On 18th September 2011 we visited the Fiore de la Compôte en Bauges: an annual fair in a small village in the Haute Savoie. We wandered around looking at sheep being rounded up, local knitwears, donkeys and local dancing. We joined the popular vote to choose the best of six local types of honey (numbers 2 and 6 were considered to be pretty good).

I came across a stall which was lobbying to correct an ancient international injustice that I'd never heard about. The Savoie Libre group is fighting the scandalous incorporation of Savoie into the Republic of France in 1860.

I heard a long account (in French) of a series of events involving the Kingdom of Sardinia, a war with Austria, the involvement of one of the Napoleons and a rigged plebiscite that managed to vote more than 99% in favour of the region being incorporated into France.

Evidence in support of the vote being unfair was very firmly based upon the special correspondent of the Times of London. He said that the vote was "la plus grande farce jamais jouée dans l'histoire des nations".

Who could possibly doubt the words of the Times of London?

The Savoie Libre (Free Savoie) stall at the Fiore de la Compôte en Bauges, 18th September 2011.

(The flag of Savoie is a white cross on a red background. If they ever go to war with Switzerland, they can keep track of who is who by the fact that the Swiss flag's white cross doesn't go to the edges.)


English Wikipedia article on Savoy
French Wikipedia article on the annexation of Savoie
Pour La Savoire

Comments (0)
Anthony Holmes September 29th, 2011 06:17:00 AM