The third revolutionary Valoise flag.

The First Valoise Republic had been so chaotic and nigh-ungovernable that it rapidly lost the support of the majority of its people and, crucially, the army. As a result, a coup of the presidential cabinet led to the institution of the Valoise Directorate, in which supreme executive power was shared in a complex arrangement among a small group of politicians. While still ostensibly a republic, it was in practice more of an authoritarian oligarchy. With the decline of the chaos, infighting, and executions that had plagued the Valoise Presidency, as the earlier period came to be known, the Directors turned their attention to more mundane matters.

First and foremost was a revision of the national flag. Rémy Hauet had by this time been imprisoned as an enemy of the people, so the task fell to one of the Directors, Jean-Claude Fouquet. Rather than reconstitute the Flag Committee, he simply revised the design himself, simplifying the old recolored Oriflamme into a series of geometric shapes. This new design, which he called the Republican Sun, greatly eased manufacture of the flag and hastened the incorporation of white suns into the revised military uniforms then coming into service. Foquet also toyed with a revival of the Morsflamme, with no bars and a white sun of the simplified design, for use against enemies of the state. A number of these flags were prepared for, but not used in, the desert campaigns in Khemet–the Osmans occupying the area were coincidentally using a very similar black flag.

The flag of the Empire of Valois, also known as the Scierie-Soleil.

When the Directorate was overthrown in favor of the Despotate, the three Despots were divided about whether to keep the flag or revise it again. Given that the Despotate was, at least in theory, a temporary government until a new constitution could be drafted, the First Despot elected to keep the banner largely the same, and his opinion was the one that really mattered. Jean-Claude Fouquet did not object, as he was executed along with all the other Directors who did not become the three Despots. As such, the flag remained unchanged for the relatively brief period of the Despotate, even as the First Despot solidified his power base and undermined the others in what was essentially a military dictatorship with republican trappings at that point.

When the Valoise Despotate evolved in the First Valoise Empire, the Emperor himself revised the flag. Iterating on Fouquet’s simplified white sun design, the Emperor gave the rays emanating from it a rakish tilt reminiscent of the original Oriflamme, perhaps as a reflection of the newly monarchical nature of his regime. This flag, which became known as the Scierie-Soleil, or Sawmill Sun, persisted through the Emperor’s ultimate overthrow and the restoration of the royal standard following over twenty years of near-continuous warfare.

  • Like what you see? Purchase a print or ebook version!