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Last modified: 2012-04-21 by ivan sache
Keywords: creuse | crocq | tower (yellow) | fleurs-de-lis (yellow) | dolphin | cross: moline (blue and white) | gonfanon | auvergne | lions: 3 (yellow) | stars: 3 (yellow) |
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Municipal flag of Crocq - Image by Arnaud Leroy, 29 August 2005
The municipality of Crocq (501 inhabitants in 2007; 1,416 ha) is located in the region of Combraille(s), on the border of Auvergne and Limousin, 60 km west of Clermont-Ferrand and 30 km east of Aubusson.
Crocq, a strategic place during the Hundred Years' War, has kept 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 looted the town, which was made a French border town 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.
Ivan Sache, 29 August 2005
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). 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:
"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 "compilation" of the arms of the former lords of Crocq. The dolphin 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.
Other, simpler arms mentioned for Crocq, such as "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".
All sources say that on the canting arms of La Tour d'Auvergne (in French, tour means tower), th tower is argent, but the tourist leaflet shows it or.
Ivan Sache & Pascal Vagnat, 29 August 2005
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