Early Achievements

Karolingian Achievements

Royal Achievements

Republican Achievements

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Early Achievements



From time immemorial symbols were represented supported by birds or beasts or even were represented as being winged themselves. Very old examples are a lion-headed bird supported by stags, and winged suns. Such achievements were introduced in the Roman Empire by the Romans at an uncertain date but most probably in the early years of Christianity. An example of achievements of the three symbols of ranges of authority supported by angels are on the so-called Column of Arcadius (ca 408) once in Constantinople.

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire symbolic achievements were also adopted by local rulers in France replacing former Roman officials. An early example is the so-called Pulpit of Radegonde from the Holy Cross Monastery in Poitiers. This pulpit is named after Radegond (520-587), a frankish princess who founded the Holy Cross Monastery in Poitiers.

The top of the pulpit is decorated with two achievemens: one of a christogram and one of a square cross, both supported by what looks like crows or ravens; two latin crosses and the symbols of the four evangelists, all surrounding a lamb symbolizing Christ.


Pulpit of Radegonde,

Poitiers, 6th cent.


As most of the time the supporters are angels, peacocks, griffins or lions, by way of exception on this top the supporters are crows or ravens which are, according to the Bible:


“1 Kings 17:3-6 When Elijah was concealed by the brook Cherith, God commanded the ravens to bring him “bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening”.”


“Luke 12:24 (New International Version (NIV))

24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!”


And therefore we may assume that the pulpit was for use by nuns, fed by God, who had no military rank.


Afbeeldingsresultaat voor raven







The Lyon Sarcofage



Sarcophagus from Lyon Cemetery, 5th cent.

St. Irénée Church, Lyon


Christogram supported by two birds. Inscribed “Merola of senatorial descend, mother of good works”.




Usually the two birds on the sarcophagus are thought to be pigeons which are symbols of the Holy Spirit in christian symbolism. On the other hand also blackbirds (Turdus merula - Turdidae) can be meant.

Probably ‘Merola’ was an abbess with armed authority.



Sarcophage of Musée Carnavalet



Immediately after the death of his father in 561, Chilperic endeavoured to take possession of the whole kingdom, seized the treasure amassed in the royal town of Berny and entered Paris. His brothers, however, compelled him to divide the kingdom with them, and Soissons, together with Amiens, Arras, Cambrai, Thérouanne, Tournai, and Boulogne fell to Chilperic's share. His eldest brother Charibert received Paris, the second eldest brother Guntram received Burgundy with its capital at Orléans, and Sigebert received Austrasia. On the death of Charibert in 567, his estates were augmented when the brothers divided Charibert's kingdom among themselves and agreed to share Paris.

Most of what is known of Chilperic comes from The History of the Franks by Gregory of Tours. Gregory detested Chilperic, calling him "the Nero and Herod of his time" (VI.46): he had provoked Gregory's wrath by wresting Tours from Austrasia, seizing ecclesiastical property, and appointing as bishops counts of the palace who were not clerics. Gregory also objected to Chilperic's attempts to teach a new doctrine of the Trinity.

Chilperic's reign in Neustria saw the introduction of the Byzantine punishment of eye-gouging. Yet, he was also a man of culture: he was a musician of some talent, and he wrote verse (modelled on that of Sedulius); he attempted to reform the Frankish alphabet; and he worked to reduce the worst effects of Salic law upon women.

In September 584, while returning from a hunting expedition to his royal villa of Chelles (Calae, 10 km E of Paris), Chilperic was stabbed to death by an unknown assailant.

In the Musée Carnavalet in Paris a sarcophage is preserved which is dated in about the life and death of Chilperic of wihich the program of decoration may fit to the status of a king.


Plaster cast sarcophagus, 6th-7th cent.

Musée Carnavalet, Paris. A.P. 105. Saint-Germain cemetry, Paris.

Excavations of 1877




The program of decorations on the sarcophage is as follows:


On the outside is a christogram, a branch and a bird

On the inside is a square cross and a bird


The christogram symbolizes armed authority and the square cross administrative authority

The birds, most look like, primitively drawn,  peacocks.


This makes the two compositions incomplete achievements of a christogram and a square cross both supported by [a] peacock[s].


Such achievements are known from the Roman Empire and Byzantium (Ravenna), the peacock being the badge of rank of a prefect.


In this time Italy was ruled by an exarch (584-752). Some of the sarcophagusus of the exarchs of suberb quality are preserved in Ravenna.



Sarcophagus said “of St. Chalan”



At the Museum of Berry, in Bourges, is exposed one of the rarest testimonies of the Merovingian presence in the south of the Cher department. The sarcophagus called of "Saint-Chalan", carved in a block of clear marble and dated to the seventh century, originally belonged to the Abbey of Notre-Dame de Charenton. With a very neat invoice and ornamentation, this tomb was executed outside the region and imported there at an unknown date. Its real function escapes us. Was it simply the burial of an abbot or a local military chief, or did it serve as a life-size reliquary to a mortal remains recognized as miraculous in medieval times, and exposed in the Benedictine Abbey of Charenton to the veneration of the faithful? The fineness of the lines on the tank and the slab of the sarcophagus, as well as the absence of significant chemical alteration, confirm that this marble tomb was kept above ground in a place sheltered from the weather, on the threshold of the abbey of the monastery as evidenced by modern scientist Dom Estiennot.


Its presence in Charenton testifies, along with other archaeological traces, of the activity that reigned in the South of Berry in the centuries that followed the dissolution of the Roman imperial institutions. Even if the vast majority of pieces of the puzzle are missing to correctly represent the local life before the feudal period, we can congratulate ourselves for not being in a totally opaque historical domain.

The sarcophagus of Saint-Chalan is proof of the maintenance of a commercial activity along the ancient Roman roads (I.e Lutetia - Cenalum Aureliani (Orleans) - Avaricum (Bourges) - Autun). This marble piece is heavy and could only travel on roads well maintained and wide for the carriage that carried it can circulate. Whether it was commanded by the local military or religious elites, no matter where it ended up in Charenton, this heavy sculpture has already had the merit of reaching the edge of the Marmande. Another clue to the circulation of men and goods is this monetary treasure discovered on the hill overlooking the valley, in which silver coins were found struck far from the Berry.


The sarcophagus inspires us with some reflections on the religious network that was being set up south of the diocese of Bourges in the first centuries of Christianity. In addition to Charenton, two other monastic cells are identified at the time. The enigmatic Colombian abbey of Île-sur-Marmande, in the forest of Tronçais, is the closest. Its early disappearance is a sign of outright failure or a merger with Charenton.

More interesting, the priory of Chapelaude, dependent on the abbey of Saint-Denis-en-France, is known at this time by the echo of the false acts contained in its cartulaire, now lost. At the time of its re-founding, in the eleventh century, the Parisian monks wrote fake Merovingian and Carolingian diplomas to rule out any contestation to come. If it is excluded to take literally the texts identified as forgers by the specialists of medieval law, these acts testify to the very ancient existence of a domain belonging to Saint-Denis, lost at the time of the invasions at the end of the Carolingian period. I observe on this subject - but this is perhaps only a coincidence - that the local press presented a few days ago (Republican Berry of 20/02/2010) the evidence of the existence of a fishery dated to the 5th century in the waters of the Cher near Montluçon, close enough to the Chapelaude.

Nor can we forget the extraordinary discovery of a Merovingian baptismal font in the very walls of the former Gallo-Roman conciliabulum of Drevant, to which we have already devoted an article, which proves the missionary activity of the secular clergy of the time to local rural populations.


If we add to this punctual observations and poorly identified as sporadic discoveries of everyday objects in the basement or in the plowing of the Marmande valley, we obtain the conviction that, far from the big romanized cities like Bourges or Nevers South Berry has remained an area connected to the rest of Gaul by road networks well maintained for the passage of masses as heavy as the sarcophagus of St. Chalan, or even warlike troops like those who clash with Châteaumeillant, according to the account of Gregory of Tours.

Nor is the region spiritually isolated. Even though the roots of the ancient pagan cults remain deep and difficult to eradicate, as the Drevant Baptistery suggests, built within the great biturige sanctuary, the Italian monastic models of St. Benedict and Irish of St. Columban find their place in a landscape certainly poor in man but not completely immobile as one might sometimes tend to believe.

Olivier Trotignon [1]



The Program of the Sarcophagus



On the sarcophagus the highest part is reserved for the socio-political symbols and the ruler. These are symbolized by the sun, for the realm, the christogram for armed authority and the ruler, and the moon for the state. The other sides are reserved for the symbols of the institutions of the state: the army, the administration and the court (the church ignored):

1.  A christogram supported by two peacocks which is the achievement of the army of the prefect.

This achievement was of an official on the level of a prefecture, in this case the Prefectus Praetorio  of Gallia

2. A chalice supported by two griffins, which is the achievement of the administration of a duke with the rank of a tribune which was a governor on the level of a (former Roman) province. The chalice being the symbol of pagan administrative authority.

3. A man supported by two lions which is supposed to be the achievement of the office of a count palatine or a  (roman) Comes Rerum Privatarum (Count of the Private estates) (of Paris).

4. On the short side of the lid: A chalice supported by two eagles, which is the achievement of the administration of an official of the rank of a consul, on the level of a province.

5. On the short sides of the coffin are two round engravings probably representing the shields of a guard or of the Marshals.



In all the sarcophagus may have been for an official of the rank of a prefect (of Gallia), also the provincial praetor of  a province or diocese and the count palatine of a pagus. For him  King Dagobert I  (*603 ca-†639) may qualify who might have pretended to be the preafectus of Gallia because he had been King of Austrasia (623-634) King of all Franks (629-639) and King of Neustria and Burgundy (629-639). Paris had been made his capital.

A magnificent monument was erected for him in the beginning of the 13th century in the Basilica in St. Denis representing scenes from his life and his image.

Here we may propose that his original tomb was then removed and transported elsewhere (as suggested by Olivier Trotignon). An early 7th century tomb which may have been his is this socalled tomb of St. Chalan, now in the Musée Municipal of Bourges.  This tomb was originally in the chapel of Our Lady of Charenton Abbey in Charenton du Cher. This abbey had a relationship with St. Denis and is situated near the Roman Road from Paris by Orleans and Bourges (Avaricum) to Autun at about a distance of 300 km from Paris.





On the lid are carved a sun (a tree) and a christogram but the other end has been damaged and broken off. What was on that part remains an enigma which asks for a speculative solution.

Taken into account the socio-political division of realm, ruler and state, symbolized by a sun, a martial symbol and a moon, we may suppose that the third symbol has been a moon in the form of a disc. Such a configuration is, for example, on the lid of the Sarcophage of St. Andoche in Saulieu (Côte d’Or). There to the sun, christogram and moon-disc a six-pointed star has been added which is the emblem of an official. [2]






Sun, tree and Christogram (St. Chalan)

Moon (St. Andoche)








Reconstruction of the lid (front)

The achievement is:

Arms: XP-monogram within a garland

Supporters: Two peacocks before trees

On both sides: An amazon shield.

This may have been the emblem of the armed authority (christogram) of the prefect/the king (the peacock) of all France (the trees)



The achievement is:

Arms: A cup or chalice

Supporters: Two griffins


This may have been the emblem of the administration (the chalice) of the duke (the griffins) of all France (the trees).


The achievement seems to have been quite common in the roman empire and was the emblem of the large administrative body at the service of a provincial governor with the rank of praetor consisting of a cup or goblet, symbolizing administrative authority, supported by two griffins symbolizing the rank of Praetor, together making “The administration by the grace/support of the Praetor”. [3] In this case it has probably been of  Lugdunensis II or Aquitania I.



The achievement is:

Arms: A man standing

Supporters: Two lions passant


This may have been the achievement of a count (palatine) (the lions)



Shroud of St Victor:

7th or 8th century Byzantine silk cloth.

 Persian. H. 160 cm; L. 66 cm -Musées de Sens - (Cl. Musées de Sens, E. Berry

Contemporary with the transfer of the dead body of  the martyred St. Victor to Sens in 769

(Photo JP Elie, Musées de Sens)


The accompanying commentary reads:

“In 769 Willicaire, the archbishop of Sens, transferred the dead body of the martyred St. Victor in this silk cloth to Sens. The iconogrphy shows the ancient oriental theme of Gilgamesh who is seen here taming two lions, two other lions biting his feet.” [4]


A paralel is on the purse lid of Sutton Hoo from about 650, showing two achievements of a man “supported” by lions.


A similar achievement is from the time of King Otto  III (r. 983-1002) showing the king supported by two eagles. [5]

Much later, in the 12th century,  a man supported by a lion and an eagle is on Oslo Cathedral.




Shield left


Shield right


Lid, right


Arms: Chalice (?)

Supporters: Eagles



Pepin the Short





Augustinus Hipponensis: Quæstiones et locutiones in Heptateuch.

Northern-France, middle of the 8th century. Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, ms. lat. 12168, frontispiece. [6]


This manuscript was produced in northern France, probably in Laon. It was written in Latin by St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo and contains the author's explanations of the Bible.

The manuscript consists of folios A-C and 165 further folios. It begins with an opening page (folio Cv), followed by the incipit page (folio 1r) and the following folios contain many decorative initials.

The picture shows the opening page (folio Cv) with a portico surrounding a large cross surmounted by an eagle.


This picture represents in its entirety the organisation of the Carolingian State in the 8th century, arranged under an arch.

It is more or less a contraction of the achievements as on the Sarcophage of St. Chalan

On it the ruler presents himself as a Defender of the Faith (an eagle seated on a latin cross).

On the top of the arch is an achievement of a tree supported by two lions. We may be sure that the lions are the symbols of an official of the level of a count. The tree is the symbol of a territory. A similar achievement can be found and was developed in Phoenicia and was imitated in Tunisia (an example from the 2nd cent. AD) and in the 12th century in Sicilia. It is liklely that the achievement symbolized the office caring for the territory or the office of the Mayor of the Palace.



See also: Royal household under the Merovingians and Carolingians

The royal household was an itinerant body (until c. 802) which moved round the kingdom making sure good government was upheld in the localities. The most important positions were the chaplain (who was responsible for all ecclesiastical affairs in the kingdom), and the count of the palace (Count palatine) who had supreme control over the household. It also included more minor officials e.g. chamberlain, seneschal and marshal. The household sometimes led the army (e.g. Seneschal Andorf against the Bretons in 786).

Possibly associated with the chaplain and the royal chapel was the office of the chancellor, head of the chancery, a non-permanent writing office. The charters produced were rudimentary and mostly to do with land deeds. There are 262 surviving from Charles’ reign as opposed to 40 from Pepin’s and 350 from Louis the Pious.


Among the officials of the court the foremost place was gradually taken by the Mayor of the Palace, whose office was peculiar to the Merovingian courts. Landed proprietors were in the habit of putting their various domains under the charge of majores, mayors; and a major domus, placed over these various mayors, supervised all the estates, and all the revenues from them were paid in to him. The Mayor of the Palace was at first the overseer of all the royal estates, and was also charged with maintaining discipline in the royal household.



There are three  main officials which enforced Carolingian authority in the localities:

The Comes (count). Appointed by Charles to administer a county. The Carolingian Empire (except Bavaria) was divided up into between 110 and 600 counties, each divided into centenae which were under the control of a vicar. At first these were royal agents sent out by Charles but after c. 802 they were important local magnates. They were responsible for justice, enforcing capitularies, levying soldiers, receiving tolls and dues and maintaining roads and bridges. They could technically be dismissed by the king but many offices became hereditary. They were also sometimes corrupt although many were exemplary e.g. Count Eric of Friuli. Provincial governors eventually evolved who supervised several counts.

The Missi Dominici (dominical emissaries). Originally appointed ad hoc, a reform in 802 led to the office of missus dominicus becoming a permanent one. The missi dominici were sent out in pairs. One was an ecclesiastic and one secular. Their status as high officials was thought to safeguard them from the temptation of taking bribes. They made four journeys a year in their local missaticum, each lasting a month, and were responsible for making the royal will and capitularies known, judging cases and occasionally raising armies.

The Vassi Dominici. These were the king’s vassals and were usually the sons of powerful men, holding ‘benefices’ and forming a contingent in the royal army. They also went on ad hoc missions.



Administrative Authority



Square cross from Lyon, 7th century


In a society marked by the Catholic religion, the Carolingians rely on a secular and ecclesiastical administration. The palace remains the central administration of royalty and its structures remain the same as under the Merovingian kings. Nevertheless, the office of mayor of the palace disappears, his functions are divided between the seneschal for the stewardship and the count of the palace for justice. Another evolution, the chancery, now led by an arch-chancellor from the Church, recruits its members among the clerics of the kingdom.

In the provinces, the hierarchical system remains the same, but a link of vassal loyalty between the monarch and his agents (especially the dukes and marquises) is set up in exchange for land. Until the middle of the 9th century, clerics, the missi dominici control and inspect the royal agents on behalf of the sovereign. The disappearance of this function, let the monarchy lose control over the field agents, who eventually escape the central power. Justice evolves at the initiative of Charlemagne, the courts are now composed of aldermen appointed for life by missi dominici, who recover at the same time the presidency, in rotation with the counts



The Mayor of the Palace



The king was aided in the work of administration by numerous officials who both held posts in the royal household and performed administrative functions in the State. We may mention:

the Referendaries (secretary) who drew up and signed diplomas in the name of the king;

the Counts of the Palace, (Counts Palatine) who directed the procedure before the royal tribunal;

the Cubicularies (Treasurer) who had charge of the treasuries in which the wealth of the king was laid up;

the Seneschals, who managed (among other things) the royal table;

the Marshals, who had constables under their order, and were Masters of the Horse, etc.


Among these officials the foremost place was gradually taken by

the Mayor of the Palace, whose office was peculiar to the Merovingian courts. Landed proprietors were in the habit of putting their various domains under the charge of majores, mayors; and a major domus, placed over these various mayors, supervised all the estates, and all the revenues from them were paid in to him. The Mayor of the Palace was at first the overseer of all the royal estates, and was also charged with maintaining discipline in the royal household. Being always in close relation with the king, he soon acquired political functions. If the king was a minor, it was his duty as nutricius to watch over his education. The dukes and counts, who came from time to time to the palace, fell under his authority, and before long he began to send them orders when they were in their administrative districts; and he acquired an influence in their appointment. As the whole of the administration centred in the palace he became in the end the head of the administration. He presided over the royal court of justice and often commanded the army. In the struggle of the great men against the royal house one of the points for which they contended was the right to impose upon the sovereign a mayor of the palace of their choice; and each division of Gaul (Neustria (about later Normandy), Burgundy, and Austrasia (later: Lorraine) desired to have its own mayor. We have seen that a single family, descended from Arnulf and Pepin I, succeeded in getting the office of Mayor of the Palace into their own hands and rendered it hereditary. From 687-751, the Mayors of this family were the real rulers of the Frankish kingdom, and in 751 it was strong enough to seize the crown.

The court was frequented by a considerable number of persons. The young sons of the nobles were brought up there, being “commended” to the care of one or other of the great officials of the palace. They there served their apprenticeship to civil or military life, and might look forward to receiving later some important post. The officials engaged in local administration came frequently to the palace to receive instructions. Other great men resided there in the hope of receiving some favor. Besides these laymen, many ecclesiastics were there to be met with, bishops coming from their dioceses, clergy of the royal chapel, clergy in search of a benefice. All these persons were optimates of the king, his faithful servants, his leudes, that is to say "his people" (leute). A distinctive position among them was held by the autrustiones, who were the descendants of the Germanic comites. They formed the king's body-guard, and usually ate at the royal table. They took an oath to protect the king in all circumstances. They were often sent to defend frontier fortresses, and thus formed a kind of small standing army. They were also charged with important missions.



A list of Castellans is added because these court officials probably manifested themselves with badges of their office, for example a cup or chalice supported


Major domus = Master of the Palace


In 566 Mummolin


604-613: Landéric († 613)

613- ~ 630:Gundoland (†~ 630)

av. 635-642: Aega († 642)

642-658: Erchinoald († 658), cousin de Dagobert Ier

658-675: Ébroïn († 681)

675-676: Leudesius († 676)

676-681: Ébroïn († 681), again

681-684: Waratto († 686)

684-685: Ghislemar († 685), son of Warrato

685-686: Waratto († 686), again

686-687: Berchaire († 688), familiy of Warrato

687-695: Nordebert († 695), appointed by Pippin the Young, major domus of  Austrasia

695-714: Grimoald II († 714), son of  Pippin the Young

714-715: Théodebald († 741), son of  Grimoald II

715-717: Ragenfred

717-741: Charles Martel († 741 son of  Pippin the Young

741-751: Pépin le Bref († 768), son of Charles Martel



Karolingian Achievements



The Frankish kings of the Merovingian dynasty (reigned 480-750) had employed a high official, the comes palatinus, who at first assisted the king in his judicial duties and at a later date discharged many of these himself. Other counts palatine were employed on military and administrative work.

The system was maintained by the Carolingian sovereigns (reigned 750-1000). A Frankish capitulary of 882 and Hincmar, archbishop of Reims, writing about the same time, testify to the extent to which the judicial work of the Frankish Empire had passed into their hands, and one grant of power was followed by another. (See the twelve legendary Paladins.)

The Karolingian royal household was an itinerant body (until c. 802) which moved round the kingdom making sure good government was upheld in the localities. The most important positions were the chaplain (who was responsible for all ecclesiastical affairs in the kingdom), and the count of the palace (Count palatine) who had supreme control over the household. It also included more minor officials e.g. chamberlain, seneschal and marshal. The household sometimes led the army (e.g. Seneschal Andorf against the Bretons in 786).

Possibly associated with the chaplain and the royal chapel was the office of the chancellor, head of the chancery, a non-permanent writing office. The charters produced were rudimentary and mostly to do with land deeds. There are 262 surviving from Charles’ reign as opposed to 40 from Pepin’s and 350 from Louis the Pious.



The Arch of Augustinus



By the first kings of the Karolingian House the three achievements as on the sarcophage of St. Chalan were combined into one single achievement. At first an achievement symbolizing the care of the territoy was designed. This consisted of a tree symbolizing the territory itself, supported by two lions  together symbolizing the office of the Mayor Domus.


Augustinus: Quæstionum in Heptateuchon. ~ 757

Northern-France, middle of the 8th century. Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, ms. lat. 12168, frontispiece. [7]




The Source of Administrative Wisdom



Gospel called of  Charlemagne, 781-783. fol. 3v

Source: Gallica / BNF, Nouvelle acquisition latine 1203


The Godescalc Gospel or the Gospel of Charlemagne is a illuminated manuscript commissioned by Charlemagne and his wife Hildegard on 7 October 781 and completed on 30 April 783

On this leaf is the Source of Knowledge consisting of the four books of the Gospel symbolized by pillars. The roof of the well is crested with a square cross supported by two peacocks, symbolizing the prefectorial (the peacocks) administration (the square cross).


Évangéliaire de Saint-Médard de Soissons, 827 AD

BNF Lat8850 f6v


This manuscript is from the time of Louis the Pious (814-840) the successor of Charlemagne.

The achievement on the top of the four pillars  is of a square cross, supported by two peacocks.



Royal Achievements



In the thirteenth century it became the fashion in Western Europe to let the royal coat of arms be supported. For these supporters the beasts from the heraldic repertory were available, being amongst others lions, griffins, eagles and angels. The angels were the symbols of the heavenly mandate or approvement symbolizing the phrase DEI GRACIA (By the Grace of God) in the royal title. As supporters they were indtroduced in the Roman Empire and as such they are of pre-christian origin. In general they indicate an aspired complete sovereignty.

In France the angel-supporters were introduced in a Charter of Charles V dated 1376. They were maintained until the fall of the kingdom in 1792 and reintroduced in 1814 until the reign of Louis Philippe in 1830.

In the meantime several other supporters can be seen: winged stags, hedge hogs, salamanders, lions, unicorns and griffins. In the end however, after the ascendance of the House of Bourbon, the angels became the usual supporters.


Gemellion in the Treasury of Conques en Rouergue


In the Treasury of Conques Abbey a dish for ritual hand washing (gemellion) is preserved on which there are two times three engraved and enameled coats of arms around the arms of the King of France supported by three dragons, symbols of the Old Testament.

Achievement on the gemellion


Arms: Azure, strewn with fleurs de lys Or

Supporters: Three dragons Or


The three arms are:


1. The arms Argent a chief Sable and a cross passant Gules. These are the same arms as described in Walford’s Roll and are the arms of the Grand Master of the Templars. [8]

2. The arms: Or, a lion Gules is quite common and may be of too much nobles and cannot be ascribed to anyone.

3. The arms: Or, a saltire engrailed Sable is of a Lord of Lockhorst, a vassal of the Bishorp of Utrecht, probably Adam van Lockhorst (†1327) His arms are in the 14th century Armorial Bellenville fol. 44r 17: O, sautoir engrelé S. (cet écu est dessiné sur un ancien fascé (6)) and also in Gelre, n° 1583: Adam van Lockhorst (1361-1414). Nothing is known about this Adam van Lockorst, let alone about his relations with King Philip of France or Jacques de Molay. [9]


It is known that Molay held two general meetings of his order in southern France, at Montpellier in 1293 and at Arles in 1296, where he tried to make reforms. In the autumn of 1296, Molay was back in Cyprus to defend his Order against the interests of Henry II of Cyprus, which conflict had its roots back in the days of Guillaume de Beaujeu.


This makes us date the hand basin (gemellion) at about 1293 and the achievement of France of King Philip IV (1285-1314).


Louis X



John I



Philip V, the Tall





Charles IV, the Fair




Philip VI



John II, the Good




The idea of the evangelists supporting the King of France was also adopted by John II:

Secret Seal of John the Good


Arms: Strewn with fleurs de lis.

Crown, Sceptre and Hand of Justice

Surrounded by the emblems of the four evangelists: Eagle (John), Winged Lion (Mark), Winged Bull (Luke), Angel (Matthew).

Date: 1355. Æ 35 mm (Douët d’Arcq   59, Pinoteau, 1982, p. 508).



Charles V, le Sage





 Secret Seal of Charles V (after 1365)


Arms: [Azure] strewn with fleurs de lis [Or]

Crown: Of three leaves

Supporters: D.: The angel of St. Matthew keeping a lily-sceptre; S.: The eagle of St. John keeping a main de justice. Below: The winged bull of St. Luke and the winged lion of St. Marc.

On each of the outer corners of the quadrilobe a dolphin. [10]


This constellation means: The royal administration supported by the gospels and may have been insipred by the Gospel of Charlemagne, the square cross replaced by the royal emblem, the pillars replaced by the symbols of the Evangelists.


Achievement of France (before 1377)

From:  Grandes Chroniques de France [11]


Initial in the Charter of foundation of the Monastery of the Celestines of Limay, near Mantes [12]


In this initial Charles V is represented kneeling and presenting the charter. Above his head are his arms Azure three fleurs de lis Or, crowned with a crown upheld by two hovering angels.


1377 February: Foundation act of the Celestine Monastery of Mantes. The number of fleurs-de-lis in the arms of France has to be three to symbolize the Holy Trinity.

The three golden fleurs de lis, arranged two and one which are on the shield are the mystical emblem of the Holy Trinity. In the same way the power, the wisdom and the kindness are the attributes of the three persons of the Holy Trinity, the Father, the Word and the Holy Ghos,t the three fleurs de lis express the power of arms, the science of literature and the leniency of the princes, that is to say that the majesty of the King of France is but a reflection of the divine majesty.


[....lilla quidem signum regni Francie in quo florent flores quasi liliam, ymo flores lilii non tantum duo, sed tres, ut in se tipum gererent Trinitatis; ut, sicut Pater, Verbum et Spiritus, hii tres unum sunt, sic tres flores unum signum misterialiter prefigurant; et sicut sol divinitatis celo residens empireo illuminat omnem mundum, sic tres flores aurei supra celestem sive azureum situati colorem, in omnem terram enitescunt pulcrius et lumine prefulgent clariore. Et ut signo signatum proprie respondeat tribus, videlicet potencie, sapiencie et benignitati, que sancte Trinitatis attribuuntur personis, armorum potencia, sciencia literarum et principum clementia ternario liliorum elegantissime correspondent, in quibus tribus regnum Francue a lomngis retrp temporibus pre regnis ceteris floruisse et hactenus claruisse dignoscitur ac per hoc in se tenuisse vestigia Trinitatis.]


(Bulletin du Comité de la Langue, de l’ Histoire et des Arts de la France T. 4, 1857. p. 239-249.)


Personal seal of Charles V

Seal for use in absence of the King. 1376

Archives Nationales (Paris) Cat nr D64 Æ 80 mm


Description: Shield of France (with three fleurs de lis), supported by a standing king viewed from the waist up, crowned, holding a sceptre and the staff of justice, and additionally supported by two dolphins, all inside of a quadrilobe; appended to an act of July 1376: allowance of fairs for the city of Arques by Charles V


Reference: Douët-d'Arcq, L. Collection de sceaux. Paris : H. Plon, 1863-1868.



Charles VI, the Mad







The arms of France modern with the king himself and two lions for supporters


Palace of Justice, Poitiers, ca 1400

Ancient palace of Alienor of Aquitaine reconstructed by Jean de Berry from 1388-1416


The arms of France modern supported by two angels



Achievement of Charles VI

In:  Claudius Ptolemaeus, Cosmographia [13]


Arms: Azure, three fleurs de lis Or, 2 & 1.

Crest: On a helmet lambrequined Azure, strewn with fleurs de lis Or, a crown and a fleur de lis Or.

Supporters: Two unicorns Argent


Because Pope Alexander V (r. 1409-1410) is mentioned in the text, the achievement is attributed to Charles VI.




Henry I (VI)


King of France & England 1422-1461



The dual monarchy of England and France existed during the latter phase of the Hundred Years' War when Charles VII of France and Henry VI of England disputed the succession to the throne of France. It commenced on 21 October 1422 upon the death of King Charles VI of France, who had signed the Treaty of Troyes which gave the French crown to his son-in-law Henry V of England and Henry's heirs. It excluded King Charles's son, the Dauphin Charles, who by right of primogeniture was the heir to the Kingdom of France. Although the Treaty was ratified by the Estates-General of France, the act was a contravention of the French law of succession which decreed that the French crown could not be alienated. Henry VI, son of Henry V, became king of both England and France and was recognized only by the English and Burgundians until 1435 as King Henry II of France. He was crowned King of France on 16 December 1431.

In practical terms, King Henry's de jure sovereignty and legitimacy as king of France was only recognised in the English and allied-controlled territories of France which were under the domination of his French regency council, while the Dauphin ruled as King of France in part of the realm south of the Loire.


Achievement of John, Duke  of Bedford

British Library Add MS_18850_f256v


Arms: Quarterly of France and England, in the first a label of three  Argend t charged with three tails of ermaine Sabel; in the second a label of  three Azure charged with three felurs de lys Or.

Supporters: Dexter:  an eagle Argent collared with a crown Or. Sinister:  A (bedford-) yale Sable tusked and horned Or

Motto: A VOUS ENTIER (All to you)  in golden lettering on a red and white ribbon lined blue.

Impresa: A trunk erased Or


* The Yale was known to Pliny and the medieval bestiarists and is probably a garbled version of a real animal. The Bedfrod yale is of the build of an antelope with a lion’s tail and is black or very dark brown in colour; but it has, of course, the fierce tushes in the lower yaw and the swiveling horns, which are his distinguishing feature, though in this case they are long and straight. [14]



Achievement of Henry VI-I,  King of England and France


Arms: Quarterly of France and England.

Crown: A royal crown

Supporters: Two yales Argent, tufted, spotted and attired Or

Compartment: Or


NB. The closed crown makes the picture  of the 17th or 18th century



CharlesVII, le Victorieux





Achievement of Charles VII

Loches Castle, Touraine (Fr)


Arms: Azure, three fleurs de lis Or, 2&1

Crest: On a crowned herlmet a fleur de lis Or

Supporters: Two winged stags proper

Motto: ce son les armes de haute pris et de grand excellence  / au tres haut roy de france charles septieme de ce nom


As Capetian France was almost reduced in that time to the former Roman provinces Aquitania I & II there may be a relation with St Hubert, who was a son of a Duke of Aquitania. His emblem was a stag, first attributed to him in the 15th century.  The wings of the stags in the achievement symbolize their heavenly origin.



Louis XI




Counter seal of Louis XI  

Æ 43 mm, the seal perhaps in a cup. Couter seal on the reverse of the seal hanging on the vidimus on the charter of Bastide de Revel.

Contre-sceau de Louis XI.


The counter seal of  the seal of majesty was used during all the reign of Louis XI.

Description: Shield with three fleurs de lys, crowned and supported by two haloed angels. kneeling on a platfaorm strewn with fleurs de lys and keeping with their left hand a curtain (hardly visible) below the point of the shield.

It is a seal without legend ( that is to say that there is no inscription of the title « REX FRANCORVM »)


The use of a counter seal was introduced by the Chancellery of the Roman Court. The kings of England, Edward the Confessor and William the Conqueror (11th centuury) were amongst the first to have used one. However, the counter seal could only appear when the custom was introduced to hang seals from charters by silk or linen ribbons. (Bernard VELAY)


Louis XI présidant un chapitre de l’Ordre de Saint-Michel

(Statuts de l’Ordre de Saint-Michel), enluminure de Jean Fouquet, 1470

(Paris, BnF, département des Manuscrits)

Arms: France

Crown: Of  5 and 4 leaves

Supporters: Two Archangels in full armory

Order: The Collar and jewel of the Order of St. Michael


The Ordre de St. Michel was founded on 1 August 1469. The collar consists of  shells of St. James separated by love-knots. The jewel represents St Michael slaying the dragon.


From this time the royal arms were surround by the collar of the Order of St. Michael.


Achievement of Louis XI

From: Livre de Gilles le Bouvier, dit le Hérault Berry  (†1455) ou l’on peut savoir au vray la manière, la forme et les proprietés etc.. Frontispiece









Small counter seal: within a circle reminding partly the one of the great seal, the arms of France supported by two kneeling haloed angels and crowned with a crown of 3 fleurs de lis and two groups of three pearls.


Archives of the city of Montpellier, seals n° 4330: 1449; n° 3546: 1457; n°2855: 1483,



Louis XII


King of France 1498-1515

King of Sicily-Naples 1501-1504



Achievement of Louis XII

Drawing of a sculpture above the gate of the audit office in Paris

Fonds Gaignières BNF Réserve Pc-18-Fol  [15]


Arms: France modern

Crown: Of five fleurs de lis

Order: Of St.Michael

Supporters: Two winged deer collared with a crown and vested with a mantlet Azure, strtewn with fleurs de lis Or

Badge: A porcupine Or between two lilies

Motto: «Regia Francorum pro vitas. Ludovicus honesti cultor. et æthereæ Relligionis amor.» (Louis XII honest servant of the Kingdom of France, and always loving the heavenly religion).


Photo H.d.V.

Achievement of Louis XII

Chateau de Blois, Salle des Gardes.

Arms: France modern

Crown: Of five fleurs de lis

Order: Of St.Michael

Supporters: Two hovering angels



Francis I


Dauphin and Duke ofValois 1498

Duke of Bretagne 1514

King of France 1515

Duke of Milan 1515-1522



Achievement of Francis I, 1539.

From: La paraphrase de Erasme de Rotterdam sur l’évangile de Matthieu, 1539. Traduction de Rehé Fame. [16]


Arms: France modern

Crown: Of five fleurs de lis and two hoops

Order: Of St.Michael

Supporters: Two salamanders spitting flames

Counter seal of Francis I, 1518

(Archivio di Stato di Venezia Atti diplomatici e privati b. 51 n° 1676.)


Arms: France.

Crown:  Open crown of five fleurs de lis

Supporters: Two kneeling angels





Henry II





Achievement in Chenonceau Castle


Achievement of Henry II, 1558

On a portrait of Henry II by Nicolas Beatrizet

Engraving 48.0 × 32.2 cm

National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne [17]

Arms:  France

Crown: 5 lilies, 4 leaves and 4 hoops crested with a fleurs de lis

Order: St. Michael.

Supporters: Two hoveringangels



François II

*1544-† 1560

King of England and Scotland 1558

King of France 1559



Achievement of France

Sceau de la Chancellerie près le Parlement de Rouen,

BnF, 1559 (BnF, Mélanges de Colbert 374, n°405)



Charles IX





Achievement of France

Counter seal of Charles IX


Arms: France

Crown: 5 lilies, 4 leaves and 4 hoops crested with a fleurs de lis .

Supporters: Two angels kneeling on clouds



Henry III


King of Poland 1573-1575

King of France 1574-1589



Achievement of Henry III

On the clock tower of the Palce of Justice, Paris


Arms: 1|2 France and Navarra / Alliance of France and Navarre 

Crown: A Royal crown

Order: St. Michel, St. Esprit.

Supporters: Two kneeling angels 



House of Bourbon




Henry IV


King of Navarre 1562/’72-1610

King of France 1589-1610



Arms: 1|2 France and Navarra / Alliance of France and Navarre 

Crown: A Royal crown

Order: St. Michel, St. Esprit.

Supporters: Two kneeling angels 



Louis XIII





Source Gallica bnf Bibliothèque nationale Paris

Royal Achievement of Louis XIII

From: «Les noms et surnoms, qualitez, armes et seigneuries de tous les cardinaux, prelats et commandeurs de l'Ordre du St -Esprit, qui ont esté faicts par le très crestien roy de France et de Navarre, Louis treiziesme du nom... » (1610-1621). [18]


Achievement of France

The achievement of France

Le Gouvernement de l'Isle de France / par Damien de Templeux [19]


Of arms, crown and supporters.


First counter seal of Louis XIII


Achievement of Frnace:  Crowned arms and kneeling angels



Louis XIV





Achievement of France, 1643

Of arms, crown and supporters










sceaux ; collection des Archives nationales dite Douët d'Arcq






Moulage du contre-sceau du grand sceau de Louis XIV, roi de France. Sceau anépigraphe.



1643-01-01 / 1643-12-31


Forme /Taille

Æ 60 mm



Achievement of France, 1690


Of arms, crown and supporters


Royal achievement

Porte de Paris, Lille, 1692


Of arms, crown, collar and supporters of hovering trumpeting angels.




Arms: France.

K.: Gekroonde helm met blauwe en gouden helmkleden.

O.: H.G. en S.M. Monogram: L over een gekruiste olijf- en palmtak.

Supporters: Twee engelen in tabberds van het wapen met het banier van France.

Mantel &c met baldakijn en gonfanon.

Motto lilia non laborant nequenent. mont ioye st denys. (Siebmacher T. 6 Anhang)



Louis XV





Photo: Serv. Photographique Arch’s. Nat’s

Seal of majesty of LouisXV 1734


Louis XV on his throne, its canopy supported by two angels, with sceptre and main de justice


Counter Seal:

Arms: France with crown and two angels for supporters.

On the cover of the box:

Arms: Alliance of France and Navarre surrounded by the collars of the order of the Holy Spirit and St. Michael. Crown and canopy with mantle held up by two angels standing on a piedestal. [20]

Achievement of Greater arms 1750




Arms: France. 

Crown: Royal crown. 

Order: St. Michel , St. Esprit.

Supporters: D.: Angel with a branch of olive. S.: Victory crowned, a laurel ceoqn in her left.

Compartment: Clouds

(Diderot, 1762, frontisp.) 


Royal achievement of arms, crown, collars and supporters.


Paris, Conciergerie


Royal achievement of arms, crown, collars and supporters


Constitutional Monarchy 1789






Republican Achievements





24 nivôse an III (24.12.1794)


Achievement of the French Republic

On a certificate of the Société Populaire Hollandaise

Établie le 1er Juillet 1792, à Saint-Omer


On the admission cerificate of Coert Lambertus van Beijma (1753-1820) dated Saint-Omer, 5 ventôse l’an troisième (24.02.1794) de la République Française. (Rijksarchief Friesland).


Arms: The Tree of Liberty within a bordure inscribed RÉPUBLIQUE FRANÇAISE *

Crest: A rising sun

Supporters: Holding a civic crown. On the dexter: Minerva with a staff crested with a cap of Liberty; On the sinister: an allegory of France suppporting tables with the mottoes Vivre Libre ou Mourir / Droits de l’Homme, guarded by a lion couchant.

Motto: (written on the dexter and sinister side of the achievement): LIBERTÉ,  ÉGALITÉ, / FRATERNITÉ OU LA MORT


For more see: Vignettes politiques



Première République







Emblem: a fasces with two-bladed axe and a pole crested with a cap of liberty, surrounded by a branch of olive and a branch of oak in saltire and a supported by an eagle rising with a serpent biting his tail in his beak and grasping a thunderbolt.

(Assignat de £ 400 dd. --)


In this emblem the symbols of the republic (the fasces), liberty (the Phrygian cap), the (Roman) consular armed forces and of perpetuity (the serpent biting its tail) are united.


As this emblem  is dated on the very date of the establishment of the republic it can be considered as its first emblem.


The motto LIBERTÉ ÉGALITÉ FRATERNITÉ was one of the many other mottoes appearing for the first time during the Revolution in the Discours sur l'organisation des gardes nationales de Robespierre, printed and dissemintaed half december 1790. In  1793, Paris inscribed the motto « LA RÉPUBLIQUE UNE ET INDIVISIBLE - LIBERTÉ, ÉGALITÉ, FRATERNITÉ OU LA MORT » on the façade of the town hall, on all the public buildings and also on the monuments for the dead.


Achievement soon after the proclamation of the Republic (1792)

Coll. Musée Carnavalet


Arms: The motto UNITÉ INDIVISIBILITÉ DE LA RÉPUBLIQUE, in chief the Eye of Providence with the inscription: JE TIENS MON REGARD FIXE SUR VOUS TOUS  (I keep my eye on you all) on a ribbon.

Supporters: A fasces per pale, crested with a cap of liberty and two flags red, white en blue inscribed with the motto LIBERTÉ FRATERNITÉ EGALITÉ OU LA MORT in black lettering in saltire. On the second level two othe flags blue, white and red.

Garland: Branches of oak


The flags are representing the Nation, defined as: a body of associates living under a common law and represented by the same legislature.

Here they are the same as the flags of the Dutch Republic which were from the 16th century also of horizontal stripes red, white and blue. Probably it was supposed that the flag of a republic in general had to be of  such design and only a motto had to be added for difference. However, a year later, on 5 May 1794 the flag was made of three vertical breadths blue, white and red.

In the achievement the Nation supports the French Republic.


In the first months of the Republic many different achievements appeared which can hardly be dated  of set in a chronological order






Garland: A branch of oak and a branch of olive.

Supporters: A bundle of rods with a phrygian cap per pale and two flags of three horizontal stripes blue, white and red with the words LIBERTÉ EGALITÉ  FRATERNITÉ OU LA MORT in black lettering in the coloured stripes, in saltire.



Empire Français





Napoleon Bonaparte  

Empereur 1804-1815



No achievement was adopted by the Imperial government.

 The Imperial Coat of Arms was used for all purposes.















100 Jours














Achievement of Louis XVIII

above the entrance of Orleans Cathedral


The fleurs the lys removed.



Charles X




Arms: 1|2 of France and Navarre

Crown: A closed royal crown

Order: St. Michel and St Esprit

Supporters:  a lily-scptre and a Hand of Justice in saltire and two angels

Mantle: Azure, strewn with fleurs de lys Or, lined ermine.



Monarchie de Juillet





Louis Philippe I d’Orléans


Roi des Français 1830-1848



Louis Philippe, Duke of Orleans, (born in 1773 in Paris as the son of his eponymous father who gave up his ducal dignity during the revolution and instead called himself  "Citoyen Egalité", but was nevertheless guillotined on 6 November 6, 1793) was by the Meeting of Deputies in Paris on 9 August 1830 proclaimed King of the French.

After his accession to the throne he carried the arms of Orleans, covered with the French royal crown and behind the shield the old French scepter and Hand of Justice, crossed with six national flags of red-white-blue with a rooster-crowned flagpoles. The achievement was established by Royal decree of 13/24 August 1830


Achievement of Louis Philippe


Seal of Louis Philippe, 1830


Arms of Orleans: Azure, three fleurs de lys Or and a label of three Argent

Royal crown,  six national flags and a sceptre and a Hand of Justice in saltire


The royal decree reads:


1830 VIII 24 = 13 Ordonnance du Roi qui règle la forme du sceau de l’Etat.


Louis Philippe etc. Sur le rapport de notre garde des sceaux, ministre de la justice etc.

Les anciens sceaux de l’Etat sont supprimées.

A l’avenir, le sceau de l’Etat réprésentera les armes d’Orleans surmontées de la couronne fermée, avec le sceptre et la main de justice en sautoir, et des drapeaux tricolores derrière l’ecusson, et pour exergue, Louis-Philippe Ier, Roi des Français.


A third achivement which should considered to be a royal achievement (the decrees of the preceding achievements are writing about the “sceau de l’État” and therefore have to regarded as arms of state) is given by Jouffroy d’Eschavannes [21]. The achievement is:

Larger royal Achievement, 1830


Arms: Per pale of Orleans and the Charte of 1830

Crown: On a helmet affronté Or, lambrequined Or and Azure, a royal crown crested with a fleur de lys

Order: The ribbon of the Legion d’Honneur

Supporters: Four national flags in saltire and: Dexter: A virgin dressed in white and a mantle ermine crowned with a laurel crown and keeping a sword point downwards symbolizing Force; Sinister, a cocq wing expanded proper

Compartment: Green foliage of olive and oak and two cannon proper in saltire

Mantle: Canopied,  Gules, strewn with stars Or, lined ermine, fringed Or and  crowned with a royal crown cested with a cocq rising Or.[22]



The achievement of  France of 1831


On 1831 the arms were changed by royal decree of 16/26 February because the chamber of deputies objected the fleurs de lys. These were replaced by the tables of the consitution as before in the arms of 1792. From the sceptre and the crown the fleur de lys disappeared also and was replacd by an orb.

Although in the Royal decree only the words “charte  de 1830are written, in the arms they are the first four articles of the consitution in full. They read:


Article I. Les français sont égaux devant la loi, quelsque soient d’ailleurs leurs titres et leurs rangs.

Article II. Ils contribuent indistinctement dans la proportion de leur fortune aux charges de l’État.

Article III. Ils sont tous également admissibles aux emplois civiles et militaires.

Article IV. Leur liberté individuelle est également garantie, personne ne pouvant être poursuivi ni arrêté que dans les cas prévus par la loi et dans la forme qu’elle préscrit.


On the seal of Louis Philippe the last words of the last article of the Charte are missing. On certain representations, but not on the seal, the order of the Legion d’ Honneur is added. [23]

In the decree it is also  not stipulated that the tincture of the shield is blue



1831 II 26 = 16 Ordonnance du Roi relative au sceau de l’Etat.


Louis Philippe etc. sur le rapport de notre garde des sceaux, ministre secretaire d’Etat au departement de la justice

1er. A l’avenir, le sceau de l’Etat representera un livre ouvert portant à l’interieur ces mots Charte de 1830, surmonté d’une couronne fermée avec le sceptre et la main de justice en sautoir, et des drapeaux tricolores derrière l’écusson, et pour exergue Louis Philippe Ier, Roi des Français.

2 Notre garde des sceaux; ministre au departement de la justice (M. Merilhou), est chargé etc.


Achievement of the Monarchy of July

On the frame of a portrait of Louis Philippe

Iolani Palace, Honolulu, 1848


The achievement of the Monarchy of July


The crown replaced by a rooster



Second Republic





No achievement was adopted by the Second Republic. The Republican cypher was used for many purposes. In a single case the second republic is associated with the achievement above. [24]



Deuxième Empire




No achievement was adopted by the Imperial government.

 The Imperial Coat of Arms was used for all purposes.



Troisième Republique




The Republican cypher, when supported, was usually supported by two or more national flags and very rarely by allegorical figures.


The Cypher of France supported  by Law and Victory

Lycée Alphonse Daudet, Nimes 1883 ca


Emblem of the Third French Republic, the blade of the axe broken off.


Behind the shield four  or more national flags could be added








A symbol for the Republic was adopted in 1896. It is:

Arms: Azure, the cypher R.F.

Garland: A wreath of laurel Or.

Order: Légion d’Honneur.

Supporters: A fasces, two national flags and branches of oak and laurel in saltire.



Achievement of France (1900ca)

On the entrance of the Garden of  the Elysée

By Adrien Chancel (1853-1901)


Arms: The letters RF charged with a branch of oak

Crest: A rooster

Garland: Of leaves of  olive

Supporters: Two fasces with axes inserted and a branh of olive and an branch of oak in saltire


The entrance was made during the 3rd Republic by order of President Émile Loubet (in office 1899-1906).



Achievement of the Republic

Painting or carpet, date and origin unknown (1st half 20th cent. ?)


Arms: Azure,  a branch of olive and a branch of oak in saltire charged with the letters RF, in chief and in base white ribbons inscribed ?.

Order: Collar and star of the Légion d’Honneur.

Crest:  A rooster held by a child

Supporters: D.: Virgin holding a mirror (Prudence); S.: Virgin with scales and sword (Justice).



In front on the stairs a lion couchant cared for by two cupids.


As on passports, 1935



État Français





The law of 10 July 1940 granting Marshal Pétain full powers to draft a constitution to be submitted to the approval of the nation and guaranteeing "the rights of Labor, Family and Homeland". This Constitution was never promulgated.

In The “Revue des Deux Mondes” of 15 September 1940, Marshal Pétain wrote this repudiation of the motto of the French Republic "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity":

“When our young people [...] come into life [...] we will tell them [...] that real freedom can only be exercised under the protection of a tutelary authority, which they must respect, to which they must obey [...]. We will then tell them that equality [should] be framed in a hierarchy, based on the diversity of functions and merits [...]. Finally, we will tell them that there can be no true fraternity except within these natural groups, which are the family, the city, the country.”

The motto "Work, Family, Fatherland" is sometimes attributed to Emmanuel Berl  but it was well before 1940 that the Croix-de-Feu and the French Social Party (PSF) founded by Colonel de La Rocque (future resistant).

It has often been said that these three words typified the “national revolution” undertaken by this regime: one finds in any case the philosophy of Gustave Thibon and the belief, widespread at the time in all undemocratic ideologies, that "the family, the city, the homeland “would not be cultural and historical constructions (thus likely to be debated and modified) but" natural groups "that is to say indisputable. Léon-Paul Fargue persimpled this motto in "Trouble, famine, patrol".



Fourth Republic




As on passports 1947 -  1952



Fifth Republic




Shield supporting  five national flags

The shield of a version with the breadths per bend sinister


Town Hall Troyes


Display of shields supporting national flags. In the windows quasi achievements consisting of the tierced arms of France supported by national flags and flags of the European Union (adopted 29.06.1985)





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© Hubert de Vries




[2] The sarcophage has been heavily damaged at the beginning of the 19th century and provisionally repaired.

[3] Such achievements also known from Treves and Cologne.

[4] Read more at:

[5] Seidenstickerei mit Adlerflug Alexanders des Großen. Wurzburg, Mainfrankisches Museum. Inv. Nr. H. 5604. Lit.: Otto der Grosse, Magdeburg und Europa. Mjainz 2001. Bd. II. Pp. 260-281.



[8] The same coat oif arms was of the venetian Genaral Marcantonio Bragadin (†1571). A relation could not be found (Bragadin = Gaudin?). His monument is in the  SS. Giovanni e Paolo in Venice.

[9] The arms of Lockhorst also on a triptich of Cornelisz Engebrechtsz Engebrechtsz (1468-1533), now in Leiden:

[10] Coll. Bastard d'Estang, sceaux, n ° 5a. Cote : BNF Richelieu Monnaies, médailles et antiques exemplaire unique


[12] Moutié, M.: Charte de fondation du couvent des Célestins de Limay, près Mantes, par Charles V,  en 1376. In: Bulletin du Comité de la langue, de l’histoire et des arts de la France. 4, 1857, pp. 239-249

[13] Source BNF:  Titre : Claudius Ptolemaeus , Cosmographia , Jacobus Angelus interpres / Auteur : Ptolemaeus, Claudius (0100?-0170?). Auteur du texte / Auteur : Jacobus Angelus. Traducteur / Date d'édition : 1501-1515 / Date d'édition : 1485 / Contributeur : Bibliothèque royale de Fontainebleau. / Ancien possesseur / Contributeur : Johannes de Krieckenborch. Copiste / Contributeur : Librairie royale de Blois. Ancien possesseur / Contributeur : Louis XII. Ancien possesseur / Contributeur : Louis de Bruges, seigneur de La Gruthuyse. Ancien possesseur

[14] Dennys, Rodney: The Heraldic Imagination.  Barrie & Jenkins Ltd. London, 1975. The Yale pp. 165-166




[18] Date d'édition: 1601-1700 / Type: manuscrit  / Langue: Français / Format:  Parchemin. - 77 feuillets. - 360 × 280 mm. - Reliure maroquin olive, aux armes et au chiffre de Louis XIII. / Description Blasons peints ; portrait de Louis XIII. / Droits:  domaine public / Identifiant: ark:/12148/btv1b8551123b  / Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France, Département des manuscrits, Français 8204  / Provenance: Bibliothèque nationale de France / Date de mise en ligne: 17/09/2013 

[19] Oorspr. verschenen in: Nieuwen atlas, ofte werelt beschryvinge ... - Amsterdam : apud Iohannem Janssonium, 1638;; Origineel is Blad 14 in atlas factice and Jaar: 2009;; Opdrachtgever: Universiteitsbibliotheek Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam;; Uitvoering: Pictura, Heiloo;; Locatie origineel: NL, Universiteitsbibliotheek Vrije Universiteit, XL.05243.- bl. 14;; Fysieke gegevens: tiff-bestand;; Gedigitaliseerd: december 2009

[20] ASVat, A.A. Arm. I-XVIII, 432.

[21]  Jouffroy d' Eschavannes, M. : Armorial Universel. Précédé d'un traité complète de la science du blason. L. Curmer, Ed.. Paris, MDCCCXLIV. Pl. 5


[23] Hefner, O.T. von, M. Gritzner & A.M. Hildebrandt: Die Wappen der Ausserdeutschen Souveraine und Staaten. Baner & Raspe. Nürnberg, 1856. Repr. Neustadt a/d Aisch, 1978. Taf. 23.