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Cogolin (Municipality, Var, France)

Last modified: 2006-12-23 by ivan sache
Keywords: var | cogolin | disc (yellow) | rooster (red) | crown: mural (yellow) |
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[Flag of Cogolin]         [Gonfanon of Cogolin]

Flag and gonfanon of Cogolin - Images by Arnaud Leroy, 19 April 2004

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Presentation of Cogolin

Cogolin (9,000 inhabitans) is a town located in coastal Provence, at the end of the Gulf of Saint-Tropez. The old village was built on a hill standing back from the seashore.
The legend says that a small boat, carrying the body of Knight Torpes watched by a rooster and a dog, landed in the end of the gulf of Saint-Tropez. The rooster flew away and settled in a flax field. The village built there was named Coq au lin (Rooster "by" flax). The dog walked to the village of Grimaud.
However, the true etymology of Cogolin is the Provencal word cougouyoun, which means a hill with a rounded top. The ancient village of Cogolin was indeed built on a hill belonging to the massif of Maures. Like the neighbouring villages of Gassin and Grimaud, Cogolin was built a few kilometers away from the seashore, which was then insalubrious (malaria) and scoured by the Sarracens.

The village was grouped around the St. Sauveur & St. Etienne's church (with two naves and therefore two patron saints), built in the beginning of the XIth century and totally revamped in the XVIth century (northern gate made of serpentine, 1546). The village was protected by walls, from which only the Clock Tower has been preserved until now. Until 1939, the Tower had a clock and a bell (1535), now placed in the church.
The first lord of Cogolin was Henri de Cuers, who bought half of the domain of Cogolin for 3,000 crowns, according to the bill of sale kept in the Archives of the Deparment of Var. The other co-owner of the domain was the Order of Malta. Henri's son, Jacques de Cuers, chief of a naval squad under Louis XIV, succeeded his father and bought the castle. The Sellier family later bought the castle, restored it in the 1960s and sold it to the municipality in 1982. The castle houses today the municipal museum.

During the Second World War, general de Lattre de Tassigny set up his headquarters in Cogolin from 17 to 20 August 1944. After the Liberation, Lattre was granted the honour citizenship by the municipality. The other honour citizen in Cogolin is Georges Clémenceau. Lattre noticed that the two honour citizens in Cogolin were born in the same small village in Vendée, Mouilleron-en-Pareds.

Reed is very common on the shore of the gulf of Saint-Tropez. In the XIXth century, the Florentine Prestini opened in Cogolin a workshop producing reeds for wind instruments, since he believed that the local reeds were the best suited for that production. The factory was bought by Rigotti in 1966 and is one of the few factories of that kind in the world.
Cogolin has also one of the oldest pipe factories in the world, founded in 1802 by Courrieu and still directed by the same family. The pipes are made of stocks of heather found in the massif of Maures.

More recently, the seashore of Cogolin was equipped. A residential complex called Les Marines de Cogolin was built around a marina. The main basin of the marina is a small inland sea, linked to the sea by a 85-m long canal and protected from sea storms by a 600-m long pier and a 400-m long conter-pier. Some 1,600 ships can moor in the marina.

Source: Cogolin tourism information website

Ivan Sache, 19 April 2004

Flag of Cogolin

The flag of Cogolin is blue with the municipal emblem in the middle. The emblem is made of the municipal coat of arms, bordered white and surmonted by the name of the municipality in white Capital letters, the whole being placed on another blue shield. The shade of blue used for the shield(s) is lighter than for the flag field. There is a yellow mural crown above the shield.
The gonfanon of Cogolin is similar in design to the flag, but vertical and forked.

The coat of arms of Cogolin, as it is shown on the flag is:
Per fess azure a rooster gules within a disc or on a terrace vert argent a tree vert on a terrace marron.
This coat of arms is significantly different from the coat of arms reported in De Bresc's Armorial of Provence [bjs94]:
Parti, au premier, d'azur à un coq contourné, d'or, sur une terrasse de sinople, et au deuxiè:me, d'argent, à une plante de lin de sinople, fleurie de pourpre sur une terrasse de sable. (Armorial Général: Généralité d'Aix, tome I, folio 86; blasons, tome II, folio 1147; registration fee: 20 pounds).
In English, this reads: Per pale azure a rooster or on a terrace vert argent a flax plant vert flowered purple on a terrace sable.

The coat of arms refers of course to the popular etymology of the village name. The rooster is considered as the "official" emblem of the village. The Municipal Museum has an exhibition called "Two centuries with roosters" and the pipes produced by Courrieu are "signed" with a silver rooster.

Arnaud Leroy & Ivan Sache, 19 April 2004