La Jonchère Saint Maurice

It’s not often you get asked to design a coat of arms. Even less often when it’s your family village. La Jonchère is a small village nested in Limousin. One day I recieved a call : “ Guillaume, we heard you have a thing for heraldry. We have no coat of arms for La Jonchère. Do you want to create one ?

For me La Jonchère is a special place, full of summer memories.  The sound of cracking leaves in the Arboretum. The Long walks near the lake. The crowing rooster on the Rue de Limoges. But mainly, Le Queroix, my grand parents house sitting on the side of the former Roman road.

By  digging into local archives and memories, the story of La Jonchère revealed itself.

From the celtic Lemovices tribe, the medieval town and fortifications of the Bishop of Limoges that were detroyed by the Black prince, to the Arboterum, one of the major acclimatization garden in France.

Visitors  gazed at the former glory of La Jonchère. Everywhere you dig in the village you find old medieval caves or roman coins. There’s a profound feeling nostalgia here.

Coat of arms as storytelling

For whom knows the language of the coat of arms, they are a tool to share the story of their bearers., yet they have to show a simple and distinctive layout. They are quirky, they are the storytellers of shimmering pasts. What if a shield designed today could pay an hommage to these forgotten stories ?

The new coat of arms for La Jonchère is simple, refering to early age of heraldry. All its components embed a story. The colors red and yellow ( gules and gold in heraldic language) comes from the shield of the Bishop of Limoges. The semis ( an heraldic figure where the symbol is repeated seamlessly) comes from the shields of both the county of La Marche and the Généralié du Limousin. The symbol, the reed comes from the local occitan name of La Jonchère : La Junchéra, the land of the reeds.

The shield can be described as Gule semy of golden reeds. 

Setting up a vegetal identity

The new coat of arms for La Jonchère is simple, refering the early age of heraldry. It

Now the shadow of the column — the column which supports the southwest corner of the roof — divides the corresponding corner of the veranda into two equal parts. This veranda is a wide, covered gallery surrounding the house on three sides. Since its width is the same for the central portion as for the sides, the line of shadow cast by the column extends precisely to the corner of the house; but it stops there, for only the veranda flagstones are reached by the sun, which is still too high in the sky.
The wooden walls of the house — that is, its front and west gable-end — are still protected from the sun by the roof (common to the house proper and the terrace). So at this moment the shadow of the outer edge of the roof coincides exactly with the right angle formed by the terrace and the two vertical surfaces of the corner of the house.

Now A... has come into the bedroom by the inside door opening onto the central hallway. She does not look at the wide open window through which — from the door —  she would see this corner of the terrace.
Now she has turned back toward the door to close it behind her. She still has on the light-colored, close-fitting dress with the high collar that she was wearing at lunch when Christiane reminded her again that loose-fitting clothes make the heat easier to bear. But A... merely smiled: she never suffered from the heat, she had known much worse climates than this — in Africa, for instance — and had always felt fine there. Besides, she doesn’t feel the cold either. Wherever she is, she keeps quite comfortable.