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Trégor (Traditional province, Brittany, France)

Bro Dreger

Last modified: 2003-06-14 by ivan sache
Keywords: tregor | bro dreger | wyvern (red) | dragon (red) | cross (black) | st. yves | eagles: 4 (black) | alerions: 4 (black) |
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[Flag of Tregor]by Raphaël Vinet

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Description of the flag

I bought in Brittany last summer the flag of the traditional Breton County of Trégor (Dreger in Breton). Like the flag of Bigouden Country it was designed by Bernard Le Brun, and, according to the accompanying information sheets, approved by the Breton Vexillological Society on Sunday 10 November 1996; confirmed on Sunday 16 March 1997 and officially hoisted for the first time on 29 March 1998 at Trézelan.

As I understand it, the dragon mentioned in the text is technically 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".

Relevant parts of the information sheet:

"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 Yves, 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 29th March 1998 in Trézelan thanks to the mediation of the Gwallspered association. Bernez Ohron-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, day of St. Tudwal and of Trégor. It may also be flown on 2nd January, 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 cities, organizations, people..."

Tom Heathcote, 6 April 1999

St. Yves' flag

[St. Yves' flag]by Raphaël Vinet

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 bourgeois 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".
St. Yves is now not only the patron saint of Brittany but also the patron saint of lawyers. Therefore, lawyers from all the world gather with regular pilgrims on the third Sunday of May for the Poors' Pardon, which takes place every year in Minihy-Tréguier. The parish church was built in the XVth century on the place where the ancient chapel of the manor of Kermartin had stood. St. Yves' tomb can be seen in the St. Tugdwal cathedral in Tréguier. The tomb was built in 1890, on the model of the first tomb built by Duke of Brittany Jean V (XVth 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. Yves". If the spell was legitimate, the dedicated victim rapidly died. If the spell was not legitimate, St. Yves turned it back and the wizard died.

The "St. Yves' flag" is the banner of arms of the Hélori de Kermartin family. The flag is orange with a black cross engreslee (i.e. with borders made of thin regular, rounded teeth) 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 banner is only used for religious purpose, especially on St. Yves Day (19 May).

Source: P. Rault. Les drapeaux bretons de 1188 à nos jours [rau98]

Ivan Sache, 27 October 2002

Former flag of Trégor

[Former flag of Tregor]by Ivan Sache & Raphaël Vinet

In 1996, Coop Breizh produced the first flag of Trégor, based on St. Yves' flag. The flag has a yellow field with a black cross and a black alerion in each quarter. Since it was too close to St. Yves' flag, its use was discarded when the current flag of Trégor was produced. The first flag was, however, used for nearly one year as the de facto flag of Trégor.

Source: P. Rault. Les drapeaux bretons de 1188 à nos jours [rau98]

Ivan Sache, 27 October 2002