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Crocq (Municipality, Creuse, France)

Last modified: 2005-12-24 by ivan sache
Keywords: creuse | crocq | tower (yellow) | fleurs-de-lis (yellow) | dolphin | cross: anchored (blue and white) | gonfanon | auvergne | lions: 3 (yellow) | stars: 3 (yellow) |
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[Flag of Crocq]

Municipal flag of Crocq - Image by Arnaud Leroy, 29 August 2005

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Presentation of Crocq

The municipality of Crocq is located in the small region of Combraille(s), on the border of Auvergne and Limousin, 60 km west of Clermont-Ferrand and 30 km east of Aubusson.

Crocq, today a village, was a strategic place during the Hundred Years' War and has kept from that time two big circular towers, locally known as the Twin Towers of Crocq. Crocq was a franc-alleu (free domain) depending on Auvergne. The Black Prince trashed the city, which was later a French border city after the treaty of Brétigny (8 May 1360), by which the South-West of France was placed under the sovereignty of King of England Edward III. During the Religious Wars, Crocq was again on the border between Catholics and Protestants and the fortress was ruled by the Protestant captain Henri I de la Tour d'Auvergne (1555-1623), also Duke of Bouillon and Viscount of Turenne and Marshal of France, one of King Henri IV's best brother-in-arms.

Source: Website of the elementary school of Crocq

Ivan Sache, 29 August 2005

Municipal flag of Crocq

A tourist information leaflet shows the flag of Crocq hoisted on one of the towers. The flag is white with the municipal coat of arms and, most probably, no writing. The flag is not completely visible on the picture and I have not been there to check it in real. The leaflet also shows in detail the municipal arms.

The municipal arms of Crocq are unexpectedly (and probably unnecessary) complicated for civic arms. Brian Timms gives the following blazon:

Ecu de sept partitions: au 1er, d'or au dauphin d'azur, allumé et loré de gueules (qui est des dauphins d'Auvergne); au 2e, écartelé d'argent et d'azur à la croix ancrée brochant d'azur sur l'argent et d'argent sur l'azur (qui est des Brun du Peschin); au 3e, d'or au gonfanon de gueules à trois pendants, bordé de sinople (qui est des comtes d'Auvergne); au 4e, de sable semé de billettes d'or au lion de même brochant, onglé et lampassé de gueules (qui est des Saint-Julien); au 5e, d'azur à un huis d'or verrouillé de sable, accompagné de trois étoiles d'or, deux en chef et une en pointe (qui est des Ussel); au 6e, de gueules à un chevron ondé d'azur et d'argent de six pièces accompagné de trois lionceaux d'or, deux en chef et un en pointe (qui est des Coeffier d'Effiat); 7e, en abîme, de France ancien à la tour d'argent (La Tour d'Auvergne).

In English:
Quarterly of six first or a dolphin azure finned and with eyes gules second quarterly argent and azure a cross moline counterchanged third or a gonfanon of three pendants gules fringed vert fourth sable billety a lion rampant or armed and langued gules fifth azure a door or hinged sable between three mullets of the second sixth gules a chevron barry wavy of six azure and argent between three lions rampant or overall azure semy de lis or a tower argent.

Timms believes that these arms are part of a série préfectorale (which can be understood as a series of municipal arms required by the Préfecture of the department of Creuse) made by Auguste Bosvieux in 1860. The arms are a simple "pile" of the arms of the former lords of Crocq. The dauphin does not refer to Dauphiné (in the Alps) but to the Dauphiné d'Auvergne, which remained separated from Auvergne until 1693). The arms of the lords of Ussel are still used by the municipality of Ussel, located in Limousin.

Crocq seems to have managed to escape the racket organized by Louis XIV and known as the Armorial Général (Louis XIV attempted to fund his clueless wars by forcing the cities and villages to register their arms against a fee). However, there are other, simpler arms mentioned for Crocq, as shown on Jennifer Caillaut's personal website. Timms gives:

D'azur à deux tours jumelles mazurées (ruinées) d'or sur une montagne de même mouvant de la pointe de l'écu, à une croisette d'or en chef; au franc-quartier de la Tour d'Auvergne.

GASO gives something fairly similar:

D'azur au château d'or maçonné de sable, posé sur un mont aussi d'or et surmonté d'une croisette du même, au franc-quartier aussi d'azur semé de fleurs de lys d'or chargé d'une tour d'argent maçonnée de sable brochante.

A tentative translation in English is:
Azur a two masured twin towers (alt., a castle or masoned sable) on a mount of the same, in chief a crosslet or a canton azur semé of fleurs-de-lis or a tower argent masoned sable.

The common element to the two reported coat of arms is the arms of la Tour d'Auvergne. Timms, GASO and all the other heraldic references say that the canting tower (in French, tour means tower) is argent, but it is shown in gold on the tourist leaflet. Since the leaflet is released by the municipality, I assume that the erroneous colour of the tower has been reproduced on the flag, too.

Ivan Sache & Pascal Vagnat, 29 August 2005