Last modified: 2012-10-09 by ivan sache
Keywords: tregor | bro dreger | wyvern (red) | dragon (red) | cross (black) | st. ivo | st. yves | st. erwann | eagles: 4 (black) | alerions: 4 (black) | cross (blue) | pardon of the poor |
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Flag of Trégor - Image by Raphaël Vinet, 8 November 2002
The flag of Trégor is orange with a black cross and a red dragon overall. It is presented as follows in the information sheet attached to the flag for sale:
The red dragon is the emblem of Saint Tudwal, founder and patron saint of Trégor. It can also represent King Arthur who, according to legend, was born in Trygger (in Breton Treger) in British Cornwall and whose tomb is shown in the iconography and the legends with such an emblem. The base of the flag is a simplified version of the flag of saint Ivo, well-known in the area. A banner with the dragon accompanying King Arthur can be seen on a bas-relief in the romanesque church of Perros-Guirec (Perroz-Gireg).
The flag was designed by Bernard Le Brun after a historical study by Divy Kervella, the design of the dragon is due to Jakez Derouët. It was officially raised for the first time on Sunday 29 March 1998 in Trézelan thanks to the mediation of the Gwallspered association. Bernez Orhon-Thuillier especially composed for this occasion an "anthem to the flag of Trégor".
The flag of Trégor should be flown on 1st December of each year, the Day of St. Tudwal and of Trégor. It may also be flown on 2nd January, the Day of St. Koupaia (Pompée), his mother. It is also advised to fly it on 29th March, the anniversary of its inauguration.
The flag of Trégor is a provincial flag and the Breton flag has precedence over it. It must be raised after, and lowered before the Breton flag. It should not be hoisted higher than, or in a larger size than the Breton flag. In a procession the Breton flag must be in front, and when displayed against a wall, on the right (its own right) - the same applies with the front of a house (as seen from the interior of the building). Used on ships, the Breton flag is flown from the stern, Trégor flag anywhere else. The Trégor flag is on the same footing as the eight other provincial flags of Brittany, but it has precedence over them in Trégor. It also has precedence over the flags of towns, organizations, people...
Heraldically, the aforementioned dragon is a wyvern - a heraldic beast which I have seen described as having "the front half of a dragon and the rear half of a serpent"; or alternatively as "a winged two-legged dragon with a barbed tail".
Tom Heathcote, 6 April 1999
St. Ivo's flag
Left, with orange field - Image by Raphaël Vinet, 8 November 2002
Right, with yellow field - Image by Ivan Sarajčić, 25 September 2006
Lawyer Yves Hélori de Kermartin (also spelled Hélory
or Helouri) was born in 1253 in Minihy-Tréguier in a country
squire's family. His spirit of justice and conciliation, his swift
and acute sentences, as well as the concision of his defense speeches
made of him a living legend. A story tells that a burgher once sued
a poor who had stood near the windows of his kitchen in order to
enjoy the aromas. Yves took a coin, clattered it and nonsuited the
plaintiff, saying: "The sound pays for the aroma." Yves died in 1303
and was canonized in 1347 as "the poors' lawyer".
The patron saint of Brittany, St. Ivo (in Breton, Erwann) is the patron saint of lawyers worldwide. Every year, lawyers from all the world gather on the third Sunday of May in Minihy-Tréguier with regular pilgrims for the Pardon of the Poor. The local parish church was built in the 15th century on the place where the ancient chapel of the manor of Kermartin had stood.
St. Ivo's tomb can be seen in the St. Tugdwal cathedral in Tréguier. The tomb was built in 1890, on the model of the first tomb of the saint built by Duke of Brittany Jean V in the 15th century.
In the past in Brittany, devotion and sorcery were closely mixed. The most efficient way to put a spell on someone was "to dedicate him/her to St. Ivo". If the spell was legitimate, the dedicated victim rapidly died. If the spell was not legitimate, St. Ivo turned it back and the wizard died.
According to P. Rault (Les drapeaux bretons de 1188 à
nos jours) [rau98], St. Ivo's flag, mostly used for religious purpose, especially on St. Ivo's Day (19 May), is orange with a black engrailed cross and a black
alerion (a small heraldic eagle without beak nor nails, also
represented on the banner of arms of Lorraine) in each quarter. This is the banner of arms of the Hélori of
The flag of Saint-Yves exists with a yellow field, too.
Ivan Sache, 25 September 2006
Former flag of Trégor - Image by Ivan Sache & Raphaël Vinet, 8 November 2002
As reported by P. Rault (Les drapeaux bretons de 1188 à nos jours) [rau98], Coop Breizh produced in 1996 the first flag of Trégor, based on St. Ivo's flag. The flag has a yellow field with a black cross and a black alerion in each quarter. Deemed too close to St. Ivo's flag, the flag was replaced after nearly one year by the current flag of Trégor.
Ivan Sache, 27 October 2002
Flags of the Pardon of the Poor - Images by Ivan Sache, 7 July 2012
Every year on the 3rd Sunday of May, St. Ivo is celebrated in the Pardon of the Poor, one of the most important pardons (Breton traditional pilgrimages), held in the town of Tréguier. Between 5,000 and 10,000 pilgrims gather in the town, which has less than 3,000 inhabitants, to follow the procession of Ivo's "chief" (head), transported in a golden shrine from the cathedral of Tréguier to the church of the neighbouring birth village of the saint, Minihy-Tréguier, and back to Tréguier.
A very short video footage of the 2010 pardon (16 May), available on the website of the local newspaper Le Télégramme, shows the procession leaving the cathedral of Tréguier. Ivo's shrine is escorted by a group of swallow-tailed flags, white with a blue cross, while children wave small flags horizontally divided yellow-black.
Another short, black and white, video footage of the 1964 pardon (20 May), available on the INA website, shows the same swallow-tailed flags.
Photo reports of the pardon, available on the website of the Saint- Brieuc-Tréguier Diocese, show the same flags, together with several procession banners. St. Ivo's flag is also widely shown, always with a yellow background.
The yellow-black flag must be a simplification of St. Ivo's flag but I have failed to identify the blue cross flag; it might be the flag of the brotherhood in charge of the escort of the saint's relics during the procession.
Ivan Sache, 7 July 2012