Last modified: 2008-06-07 by rick wyatt
Keywords: acadiana | cajun | louisiana | united states | fleur-de-lis | castle | star | spain | france | acadia |
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image by Chris Pinette, 1 July 1996
image by Luc-Vartan Baronian, 21 January 1998
Acadiana is a region in South Louisiana occupied by the Cajun French, who were exiles from Acadie (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick) after the British took over. The story of the Cajuns was made famous by Longfellow in his poem Evangiline. This region has a strong sense of community and though the flag is probably not recognized by any government body it is extremely popular. In fact the flag is as popular as the state flag in Lafayette.
The flag is "per fess" blue over red with a white triangle on the hoist. On the blue stripe are 3 white fleur-de-lis for France (which ruled Louisiana first). On the red stripe is a yellow 3 towered castle from the arms of Castile for Spain (to which the French ceded Louisiana before Napoleon got it back). And on the white triangle is a yellow star for the USA. The star is yellow instead of white to commemorate soldiers from Acadiana who fought in the American Revolution even though Louisiana was not part of the U.S. at the time.
In 1965, Thomas J. Arceneaux of Lafayette Louisiana, former dean of Agriculture at the University of Southwestern Louisiana designed the Louisiana Acadian flag. A description of this flag follows:
To symbolize the French heritage and origin of the Acadians there are three silver fleur-des-lis on a blue background. To symbolize Spain, who governed Louisiana for 40 years and was in possession of the Louisiana territory when the Acadians arrived, the old arms of the Castille, a gold tower on a red field. The gold star on a white field represents “Our Lady of the Assumption”, Patroness of the Acadians. The star also symbolizes the active participation of the Acadians in the American Revolution, as soldiers under Galvez.
It has come to my attention that the Cajun flag doesn't have a triangle at the hoist, but rather a rectangle stuck to a triangle. (This is weird, because I've had a desktop Cajun flag for 6 years and I never noticed). Anyway I've sent a gif to correct the gif that Chris Pinette originally made.
If some people doubt what I say, I invite them to consult the following references :
Bizier, H-A and C. Paulette, Fleur de lys : d'hier a aujourd'hui, Montreal: Art Global, 1997.
The image of the French peoples in america that Chris posted over a year ago and that you can see here : http://www.fl.ulaval.ca/CEFAN/
It's really small, but you can still distinguish that it's not a triangle. On a larger scale, it quite clear.
I would also like to add the following information about the flag taken from Bizier and Paulette :
It was adopted in 1965 by the Comité acadien and in 1972 by the Louisiana state.
Luc-vartan Baronian, 21 January 1998