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Photographer's Note

No doubt this guy had the most beautiful bear at the Interceltic Festival of Lorient ! This man saluting the crowd is the bearer of Bagad Sonerion Lannarster, a group of musicians from Lanester, a city very close to Lorient.

The black and white flag he carries is called the Gwenn ha Du, the breton for White and Black. It is the modern flag for Brittany. It was designed in 1923 by Morvan Marchal, a breton nationalist activist, arhitect then artist, who is sadly known because he was convicted for collaboration with Nazis during World War II. Morvan Marchal used as inspiration the flags of USA and Greece, symbols of democracy and liberty in the 20s. The 9 horizontal stripes represent the traditional dioceses of Brittany : the 5 black ones represent the French or Gallo speaking dioces of Dol, Rennes, Saint-Malo, Saint-Brieuc and Nantes in the east of Brittany, the 4 white ones represent the Breton speaking dioceses of the west of Brittany (Trégor, Léon, Cornouaille and Vannes). The ermine canton recalls the ducal arms of Brittany but their number has no meaning. The flag was not popular at first because it was associated to the collaboration of some breton nationalist activits with the Nazis. But it became popular from the 60s as it was used for social or cultural meetings. Today it has lost its political connotation and is very popular for Bretons that use it as recognition symbol. You can see the Gwenn ha Du at any place Bretons live or pass in the world. Maybe you could see it a few weeks ago in Brazil stadiums on FIFA World Cup or along the Tour de France roads ! It is also hanged on most of administrative buildings in Brittany and is used to represent Brittany on license plates.

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Additional Photos by Olivier THIERRY (chawax) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1331 W: 26 N: 2999] (18902)
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