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Antongil (Benyovski's) Kingdom (Madagascar)

Last modified: 2009-05-03 by bruce berry
Keywords: antongil | benyovsky |
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[Antongil flag] image by Jarig Bakker, 18 Jul 2005 See also:

Antongil (Benyovski's) Kingdom

At this website is a flag: blue with in the center a white crescent pointing towards the fly. Image based on a small image by Jaume Ollé, based on Flag Bulletin, X:2/3, 1971 and Lucien Philippe's, Les anciens drapeaux de Madagascar, 6° ICV, IJsselmeer, 1975.

Data according to the site mentioned:
Antogil (Louisbourg)

11 Feb 1774 Kingdom of Antongil proclaimed by Hungarian adventurer.
23 May 1786 Terminated by France.

Commander
11 Feb 1774 - 23 May 1786 Maurice Auguste de Beinowsky (b. 1746 - d. 1786)
Jarig Bakker, 18 Jul 2005

From the book "L'Etat c'est moi" by Bruno Fuligni.

The author reports the story of the count Benovsky, who related his life in an autobiography where quite good observations are mixed with enormous lies. Please don' t read the following lines as pure truth.

Count Benovsky was born in Verbowa (= Vrbova, then Hungary, now Slovakia) in 1741. He told he fought as a general in imperial army in 1756, but it seems to be wrong because he was only 15 or 16. His brothers stole his legacy, he tried to punish them but was then forced to leave. He went to Poland, fought with Confederation of Bar, was arrested by Russians, deported to Kazan, where he conspired against the Russian government. He was then deported to Kamtchatka. He arrived in 1770 at Bolcherjezk, where he seduced the daughter of the Governor. He led a rebellion and one of the fighters  killed the Governor. Benovsky left for Formosa with the Governor's daughter (who died meanwhile in Macau). Their vessel flew "the flag of the polish Confederacy". Benovsky wrote that he became king of Formosa. He and his friends decided to establish a colony there, and went to Macau, Madagascar (Fort-Dauphin), and arrived in Lorient, France in 1772 to find some help. He told France did not want to help him to make an expedition to Formosa, and sent him to Madagascar. He arrived in 1774 in the Bay of Antongil, where he founded Louisbourg. People of Madagascar saw in Benovsky the grandson of Ramimi, the last "ampansacabe". He put up a Supreme council, a  permanent council with local people and Europeans, and tried to be recognized as a King. At the same time, the French of Ile de France (Mauritius) wanted to defeat him so that Madagascar did not become an important place for business in the Indian Ocean. Benovsky left Madagascar for Europe and America; he is finally supported by a business firm in Baltimore thanks to Benjamin Franklin and George Washington. He came back in Madagascar in 1785. France decided to fight against him. He was killed during the assault of his small fort, in 1786, May 23rd.
There was on the fort *a blue flag, with two white stars and a white crescent*.
Nota Bene : The source for the flag is not quoted by Bruno Fuligni. I don't know how much of the story is reliable...
Olivier Touzeau, 20 Dec 2000

History related by Fuligni is well known. In his history of Malgache flags, Lucien Philippe, many years ago, also reported this facts. Kingdom was named "Royaume d'Antongil"
Flag is described with some differences according sources:
a) Blue flag with white crescent pointed to fly
b) Blue flag wit two white crescent, one at side of other, first one pointed to hoist and the second pointed to fly
c) Blue flag with crescent pointed to fly (a bit near to hoist) and two white five pointed stars, one above the other (one in each point of the crescent)
I have images but only in the size of my old collection (4 x 6 cms)
Jaume Ollé, 6 Jan 2001

Count Benovsky, King of Madagascar is of Slovak origin and sometimes is he mentioned as “Benovský”. He was born in Vrbové Town, Trnavský kraj, Slovakia (and he was Hero of Slovak TV Serie ”Vivat, Benovský”). Arms of his family (barons Benyovszky) were “Azure in base a tripple hill Vert (an obligatory part of many Hungarian Arms) surmounted by (ducal) coronet Or (this was considered as sign of Hungarian Baronate/Lordship) with a Crescent Argent pointed upwards, in chief two six-pointed Stars Or. This can explain mysterious flags with crescent and two stars reported on Madagascar during Benyowsky era. I can add a short quotation from Grant of Arms from the year 1787:

„Maria Theresa, Empress (etc.), to Thee, Our loyal, beloved, noble Móric Benovszky, at this time in service of the french King, Brigade-General, Knight of the Military Order of St. Louis, Colonel and Governor of Madagascar, Our Greeting and Grace ... By our benevolent Decission and Grace, although you are in King of Frence service as a ...governor of Madagascar ...(we want to lead you) to the Commonwealth of these, who are asigned by title of Count, in German Graf, noble and gentle, in German Hoch- und Wohlgeboren, including your heirs of both sex, which are legitime born for all times... we are granting Your old Arms and improving this way: The shield is quartred; first Gules a Griffin Or conturnee... with queue between legs (coward), langued Gules, holding a sable natural, hilted Or; second and third Argent a Hand vested Purple with Wreath Vert,
holding a Standard Azure charged with six-pointed Mullet (star) Or; fourth... a ship with three sails on waves of the sea. In base there is a pile Azure with three Fleurs-de-lys Or (of the France). An Escutheon Azure on Coronet of Hungary (?) Or a Crescent pointed upwards Argent under in chief two six-pointed Stars Or...
Motto on a scroll: IN ADVERSIS ET PROSPERIS. ...
In Vienna, 3th October 1778, in 38th year of Our Reign.“
Aleš Krízan, 21 May 2002

Could it also explain the crescent and two stars shown on the coat of arms of Mayotte, as recently described by me?
It might be pure coincidence, but Mayotte is not that far from Madagascar.
Ivan Sache, 22 May 2002

Libertatia/Libertalia is on a site now being reclaimed by the bush, called in Malagasy "Marodoka", 7 km east of Andoany (old name Hell-Ville) the capital of the small island of (several spellings) Nosy Be, just off the NW coast of Madagascar.  Local legends have it that it was built by shipwrecked Indian sailors in the 17th/18th century.
An Dor, 26 Jan 2004

This seems to be a synonym: Malay for "freedom" (or "liberty" -- as in "Libertatia/Libertalia") is "_merdeka_", Malagasy "_marodoka_" must be a cognate, these two languages being closely related.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 2 Feb 2004

At the end of the 19th Century the island of Nossi-Bé issued its own postage stamps. It had an apparently autonomous political existence from Madagascar during the 1890s. The stamps are of the standard so-called 'large numeral on tablet' design common to most French colonies of the period, but with 'Nossi-Bé' inscribed beneath the numeral.
Ron Lahav, 27 Jan 2004

Yes it had, reflecting the early ages of poorly organized colonization. Madagascar was declared a French colony by a law dated 06 August 1896, following the lack of 'respect' of the protectorate treaty (1885), by Queen Ravalona.
However, not all Madagascar was included in the protectorate, since there existed an 'établissement de Diego-Suarez'. I don't have all the details, but it is very probable that this 'settlement' was set up 'privately' and not directly on behalf of the French state. The islands of Nossi Bé and Sainte-Marie were incorporated into the Diego-Suarez settlement in 1896, short before the set up of the colony of Madagascar, which means that they also had a certain autonomy before.
The situation was very complicated and the inhabitants of Sainte-Marie still claim they are French citizens because the island was formally not incorporated to Madagascar at the independence. The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently refused to back up their claim.
To make the situation very simple, the colony of Madagascar was later renamed Madagascar et dependances, when incorporating Mayotte and the Comoros (1914), and what is now the French Austral and Antarctic Territories (1924)
Other 'etablissements' were the 'établissements francais de l'Oceanie' and the 'établissements francais de l'Inde', and the 'établissements francais de la Côte des Somalis', today the republic of Djibouti.. They seem to reflect a colonization process older than the great wave of 'civilizating colonization' which started at the end of the 19th century.
Source: the Grand Larousse Illustre du XXe siecle.
Ivan Sache, 29 Jan 2004


Antongil - second flag

[Antongil second flag] image by Jarig Bakker, 18 Jul 2005

Image based on description by Jaume Ollé, based on Flag Bulletin, X:2/3, 1971 and Lucien Philippe's, Les anciens drapeaux de Madagascar, 6° ICV, IJsselmeer, 1975.  Blue flag with two white crescents, one at side of other, first one pointed to hoist and the second pointed to fly.
Jarig Bakker, 18 Jul 2005
 


Antongil - third flag

[Antongil third flag] image by Jarig Bakker, 18 Jul 2005

Image based on description by Jaume Ollé, based on Flag Bulletin, X:2/3, 1971 and Lucien Philippe's, Les anciens drapeaux de Madagascar, 6° ICV, IJsselmeer, 1975.  Blue flag with crescent pointed to fly (a bit near to hoist) and two white five pointed stars, one above the other (one in each point of the crescent)
Jarig Bakker, 18 Jul 2005



 
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