Last modified: 2005-12-24 by ivan sache
Keywords: seine-saint-denis | gagny | fleur-de-lis: 2 (yellow) | wheels: 3 (white) | archery | target | arrows: 3 (yellow) |
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Municipal flag of Gagny - Image by Arnaud Leroy, 16 June 2005
The municipality of Gagny (36,715 inhabitants - Gabiniens; 683 ha) is located 17 km east of Paris. Gagny is built on the hillside of the plateau of Montfermeil and in the valley of river Marne. The city is organized along two perpendicular main roads and was urbanized in three successive waves: the ancient center of the city, the trace of the original village; the housing estates of Maison-Blanche, Chénay, Epoque, Abbesses and Pointe de Gournay, forming a residential suburban zone in the south of the municipality; and high-rise estates built in the 1950s all over the municipality.
A Gallo-Roman estate (villa) might have existed in Gagny, but the
only remain of that time found until now is a hoe dated from the
IIIrd-IVth century. Several hypothesis have been proposed to explain
the name of Gagny, but none of them is convincing. Gagny might have
been Gaviniacus, Gabinius' estate.
At the end of the XIth century, Countess Adèle, daughter of Raoul II, Count of Crépy-en-Valois, and wife of Thibaut III, Count of Champagne, Brie, Chartres, Meaux and Blois, founded the St. Fiacre's priory; this is the first historical record of Gagny. In 1654, Prior Pierre de Bellièvre transfered the priory to Maison-Rouge and abandoned his rights to Dominique de Ferrari, lord of Gagny. The priory was secularized in 1698 and ceded by Prior Jean Garnier to Jean-Gaillard de la Bouexière, lord of Gagny. When Bouexière died in 1759, his grandson Jean-Hyacinthe Hocquart, Marquis de Montfermeil, took over the lease of Maison-Rouge.
On 17 December 1771, the Archbishop of Paris signed the Decree of extinction of the priory, confirmed by patented letters by King Louis XV, and registered at the Chamber of Account on 20 January 1780.
Maison-Rouge had later several owners, including Duke d'Orléans until the French Revolution, King Louis-Philippe in 1845, sculptor Cruchet in 1870 and the Redemptorists' Order in 1894; in 1910, the Bernheim company divided Maison-Rouge into 126 plots of 450 sq. m. The castle and the last pieces of arable land were suppressed in 1955.
During the First World War, General Galliéni organized the operation known as Taxis de la Marne. After the fall of Belgium, the German army rushed to Paris. General Joffre decided to counter-attack and opened a wide front, ranging from the Marne to Lorraine. On 6 September 1914, the 103rd and 104th Infantry Regiment mustered in Gagny; the next day, all the taxis from Paris were requisitioned and transported 6,000 men from the Grand-Place (today, Place Foch) to the front. On 13 September, the Germans withdrew; however, the French troops were too exhausted and could not run after them. The trench warfare began. The motto of Gagny Exierunt mille ad victoriam (Thousand [taxis] headed to the victory) recalls this famous operation.
Source: Municipal website
Ivan Sache, 16 June 2005
The municipal flag of Gagny, hoisted over the city hall, is a banner of the municipal arms (municipal website):
Ecartelé, au premier et au quatrième bandé d'or et d'azur de six pièces, au deuxième et au troisième d'azur à une fleur de lys d'or. Sur le tout, un écusson de gueules à trois roues d'argent.
GASO gives the following blazon:
Ecartelé : au premier et au quatrième bandé d'or et d'azur de six pièces, au deuxième et au troisième d'azur à la fleur de lys d'or ; sur le tout de gueules aux trois roues d'automobile d'argent.
In English (Brian Timms):
Quarterly first and fourth bendy of six or and azure second and third azure a fleur de lis or an inescutcheon gules three motor car wheels argent.
The shield shows the arms of the St. Faron's priory in Meaux, of which
depended the St. Fiacre's priory in Gagny. The inescutcheon is derived
from the arms of the Hocquart family, lord of Montfermeil "Gules three
roses placed two and one", the roses being replaced by car wheels in
order to recall the episode of the Taxis de la Marne.
The coat of arms of Gagny was drawn by Robert Louis in the 1930s after information given by Georges Guyonnet.
Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 16 June 2005
Banner of Compagnie d'Arc de Gagny - Image by Ivan Sache, 13 July 2005
Like several cities in the north of France and Belgium, Gagny has an
archery club, called Compagnie d'Arc de Gagny. The club was founded
on 5 January 1822; Deputy Mayor Lelief allowed the formation of the
club "provided all its members would behave with calm and honesty in
their games and meetings". The first Bird Shooting (Abat de l'Oiseau)
took place on 14 April 1822 and the first King was Baptiste Aubry. The
club purchased its first flag, probably a white flag with a semy of
yellow fleur-de-lys on 30 November 1822.
On 4 June 1927, the club organized an important local competition called bouquet provincial. Delegates from 133 clubs paraded with their flag; the ceremony was related in the (then) famous newspaper L'Illustration on 11 June 1927. The company organized the bouquet provincial for the second time in May 1985.
The banner of Compagnie d'Arc de Gagny is white with a black and white target pierced by yellow arrows, surrounded by a blue ribbon with the name of the company in Capital yellow letters and yellow leaves. The club website shows also a more conventional flag, a French tricolor flag with gold writings 1ERE CIE D'ARC DE GAGNY and FONDEE IN 1822. There was indeed a second company of archery in Gagny, which existed from 30 April 1853 to 16 March 1947.
Source: Club website
Ivan Sache, 13 July 2005