The flag of Brittany — Click to Enlarge

BRITTANY (BREIZH): Alone among the six Celtic nations, Brittany, as the northwestern penninsula of the French “Hexagon,” has found itself attached to France instead of England. Its language, Breton, is closely related to those of Wales and Cornwall, and Brittany as we know it was largely settled by Celtic refugees from southern Britain. These early Bretons fled the Saxon conquests of the Fifth Century and came to a land then known as “Armorica” that had been depopulated by Roman conquest and reprisals. The original Armoricans were also Celtic, relatives of the Gauls.

Maintaining a precarious independence throughout the Middle Ages as a duchy, Brittany evaded an English takeover in the Hundred Years War only to be finally absorbed by France at the end of the 1400s. Remnants of Brittany’s separate political identity persisted to the end of the 1700s only to be abolished by the French Revolution. Following a series of armed uprisings against the revolutionary French, Breton separatism and the Breton language have continued in the face of an often harsh repression by the French government.

For more information about Breton history, click on the links below:
The Duchess in the Wooden Shoes
Battle of Le Mans (Franco-Prussian War)
Yann The Wise Duke of Brittany, 1402-2002
Cornish Gorsedd Diamond Jubilee
George Washington's Breton General
Georges Kadoudal Bicentennial
Bleun-Brug 1905-2005
Anjela Duval Centenary