Sarthe

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SARTHE

Sarthe.jpg

Origin/meaning

The above arms are the Grand Arms of the department, which normally uses only the shield (the Small Arms).

The shield itself is identical to the arms of the historical region Maine, showing a shield with the French royal fleur-de-lis and a red bordure with a silver lion.

The mural and oak crown is the symbol for a préfecture (nowadays département) since the 18th century. The two lion supporters are taken from the arms of the Plantagenet family (see the English Royal arms), as Counts of Maine. One lion holds a lance with a wheel, symbolising the car industry in the region as well as the first steam car built in Le Mans in 1873 by Amédée Bollée. The other supporter holds a lance with the arms of Le Mans.

Below the shield the banner with the name of the province and two black wheels symbolising the industry. The banner also shows 1873 and 24h both referring to the car industry and the well-known 24h races in Le Mans. Below the banner are placed five small shields representing other local industries; potteries, chicken farming, candle industries, horse farming and textile industry (linen).
The pine and apple branches symbolise nature and horticulture.


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Literature: Cordonnier et al, 1962