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France: Anti-aircraft frigates' pennants

Last modified: 2010-03-13 by ivan sache
Keywords: frigate | cassard (frigate) | jean bart (frigate) | duquesne (frigate) |
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Frigate Cassard

The frigate Cassard was launched from the Lorient arsenal in 1985 as an "anti-aircraft corvette"; renamed "anti-aircraft frigate" to match the international nomenclature on 6 June 1988, the Cassard was eventually renamed an "anti-aircraft defense frigate" in 2006. Based at Toulon since 1989, the Cassard served in the Adriatic Sea in 1989 as part of the escort of the Foch aircraft carrier and in Middle-East in 2002 and 2006, as part of the escort of the Charles-de- Gaulle.

The ship is named for the corsair Jacques Cassard (1679-1740). On 2 December 1711, Cassard was "allowed" by King Louis XV to operate six vessels against the English, Dutch and Portuguese colonies. From 1712 to 1714, he ransomed several towns and destroyed their fortifications in Cape Verde, Montserrat, Antigua, Sint-Eustatius, Suriname, Paramaribo and Curacao. Cassard never recovered from the Peace of Utrecht, retired from the Navy in 1731, and died abandoned, mad and ruined.

The pennant of the Cassard is a blue rectangular flag with a golden fringe and frame.
The obverseof the flag is charged with the name of the ship, as FREGATE / CASSARD (bigger), surrounded by four fouled anchors pointing to the corners of the flag, all in gold.
The reverse of the flag is charged with the badge of the ship, surrounded by her name in gold, as FREGATE (left) / CASSARD (right) in an arched pattern.

The badge of the Cassard is made of a fouled anchor argent, charged with the Cross of St. Louis or, outlined argent, charged by the municipal arms of Nantes topped by a mural crown or and placed over two missiles argent crossed per saltire.
The Cross of St. Louis recalls that Jacques Cassard was made Knight of the Order of St. Louis in 1719. The arms of Nantes recall that Cassard was born in this town in a traders' family and appointed Captain at the Admiralty of Nantes on 25 May 1700.

The pennant and the badge originally bore the writing "CORVETTE" instead of "FREGATE", registered by Note No 502 EMM/CAB/NP on 20 June 1986. Updated following the name change of the ship, the new emblems have never been officially registered.

Source: Net-Marine website

Ivan Sache, 19 May 2009

Frigate Duquesne

The anti-aircraft frigate Duquesne was launched on 12 February 1966 and decommissioned in 2008.
Together with her sister-ship Suffren, the Duquesne was specifically designed to escort the aircraft carreers Clémenceau and Foch.

The ship is named for Abraham Duquesne (1610-1688), a seaman who served the Kings of France (1628-1644; 1647-1683) and Sweden (1644-1647). Appointed Vice-Admiral of Sweden, Duquesne cound not be appointed Marshal of France because he refused to abjure the Protestant religion.

The pennant of the Duquesne is rectangular, with similar obverse and reverse.
The flag is red with a white cross outlined in yellow, charged with an escutcheon "Argent a lion sable armed and langued gules". The escutcheon has a thin black (outside) and yellow (indide) border and is topped by a Marquis' cap or. Three yellow fouled anchors pointing outside are placed in each arm of the cross, except the upper arm (no space left because of the crown).

The escutcheon represents the arms of Abraham Duquesne, which can also be seen in Aubonne (Vaud, Switzerland) on a house and on the funerary stele of the seaman; in 1700, Henry Duquesne, Abraham's elder son and Baron of Aubonne (1685-1701) placed an urn containing his father's heart in the choir of the temple of Aubonne.

Source: Net-Marine website

Ivan Sache, 22 May 2009

Frigate Jean Bart

The anti-aircraft frigate Jean Bart, launched as a "corvette" on 19 March 1988, is the sister-ship of the frigate Cassard, the two vessels being based at Toulon. On 23 July 2006, she contributed to the evacuation of 270 civilians from Beirut (Lebanon) to Larnaca (Cyprus) following the air and sea attack of Lebanon by Israel.

The ship is named for the most famous French corsair, Jean Bart (1650-1702). Appointed Captain in 1689, Bart promoted the use of small groups of small frigates to capture conveys, "prefigurating" the submarine war of the 20th century. In 1694, Jean Bart captured 130 Dutch vessels loaded with grain off the island of Texel, which ended a starvation period in France; as a reward, he was proclaimed a national hero and ennobled by the king.

The pennant of the Jean-Bart is rectangular.
The obverse of the flag is horizontally divided white-blue-white-blue-white-blue, that is the traditional flag of Dunkirk, the birth town of Jean Bart, charged with the name of the ship as FREGATE (third stripe) / JEAN BART (fifth stripe), surrounded by four fouled anchors pointing to the corners of the flag, all in gold.
The reverse of the flag is blue with the emblem of the ship.

The emblem of the Jean-Bart, registered by Note 250 CEMM/CAB/NP on 20 July 1989, is made of the coat of arms of Jean Bart placed over a fouled anchor surrounded by the name of the ship, as FREGATE (left) / JEAN BART (right), all argent.
The arms of Jean Bart are D'argent à la fasce d'azur chargée d'une fleur de lis d'or, accompagnée en chef de deux ancres de sable en sautoir et en pointe d'un lion passant de gueules. Timbre : un heaume d'argent muni de lambrequins de gueules doublés d'argent, et surmonté d'une main armée d'argent et d'or tenant un badelaire* d'argent à la garde d'or. Sous l'écu est placée la croix de Saint-Louis avec deux rubans rouges ponceau (Argent a fess azure a fleur-de-lis or in chief two anchors sable crossed per saltire in base a lion passant gules. The shield surmonted by a helmet argent with lambrequins gules fimbriated argent topped by a hand armed argent and or holding a scimitar hilted or. Under the shield the Cross of Saint-Louis with two ribbons gules).

* badelaire is a little-used word, coined in the 12th century to design a kind of scimitar (in French, cimeterre).

Source: Net-Marine website

Ivan Sache, 22 May 2009