Coats of armor
All cities of the world have a coat of arms that represents symbols of their history. This universal culture is the same in the city of Brazzaville. On September 29, 1950, the Municipal Board of Brazzaville met to discuss and design the arms of Brazzaville. Seven people adopted the arms in Mr. Durant office, administrator and mayor of Brazzaville, including: Misters Durand, Gerard, Proucel, Biran, Amouroux, Bikoumou and Landa.
According to the minutes of the meeting of the Municipal Commission of September 29, 1950, the coat of arms of the city of Brazzaville is represented by a multicolored shield centered between two green palms, topped with a cap Batéké and all sitting on a white banner with the following inscriptions: "All those who touch it are free." Jean Glénisson, a paleographer Archivist of the Governor General, created the composition of these arms in 1950, which follow the conventional rules of heraldry.
Pierre Lods designed the mockup, creator and director of the Poto-Poto School of Painting.
The coat of arms combines the emblem of the Italian family of the Count de Brazza Savorgnan Cergneu and the insignia of Batéké kings with whom the humanist and pacifist explorer met on September 10, 1880 to Mbé. Les explications des armoiries de Brazzaville se retrouvent dans les procès verbaux de la commission municipale de Brazzaville du 29 septembre 1950. En voici la description officielle :
The shield divided into four, has the weapons of Brazza on two sections (flag and pal) and on the other two, an elephant head and the small red tail feathers of a parrot, which old Congolese Batékés leader still sting in their hair. Explanations of Brazzaville coat of arms can be found in the minutes of the municipal meeting on September 29, 1950. Here is the official description:
"The proposed arms include:
- on the 1st quarter is a pole striped silver flag;
- on the 2nd quarter, azure with a golden elephant trimmed with silver;
- on the 3rd quarter three gold part feathers;
- 4th quarter silver pale sable.”
Two palms as supporters, all stamped with a crown of feathers and silver cowries representing Batéké kings. "
The top of the shield represents a royal Makoko headdress, made with the long feathers of a nightjar (nocturnal bird which has only two oversized feathers in each wing). The "cowries" are small shells that once served as currency in Africa.
On the banner on which is written: the Municipal Board added, “All those who touch it are free”. Here is the source of the slogan extracted from a book on Brazza written by his brother-in-law, General de Chambrun: "One night Brazza was awakened by repeated calls of a fugitive who, having broken away from his cruel master, soon began to claim his humanity.
Should he return the unhappy fugitive or grant him asylum under the folds of the flag?
Brazza did not hesitate for moment to extend his protection. But on this occasion, he showed himself to be practical as well as humanitarian. He did not want to risk irretrievably jeopardizing the success of his enterprise, and in affirming the rights of the owner, he overcame difficulty by offering 400 francs, while the usual price in the country was 2 kg of salt, a copper basin (Neptune) worth 1,50 franc and a pearl necklace (Venice) of two sounds.
When, in the neighboring market, they learned the strange news that after paying for the release of a man, he paid for his work, there was a big commotion. Four unfortunate people, then twenty, threw themselves at the feet of the benefactor.
Therefore, Brazza thought it fit to strike the imagination with a certain solemnity. In the middle of his camp, he hoisted the French flag and on the stem it said, ‘All those who touch it are free. We, France, do not recognize the right of anyone to keep a man in slavery. ‘" ‘As each person approaches our pavilion, the coolies will break the forks on their necks and the fetters ate their feet. Then, lined up, liberated and released they will salute the tricolor.”