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Picardie (Traditional province, France)

Last modified: 2004-07-03 by ivan sache
Keywords: picardie | lions: 6 (red) | fleur-de-lys: 6 (yellow) |
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[Picardie]by Pierre Gay

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History of Picardie

The name of Picardie appeared in the XIIIth century. The origin of this name seems to be pique (pike), the prefered weapon of the Picards, which were then famous for being very touchy.

The feudal domains of Amiénois (now the department of Somme) and Vermandois (now the north of the department of Aisne) were incorporated into the royal domain in 1185 and 1191, respectively. In 1299, Picardie was constituted of the bailiwick (bailliage) of Amiens, subdivided into the provostships (prévôtés) of Amiens, Beauquesne, Doullens, Montreuil and Saint-Riquier. The bailiwick of Lille, established in 1304, was initially dependent of Picardie.

In 1336, king Philippe de Valois conquered Ponthieu, which had been incorporated to the kingdom of England in 1272. In 1350, the Valois kings of France made of Picardie a military province (gouvernement), but they had to give back Ponthieu to England in 1360.

In 1435, Picardie (including Ponthieu) was ceded to the duchy of Burgundy by the treaty of Arras, and the province of Picardie disappeared. In 1477, after the death of duke of Burgundy Charles le Téméraire, Louis XI invaded Picardie.

Picardie was increased in the XVIth century by the 'reconquested lands' (pays reconquis), around the cities of Calais and Boulogne. The fortified cities of Picardie (Amiens, Abbeville, Corbie, Montdidier, Péronne, Roye) constituted the defense line of the northern border of France until the incorporation of Artois in 1659 by the treaty of the Pyrénées.

Ivan Sache, 14 July 2003

Description of the flag of Picardie

The banner of arms of Picardie is (GASO):

Ecartelé : au premier et au quatrième d'azur aux trois fleurs de lys d'or, au deuxième et au troisième d'argent aux trois lionceaux de gueules

In English (Brian Timms):

Quarterly first and fourth azure three fleurs de lis or second and third argent three lions rampant gules

The arms of Picardie dates back to 1640.

The Region Picardie uses the banner of arms of Picardie along with its specific flag. It must be noted that the borders of the Region are quite different of those of historical Picardie. The region of Boulonnais is now in the Region Nord-Pas-de-Calais, whereas a significant part of the historical Ile-de-France (most of the department of Oise and the south of the department of Aisne) is now in the Region Picardie.

Ivan Sache, 14 July 2003