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FC Nantes (Footbal club, France)

Last modified: 2020-07-13 by ivan sache
Keywords: nantes | brigade loire |
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Flag of FC Nantes - Image by Tomislav Todorović, 3 April 2020

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Presentation of FC Nantes

FC Nantes (FCN) was founded in 1943 by the merging of several amateur clubs of the town. Incorporated into the First League in 1963, FCN won the national championship in 1965, 1966, 1973, 1977, 1980, 1983, 1995 and 2001, the French Cup in 1979, 1999 and 2000. The club was semi-finalist of the European Cup Winners' Cup (the defunct C2) in 1980 and semi-finalist of the Champions' League in 1996.
In 1992, the national authority checking the football club's accounts relegated FCN to the Second League because of its loose accounts. This was corrected within two weeks but the club had to change its name for FC Nantes Atlantique. The name of the club was returned to the original FC Nantes in January 2008.

Ivan Sache, 26 March 2020

Flag of FC Nantes

The official flag of FC Nantes (photo, photo) is yellow with the club's emblem.

The emblem featured on the flag was adopted in January 2008 among three proposals submitted to the supporters - according to President Valdemar Kita, 100,000 voted on the internet.
The emblem kept from the former version the sailboat taken from the arms of the town of Nantes, the eight yellow stars representing the eight national titles won by the club, and its foundation year, 1943.
The five ermine spots representing Brittany were re-established, having been dropped from the emblem in 2003.
For the first time, the club's logo features a football ball and vertical yellow and green stripes recalling the jersey of the team that won the national title in 1995.
[Le logo du Football Club de Nantes; Nantes lobo]

The emblem was changed in 2019 for a more "refined and modern" design, dropping the sailboat, the stars and the football ball.
The new emblem was extremely bad perceived by the supporters, who have been in conflict with the direction for years. The club's marketing director admitted that "no optimal mechanism was found to integrate the fans to the creation's process", that is, the supporters were not asked their advice.
[20 Minutes, 22 May 2019]


FC Nantes supporter's flag - Image by Tomislav Todorović, 3 April 2020

Supporters sometimes use a flag horizontally divided yellow-green-yellow, the green stripe wider, superimposed with the club's emblem (photo, people's tribute to Emiliano Sala, an highly estimated Argentine player who died in a plane crash when heading from Nantes to its new club, Cardiff FC).

The yellow and green colors of the club date back to its foundation in 1943 by Marcel Saupin and Jean Le Guillou.
Jean Le Guillou, a wealthy public contractor, owned race horses. His champion, Ali Pacha, won most races, driven by a jockey wearing a yellow and green gown. Le Guillou persuaded the members of the club's board that adopting Ali Pacha's colors would be an augury of success.
The origin of the players' nickname, Canaris, is less documented. Some believe it is a straightforward reference to the club's colors. Other point out that the English club of Norwich, established in 1902 and wearing he same colors, has a canary as its emblem. Allegedly, the club's marketing service attempted in the 1980s to change the player's nickname from Canaris to Corsaires, to no avail.
[20 Minutes, 15 February 2016]

The club's marketers probably did not enjoy the song faced by the Canaris from their opponent's supporters: Cui cui cui / Ils sont cuits les canaris or Cui cui cui / Les canaris sont cuits. Cui cui cui is the French onomatopoeia for a bird song. Homophonic cuits reads "cooked", and, more colloquially and outside the kitchen, "exhausted".
It is believed that the song was first aired on 31 May 1970 in the Colombes stadium, when AS Saint-Étienne crunched FC Nantes (5-0) in the final of the French Cup. The match opposed two subsequent successful coaches of the French national team, Aimé Jacquet (ASSE) [1993-1998] and his successor, Roger Lemerre (FCN) [1998-2002].
[Poteaux Carrés, 31 May 2019]

Ivan Sache, 26 March 2020

Brigade Loire Ultras


Brigade Loire flag - Image by Ivan Sache, 26 March 2020

The Brigade Loire Ultra group (website) was established in 1998 by Fabrice Maign&ecute; and François Tournier to revive the ultra tradition in Nantes. The name of the group was selected among more than 100 more or less serious proposals, referring to the Loire stand and the Italian ultra "brigades" (brigate).
The group made its first appearance in Lorient in January 1999, where they (proudly!) caused big troubles that ended in a fighting with the security people sent by their own club.

Brigade Loire uses a flag horizontally divided green-yellow-black (photo, photo, photo, photo, photo, photo). This flag appeared in 2015-2016, while the older flag was still used (photos).

Ivan Sache, 26 March 2020


Brigade Loire original flag - Image by Tomislav Todorović, 3 April 2020

This first flag of Brigade Loire (photo, photo, photo, photo, photo) was designed in 1999 by François Tournier. It features the three colors of the group>, yellow, green and black. Yellow and green are the club's colors while black is the color of Brittany, highlighting the historical inclusion of Nantes into Brittany). The flag had to be easily manufactured, therefore the association of geometrical parts easy to stitch together, without anything painted on them; easily recognized; and easily waved in stadiums. The stripes of different width are a differentiation from the chequy, and equaly horizontally or vertically striped flags already used by other groups. Accordingly, the flag was made of five horizontal yellow-black-green-black-yellow stripes, in respective proportions 2:1:2:1:2.

Yellow stands for the town of Nantes and the football club.
Green stands for river Loire that waters Nantes. "Loire" is also the name of the stand used by the Brigade Loire.
Black, on both sides of the green stripe and therefore of river Loire, means that Nantes, and by extension the department of Loire-Atlantique, north and south of the Loire, historically belongs to Brittany. The two black stripes also recall the two arms of the cross on the flag of the Duchy of Brittany.
The square proportions are not mandatory,

François Tournier, 14 December 2002


Brigade Loire flag, 2013 - Image by Ivan Sache, 26 March 2020

An horizontally divided yellow-white-green flag (photo, photo, photo) was used by the group, mostly in 2013./P

Ivan Sache, 26 March 2020

[Flag]         [Flag]

Other Brigade Loire flags - Images by Tomislav Todorović, 3 April 2020

Other flags seen on TV images and on the Brigade Loire website are based on the traditional Breton flag, too. The flag has a black cross on a yellow or a green field.

Ivan Sache, 3 May 2006

Melen-ha-Gwer flag

[Flag]         [Flag]

Melen-ha-Gwer flag, original design - Image by Raphaël Vinet, 8 March 2002; reported variant - Image by Ivan Sache, 27 February 2001

The Melen-ha-Gwer (Yellow and Green) flag was designed by Raphaël Vinet for the supporters of FCN, coloring the Breton Gwenn-ha-Du with the colours of the FCN.
Ar Banniel [arb], #7 (Winter 1998) reports a variant of the flag seen during the Nantes-Sochaux match, 29 August 1998. The flag had five black ermine spots placed horizontally in the yellow canton.

Ivan Sache, 8 March 2002

Other supporter's flags

[Flag]         [Flag]

Other supporter's flags - Image by Ivan Sache, 26 March 2020

A photo taken on 24 April 2014 during the match against En Avant de Guingamp shows another two flags used by supporters - not necessarily from Brigade Loire:
- horizontally divided green-yellow-green-yellow;
- vertically divided yellow-green-white-green-yellow.

Ivan Sache, 26 March 2020