words below the graphic part of the logo/

Olivier Touzeau, 30 July 2017

The logo of the Regional Council shows in its left part an "adaptation" (same design but colour changed) of the traditional banner of arms of Burgundy, and on its right part a big blue "B" letter.
The "B" stands for the region's name but is also a reference to one of the most famous Burgundians, Sr. Bernard of Clairvaux. The "B" shown on the logo was the first letter of his signature.

Bernard of Clairvaux (Fontaine-les-Dijon 1090 - Clairvaux 1153) joined the abbey of Cîteaux as a monk in 1112. In 1098, Abbot Robert of Molesme founded there the Cistercian order, independent of the Cluny order. At that time, the powerful abbey of Cluny ruled an economical empire stretching out all over western Europe. Bernard decided to carry on Robert de Molesme's reform and advocated for a strict implementation of St. Benedict's rule, abolishing the tithe and other taxes that had made the fortune of Cluny. With a few monks, he settled in a very isolated, poor place named Clairvaux in 1115. In spite of harsh life conditions and a rule based on austerity and labour, Clairvaux attracted a lot of monks and the daughter abbey of Trois-Fontaines was founded in 1121 in Champagne. When Bernard died, the Abbey of Cîteaux had 700 monks and more than 350 abbeys had joined the Cistercian order. The order was organized in a hierarchical network dominated by the "Elder Daughters" of Cîteaux, Clairvaux, Pontigny, La Ferté and Morimond.
Although he had initially decided to live in an isolated place and to spend his time in prayer and labour, Bernard quickly became one of the most famous men of his times. A famous erudite, theologian, philosoph, and political councillor of Kings and Popes, Bernard preached the Second Crusade in 1147 in Vézelay on behalf of Pope Eugene III. Bernard's philosophy was characterized by mysticism, opposing to Abélard's rationalism. As a theologian, he was one of the founders of the devotion to the Blessed Virgin, and remained famous for his mystical interpretation of the Song of Songs (also a masterpeice of French poetry).
The Cistercian church architecture is characterized by a very simple plan, which was spread all over Europe with very few variations. Any kind of decoration was forbidden, giving a very strong impression of austerity. The abbey church usually has a flat chevet and no bell tower, to prevent the bells disturbing silence and meditation. The best example of Cistercian architecture is the abbey of Fontenay, registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List, located in Burgundy. Clairvaux was transformed into a jailhouse in 1808 while Cîteaux is stil inhabited by Cistercian monks.

Ivan Sache, 14 December 2001

Former Region Franche-Comté

Administrative data

Departments: Doubs, Jura, Haute-Saône, Territoire de Belfort
Bordering Regions: Alsace, Bourgogne, Champagne-Ardenne, Lorraine, Rhône-Alpes
Bordering country: Switzerland
Traditional provinces: Bourgogne, Alsace

Area: 16,202 km2
Population (1995): 1,113,200 inhabitants
Regional prefecture: Besançon

Flag of the Region


Flag of Franche-Comté - Image by Olivier Touzaeu, 1 August 2017

Until 2016, the seat of the Regional Council flew the traditional flag of Franche-Comté (photo).
Although many flagmakers sold flags with the logo of the former Regional Council (several variants with change in the font and position of the wording and slight modifications of the graphic part; example, 1990s wording; example, post-2009 wording), the Regional Council did not use such flags as far as I know.

Olivier Touzaeu, 1 August 2017