As early as 1654, Lorgues had its coat of arms: “Azure with three fleurs-de-lys Or, with a lion and a dog on its shield”, symbolising the town’s motto, Force et Fidélité (Strength and Loyalty).

Lorgues, “royal town” had quite simply adopted the fleur-de-lys, the coat of arms of the House of France, and therefore of the Counts of Provence. In 1696, Louis XIV created the General Armorial, to bring order and impose rules in heraldry: the fleur-de-lys, which now belonged to the House of France alone, were no longer allowed in a town coat of arms, but only on the “chief”, the upper banner, and so Lorgues had to change it. The new coat of arms was officially registered at the Draguignan coat of arms office in 1706: “Gules [on a red background] a lion Or [gold] and a dog Argent [silver] supporting a fleur-de-lys Or on its front paws and a chief Azure [blue] charged with three fleurs-de-lys Or”. This upper third, “the chief” (or entablature), charged with the three fleurs-de-lys, known as the “chief of France”, was granted as an honour to “good cities of France” for their loyalty to the crown. Lorgues certainly merited this honour.

The French Revolution abolished coats of arms, marks of the old regime, but they were re-established by Napoleon in 1804, but without the fleur-de-lys, the royal insignia. A mural crown with five silver crenellations was added to the Lorgues coat of arms.

Coat of arms created for the town’s Facebook page

At the Restoration, in 1818, Lorgues was once again allowed to recover its old coat of arms with the fleur-de-lys. But in 1831, Louis-Philippe, who had become “King of the French”, had the fleurs-de-lys removed from the entablature, replacing it by three stars, as can still be seen on the coat of arms on the town hall pediment. Sometimes, probably due to weariness with all these changes, the entablature was simply left empty, as can still be seen at the Fontaine de la Noix (Walnut Fountain), where only the motto, Force-Lorgues-Fidélité, remains, which surmounts an empty entablature and the crenelated crown.