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Montluçon (Municipality, Allier, France)

Last modified: 2023-11-18 by olivier touzeau
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[Flag]         [Flag of Montluçon]

Flags of Montluçon - Images by Olivier Touzeau, 30 January 2022

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Presentation of Montluçon

Montluçon (33,822 inhabitants in 2019; 2,067 ha) s the largest commune in the Allier department, although the department's prefecture is located in the smaller town of Moulins.

Traces of human occupation dating from the Magdalenian period have been found. During Antiquity, Montluçon was part of the territory of the Bituriges Cubi. After the defeat of Vercingétorix and the conquest of Gaul, Montluçon became an important strategic point. Following the decline of Rome, several peoples coming from the east ruined and plundered the upper Cher valley. The Visigoths settled in 378. In 507 their king Alaric II was killed by Clovis who then conquered Berry and Auvergne. There are traces of occupations from the Carolingian era (8th century) on the esplanade of the castle of Montluçon.
At the end of the 9th century and the beginning of the 10th century, the Hungarians invaded the region. They plunder Néris which is a rich city but do not succeed in destroying Montluçon which is then well protected. The survivors of Néris will then emigrate, for the most part, to Montluçon after the destruction of their city.
After the invasion of the Normans in the 10th century, the city must be able to defend itself. This is how the lordship of Montluçon was born, and it soon became the rival of that of Bourbon.
The most famous lord of Montluçon was Odon, who built ramparts and a dungeon. Odon having no descendants, his brother Hugon succeeded him. On the death of the latter, having no children either, it was his nephew Archambaud II who became lord, thus bringing together the lordships of Montluçon and Bourbon.
The town was taken by the English in 1171, and by Philip Augustus in 1181; the English were driven out in the 14th century. They left, leaving behind the Black Death, which decimated part of the population.
In the 14th century, Louis II, Duke of Bourbon, fortified the town given the strategic importance it had taken on. He raised the walls, digged ditches fed by the waters of the Amaron river and built four gates. He restored the castle and the Notre-Dame church. Louis II of Bourbon died on August 10, 1410 in the castle.
Montluçon and other Bourbon lands reverted to the French crown in 1529, and Henry IV further improved the defenses.

After the French Revolution, Montluçon entered the industrial era thanks to the presence of coalpits 12 km distant in Commentry, the Canal de Berry in 1830 and the railway in 1864. These transport links allowed the import of ore and export of coal, wood and manufactured goods. The population grew from 5000 inhabitants in 1830 to 50 000 in 1950.
Dunlop moved to Montluçon in 1919, in a former shell loading factory with a large plot of land where the future factory could expand and also thanks to a large workforce. The factory made Montluçon known to the whole world.
During the Second World War, the Germans occupied the Dunlop tyre plant (even though Montluçon was in the free zone) to exploit the research laboratory to synthesize rubber, since natural rubber could not be imported by Germany. The manufacturing of tyres for Luftwaffe aircraft was also of interest for the Germans. For this reason, the Allies bombed the site on 12–16 September 1943, as well as part of the nearby town Saint-Victor, causing 36 deaths and injuring more than 250 civilians.
Since 1945, traditional industry (blast furnaces and glassware) has declined. Today Montluçon has chemical industries, tyre manufacture (Dunlop), and electronics (Sagem), and more recently a technopole was established for high-tech companies

Olivier Touzeau, 30 January 2022

Flag of Montluçon

The current flag of Montluçon is a white vertical banner ratio 1:3, with the logo in the center. Another white vertical banner of the same ratio 1:3 with the logo of the intermunicipal structure can be observed too (photo, 2022; photo, 2019; photo, 2017; photo, 2016).
Before 2013, 2:3 flags could be seen, white with the logos of the commune (photo, 2011).

Olivier Touzeau, 30 January 2022

Former flag of Montluçon

[Flag of Montluçon]

Former flag of Montluçon - Image by François-Jean Blanc

The coat of arms of Motluçons is blazoned Azure a castle Argent masoned Sable, on a mount Or issuant from the base, surmounted by a sun of the same.
Hence the blue and yellow colors of the town.

Olivier Touzeau, 30 January 2022

Flag observed during a demonstration

[Flag of Montluçon]

Tricolore flag with logo of Montluçon - Image located by Dave Fowler

I located a photo of a French flag defaced with the Ville de Montluçon ville logo.

Dave Fowler, 30 January 2022

The original photograph, on alamyimages website (source), is described: "Dec. 8, 2018. A protester holding a French flag seen passing ahead of a line of CRS officers near the Arc de Triomphe during a 'Yellow Vest' protest in Paris.Without any political affiliation, the ''yellow vest'' movement rallies in various cities in France this Saturday against taxes and rising fuel prices."
This is no official flag, but probably the flag of protester who came to Paris from Montluçon, eager to show where he came from. The movement of yellow vests has indeed been marked by a major opposition between rural areas / provincial towns, and decision-making centers of the French capital.

Olivier Touzeau, 30 January 2022