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Loire-Atlantique (Department, France)

Last modified: 2020-08-02 by ivan sache
Keywords: loire-atlantique |
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Flag of Loire-Atlantique - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 14 April 2019

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Administrative data

Code: 44
Region: Pays de la Loire
Traditional province: Bretagne (traditional Breton Province of Nantes, traditional Districts of Pays de Retz and Pays de Brière)
Bordering departments: Ille-et-Vilaine, Maine-et-Loire, Morbihan, Vendée

Area: 6,815 km2
Population (2016): 1,380,852 inhabitants

Préfecture: Nantes
Sous-préfectures: Châteaubriand, Saint-Nazaire
Subdivisions: 3 arrondissements, 31 cantons, 208 municipalities.

The department is named after river Loire (1,020 km) and the Atlantic Ocean.
Formerly known as Loire-Inférieure (Lower Loire), the department was renamed to Loire-Atlantique on 3 September 1957.

Ivan Sache, 14 April 2019

Flag of Loire-Atlantique

The flag used by the Departmental Council (photo), is white with the logo, which was modified in 2012. The only word kept on the flag are “Loire atlantique”; this allowed the flag not to be changed in 2015 when Regional Councils were renamed to Deaprtmental Councils.

Olivier Touzeau, 14 April 2019

Flag of the former General Council


Flag of the former General Council, 2005-2015 - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 14 April 2019

In 2005, the political majority in the General Council changed and the General Council subsequently adopted a new logo and flag.
The flag (photo, photo) hoisted over the building of the General Council at Nantes, was green with the Council's logo
The logo was made of a blue panel charged with "la" in green stylized cursive letters, "LOIRE / ATLANTIQUE" in white letters and "Département solidaire" in green letters. A smaller, green panel placed below is charged with "Conseil général" in white letters.
"la", made of the initials of the department, already appeared on the former logo of the General Council. Blue symbolizes the Atlantic Ocean and the rivers, while green symbolizes the natural environment.


Former flag of the General Council - Image by Ivan Sache, 30 September 2009

The former flag of the General Council was hite with the Counil's former logo, made of a green square charged with "la" in blue letters, flanked by "LOIRE / ATLANTIQUE" (top) and "CONSEIL GÉNÉRAL" (bottom) in blue letters.

Ivan Sache, 30 September 2009

Use of the Breton flag by the General Council

The newly elected President of the General Council, Patrick Mareschal, has decided to hoist the traditional flag of Brittany on the building of the General Council [Ouest France, 30 April 2004].

The hoisting of the flag is a political statement. Since the creation of the French regions by the French State in 1941, the department of Loire-Atlantique is incorporated to the region of Pays de la Loire, whereas most of the department historically belongs to Brittany. There is a fairly strong movement asking for the "reunification" of Brittany and the incorporation of Loire-Atlantique to the region Brittany, which would be more or less equivalent to the historical Duchy of Brittany, whose capital was Nantes, with the Duke's castle, and not Rennes, the current capital of the region Brittany.
The main association lobbying for the "reunification" is called Bretagne Réunie (formerly CUAB, Comité pour l'Unité Administrative de la Bretagne); its first president was Patrick Mareschal. The lobbyists claim that France refuses the "reunification" because it could be a first step towards independence of Brittany. It is clear that the region Pays de la Loire would not easily accept to cede one department and its regional capital.

The wish of "reunification" is expressed in some flags, such as some variants of the municipal flag of Nantes with the Breton black cross, the Brigade Loire supporters' flag with a black stripe recalling Brittany and flags with the black cross used by cultural associations in Nantes.
The supporters of "reunification" would also change the logotype-flag of the Regional Council of Brittany by adding a fifth coloured stripe on the map to symbolize the fifth department, Loire-Atlantique. The CUAB released a car sticker showing such a flag. The Breton nationalists call the four-stripe flag the four-suppository flag.

Ivan Sache & Pascal Vagnat, 18 May 2004