Last modified: 2013-03-23 by ivan sache
Keywords: yvelines | fontenay-le-fleury | fleurs-de-lis: 5 (yellow) | lions: 2 (green) |
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Flag of Fontenay-le-Fleury, two variants - Images by Ivan Sache, 22 November 2012
The municipality of Fontenay-le-Fleury (12,974 inhabitants in 2010; 543 ha) is located 15 km west of Versailles.
Fontenay is named for fontaines, that is, sources. The place was
originally located in the Yveline forest, on the border of the
territories of the Gaul tribes Parisii (with their capital in
Lutetia, today, Paris) and Carnutes (with their capitals in Cenabum, today, Orléans, and Autricum, today, Chartres). The village of Fontenay emerged in the 11th century from clearings organized by the Benedictine monks of the Marmoutier abbey. The monks built a priory, of which nothing has remained. The nearby St. Germain church, rebuilt in 1543 in Gothic style, was visited on 18 February 1547 by King Fran¸ois I. The bell's church, dated 1500, as well as a funerary flagstone, are registered as Historical Monuments. Upper Fontenay emerged as a group of tiny, rival feudal domains.
After the building of the Versailles Palace, King Louis XIV established his hunting domain by enclosing eight parishes in a 43-km long wall, including Fontenay. All the plots and farms in Fontenay were purchased by the king, except the lord's manor in Upper-Fontenay. Fontenay remained a rural village, with no more than 1,500 inhabitants, until the end of the Second World War.
The playwright, actor and moviemaker Sacha Guitry (1885-1957) purchased in 1937 the castle of Ternay, mentioned for the first time in 1482 and revamped in the 19th century in the Directory style. Until his death, Guitry used the castle as its vacation house. On 4 July 1939, he married in the St. Germain church the actress Geneviève de Séréville (1914-1963), who was the only of his five successive wives to take his name, as Geneviève Guitry; they split in April 1944 and got divorced on 25 July 1949.
Source: Municipal website
Ivan Sache, 22 November 2012
Fontenay-le-Fleury has two flags, both white with the town's coat of arms and name.
The flag hoisted over the town hall is white with the "modernized" municipal coat of arms, above "ville de fontenay-le-fleury" in red lower case letters (which is, strictly speaking, erroneous). It matches the today's "visual identity" of the town.
The flag used indoors during events sponsored by the municipality (for instance, the pedestrian race of the Royal Alley) is white with the greater, original coat of arms, above "VILLE DE / FONTENAY-LE-FLEURY" in black Capital letters.
The original arms of Fontenay-le-Fleury (municipal website), designed by the heraldist Robert Louis, are "Gules an heraldic fountain or orled with five
fleurs-de-lis and five rays. The shield surmounted by a mural crown
or. The shield supported dexter and sinister by a lion vert armed and
langued gules accosted to an oak leaved argent fructed proper".
The "heraldic fountain", which makes the arms canting, is made of three fesses wavy or on a background gules, inscribed in a ring or decorated with five fleurs-de-lis or separated form each other by five rays or. The-fleurs-de-lis, for "Fleury", makes the arms canting, too.
The rays recall King Louis XIV, aka Sun King.
The oaks represent Louis XIV's hunting domain. "Argent a lion vert armed and langued gules" were the arms of the Brouilly de Piennes. Olympe de Brouilly de Piennes (1660-1723), Marquise of Villequier, owner of the manor of Upper Fontenay, married in 1690 Louis Marie d'Aumont de Roche-Baron (1666-1723), 3rd Duke d'Aumont and Peer of France.
The coat of arms was subsequently "modernized" with a "refined design", keeping the dominant colours of the original. In clear, the supporters were dropped, the crown was stylized and two shades of red were used. Louis' original artwork of the fountain was not changed, however.
Ivan Sache, 22 November 2012