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Lausanne commune (Vaud canton, Switzerland)

Last modified: 2024-03-23 by martin karner
Keywords: lausanne | ouchy |
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[Flag of Lausanne] image by António Martins

Gules, chief argent
António Martins, 11 January 1998

"Free City" of Ouchy

[free city of Ouchy] image located by ND

Source: (no longer available)

The coat of arms of "Commune Libre d'Ouchy" (free city of Ouchy). The flag is the same pattern.
Ouchy is a part of Lausanne at the edge of Lake of Geneva. This "free city" is not officially recognized and has a symbolic value. Ouchy was during the Middle Ages for the secondary residence of the Bishop of Lausanne. The inhabitants immortalize the tradition and their specificities since these times.
ND, 4 October 2005

When I was in Lausanne, I saw these arms in several places, and wondered what the status was, so thanks for informing me. I didn't see the flag flying anywhere – do you know of any examples of its use?
Jonathan Dixon, 5 October 2005

The status of the coat of arms of Ouchy is purely informal. There is no official status and it is used by the "Pirates d'Ouchy". This corporation works like an brotherhood. They want an independent city of Ouchy. Of course, this is not a serious request. This is only for the fun and everybody, Lausanne-People and Ouchy-People, finish to drink too lot of white wine.
More seriously, the inhabitants of Lausanne have a lot of difficulties to recognize their own flag because it is not flying often. We might believe that the authorities don't like their flag or are not proud of it! If the Lausanne-People are not able to recognise their own flag, you can imagine they are not likely to know much about the flag of "Ville Libre d'Ouchy".
ND, 5 October 2005

École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne

École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) was founded in 1853 as "École Spéciale de Lausanne", a private institute modelled on the "École Centrale de Paris". With classes in chemistry, physics, mathematics, drawing, architecture and engineering, the institute mostly aimed at training civil engineers. In 1869, the institute became the "Faculté technique" of the Lausanne Academy. The Academy was transformed in 1890 in the Lausanne University, the faculty being renamed "École d'Ingénieurs"; the same year, classes in electrical engineering were inaugurated. In 1903, fifty years after its foundation, the institute had 24 professors and 132 students. In 1946, the institute was renamed "École polytechnique de l'Université de Lausanne" (EPUL). In 1953, celebrating its centenary, the institute had 45 professors and some 500 students. Following the adoption on 9 October 1968 by the Federal Council of the Law on the Federal Polytechnical Schools, the institute took its present name, "École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne" (EPFL). The new campus of Écublens-Dorigny was inaugurated in 1978, the transfer of the whole institute to the site being completed in 2001. EPFL was restructured the next year, the Departments being replaced by Faculties and Colleges. In 2010, 7762 students were registered at EPFL, including 25% of Ph.D students and 3 % of post-doc students. The proportions of women among the students increased from 12 % in 1982 to 27 % in 2010. EPFL employs 263 professors and 1337 administrative and technical staff members. The proportion of women among professors increased from 1.3% in 1994 to 10.7% in 2010. – EPFL website

Sailing Team EPFL

[EPFL flag] image by Ivan Sache

[EPFL flag] image by Ivan Sache

"Sailing Team EPFL", the students' sailing team, uses a white flag charged with the logo of EPFL. The flag appears to be used in two versions:
– a square flag, matching the proportions of the Swiss national flag, photo
– a rectangular (~3:4), "stand alone" flag, photo – photo gallery, Sailing Team EPFL website, showing the two flags.

Ivan Sache, 29 April 2012

Old city flag with double eagle and flames

[Lausanne flag with flames] image located by Renaud Berthet, 30 August 2004

I am a French militaria collector and I possess this flag. Could you help me to identify it? Perhaps it is a XIXth century, German flag?
Renaud Berthet, 30 August 2004

The flames strongly suggest a Swiss regiment in foreign service, but I am afraid I cannot place it. It is not French. The two-headed eagle doesn't seem quite right for the Austrian Empire.
T.F. Mills, 1 September 2004

Just a wild guess: The county of Hohenberg (which was located in what is now central Baden-Württemberg in Germany) used a white-red shield like the breast shield on the eagle. Hohenberg belonged to Austria until 1805. The double eagle could be Austrian. However, that's my complete extent of knowledge on this matter.
Stefan Schwoon, 1 September 2004

The flamed gyronny flag is traditional in Central-Europe, but the arms are also of the Hanzestadt Luebeck in Northern-Germany. And in the Regions in East-Schleswig-Holstein one can find shields gyronny in white and red.
Hans van Heijningen, 30 October 2004

The double eagle seem to suggest Russia. The crowns on the heads are however, not Russian. The colours indicate Poland, and the crowns seem similar to the crown on the Polish eagle. Hence, my guess is, that there is a Polish connection here, e.g., Poland during the time of Russian "occupation" prior to WWI.
Lennart Eriksson, 25 January 2005

At the first glance for me it was a military flag of the Hansestadt Lübeck. The crowned double eagle is the symbol of the Holy Roman Empire. The bicolour inescutcheon is the distinction mark of Lübeck. The gyronny pattern was used by the Swiss, also of those regiments in foreign services. This is affirmed by ZNAMIEROWSKI and NEUBECKER. But for me it is hard to believe, that Swiss soldiers were in service of a sea power like Lübeck. In addition red and white have been the colours of Hansa league.
There is another detail, I cannot recognize properly. I can't see, whether the eagle has two halves of a torn chain at both feet or they are simply the fourth toes of the eagles claws. If it was a torn chain, than the flag could belong to the Hanseatic Legion, a militia that joined the alliance against France in times of French occupation (1810–1813). You can see a flag of that militia in "Die Welt in Bildern, Band 8, Historische Flaggen" p. 48, image 176. The depicted flag is white with a golden border of fringes. In the middle is a red Latin cross with a golden "1813" upon the horizontal crossbar. In the hoist corners there are eagles of Lübeck with their tails pointing to the flags corners. Below the cross is a golden inscription (half circle) "Deutschland oder Tod!" (Germany or death).
Sources: Alfred Znamierowski (2001) "Flaggen Enzyklopädie," 2001, p. 80–81
Otfried Neubecker: "Fahnen und Flaggen", Leipzig 1939 [Editorial Note: it is not a chain, merely the fourth toes of the eagle.]
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 12 June 2007

From the image alone it is basically impossible to know what this flag is. One would have to do some (at least superficial) analysis of the textile material and the colours etc. to find out the age of the flag first. It is quite probable that it is not a true military flag, but some flag of a veterans' association or the like. These are single items and therefore difficult to identify.
M. Schmöger, 12 July 2007

I'm the owner of the flag visible here and I would like to answer to the kind persons who tried to identify the flag :
the fabric is pure cotton. The flag features an obvious patina which is not visible on the picture, but the lack of parts probably eaten by a rodent. I have other cloth relics and I think that this kind of patina would appear after 50 or 100 years at least. The cotton is quite grimy! Some of the colors have not been printed exactly into the drawing, as colored illustrations in old illustrated books. Anyway, thanks to all for the answers.
Renaud Berthet, 12 April 2009

It is, definitely, neither a Polish or a Russian flag. The eagle appears to be an Austrian one, but, most likely is representing the Holy Roman Empire, and the shield is that of Lübeck, so, the speculation of Klaus-Michael Schneider seems to be the most plausible, although not a conclusive one. Sorry for not being able to untangle the mystery.
Chrystian Kretowicz, 12 January 2010

This flag could have a link to the city of Lausanne, Switzerland. The red part of the shield looks larger than the white, like Lausannes (gueules chappé d'argent in heraldic French), and the district of La Palud in Lausanne had the imperial eagle on its banner in medieval times.
Phil Fry, 12 September 2010

I am also sure that this unknown flag is a flag from the city of Lausanne, Switzerland. The flag shows in the middle the coat-of-arms of Lausanne and there is an imperial eagle of the German Empire. Emperor Sigismund gave Lausanne the liberties of a city, so they sometimes used the imperial eagle. It can also seen on some monuments in Lausanne [picture from source #1]. The flames are typical for a Swiss flag of the period. (source #1 and source #2)
Philipp Ammann, 6 November 2018