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Monaco (Municipality, Principality of Monaco)

Last modified: 2019-01-07 by ivan sache
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Municipal flag of Monaco - Image by António Martins, 20 October 2010

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Status of the municipality of Monaco

Law No. 959 of 24 July 1974 "On the Municipal Organization", amended by Law No. 1316 of 29 June 2006, says (Article 1, added in 2006):

The territory of the Principality [of Monaco] shall form a single municipality endowed with legal status. The municipality shall manage itself, via an elected council, in the conditions prescribed by the Law and the Constitution.

The Municipal Council is made of 15 members elected for four years by universal suffrage; once elected, the Municipal Council elects the Mayor and the Deputies.

Ivan Sache, 13 June 2010

History of the municipality of Monaco

The municipality of Monaco traces back to the medieval times; in the 13th century, the inhabitants of Monaco, mostly living on the rock - today the site of the old town and of the Prince's palace -, organized the management and defense of the town. The Monegasque Community, made of the family heads, including widows with children, elected representatives to the Parliament. The Grimaldi rulers maintained the institution, but placed it under the presidence of the Grimaldi lord, subsequently represented by the "Castelan", later renamed "Podestat". In the 16th century, the Parliament, presided by the Podestat, had 4 syndics and 12 councillors elected every year on St. Michael's Day. In 1790, Prince Honoré III reorganized the Parliament, made of the Podestat, 11 elected councillors, a fiscal procurator and a poor's defender.
In 1911, the new Constitution set up the National Council, with legislative and fiscal competences, but did not suppress the municipality. A proposal to split Monaco into three municipalities - Monaco-Ville, La Condamine and Monte-Carlo - aborted. The municipal organization of Monaco was formally prescribed in 1920 by a Law modernized in 1974.

Ivan Sache, 13 June 2010

Flag of the municipality of Monaco

The municipality of Monaco has its own flag (image), sometimes hoisted over the entrance of the Town Hall (photo). The flag is white with the municipal arms in the middle.

The municipal arms of Monaco are made of a white shield, surmounted by a yellow crown with seven triangular points and charged with a monk. The monk has the left foot standing on a green terrace and the right foot raised; he holds in his right hand a raised sword and in his left hand an oval Monegasque shield (lozengy white and red).
The Heraldry of the World website shows a different, probably older, version of the arms, with the monk looking older and much less bellicose.
The flag shows the arms in an "old-fashioned" style, unlike the more stylized depiction used in most versions of the municipal logo (image).

Pascal Vagnat, Valentin Poposki, Olivier Touzeau, António Martins & Ivan Sache, 20 October 2010