A curious Flag at Meursault

by Renzo Freschi

The day after my stay at Beaune, the pleasant wine capital of Burgundy where I had stopped to visit that wonderful gift of human generosity called Hotel-Dieu (1), I had resolved to drive on to Meursault, a small village surrounded by vinyards. When I arrived in the delightful village I saw, near the basilica in classical French Gothic style, a large building with a roof made of multicoloured tiles: the City Hall.

  1. A large building in flamboyant Gothic style, with painted roof tiles, built in 1443 by Nicholas Rolin as a hospital for the poor. Used until 1971, it is now a museum.

On the topmost flagpole the French flag was flying, and just below it another curious flag was waving in the light morning breeze. It was different from the usual flags I know, but the red-blue rays and two rampant animals at its centre were somewhat familiar, so I got closer and I recognized the Tibetan flag.

It was rather bizarre to chance upon it in a village in the middle of France, on the way back from Paris after having seen a beautiful exhibition on the Buddha at the Musée Guimet. Thus, pleasantly intrigued, I went into the building where a kind officer explained to me that the flag (which is not recognized by the Chinese government) was there following a decision of the local administration to support Tibet’s claim to independence.

Renzo Freschi
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