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Delmas (Shipping company, France)

Last modified: 2009-03-21 by ivan sache
Keywords: delmas | wheel (white) | letters: dv (white) | delmas-vieljeux | chargeurs reunis | stars: 5 (red) |
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[Delmas house flag]

House flag of Delmas - Image by Jorge Candeias, 17 December 2003

See also:

Presentation of Delmas

Delmas was founded in 1867 in the port and town of La Rochelle. Located on the Atlantic Ocean, La Rochelle was in the past a Protestant fortress, which was besieged by Cardinal de Richelieu, on Louis XIII's behalf, and toughly defended by the mayor-shipowner Jean Guiton in 1627-1628. Dynasties of Protestant shipowners were common in La Rochelle, but also in Le Havre and Marseilles (for instance, Fraissinet).

Delmas built a coal factory in 1881 and a shipyard in 1922. The first Delmas shipping line was opened in 1925 and mostly used to transport gabbon mahogany wood from Gabon to La Rochelle. Gabbon wood was used to make boxes to keep the locally produced butter and cheese. The company was then called Delmas Frères. Léonce Vieljeux (1865-1944) married Helène Delmas and was subsequently appointed president of the company, which was renamed Delmas-Vieljeux.
Elected Mayor of La Rochelle in 1930 and reelected in 1935, Vieljeux refused, on 23 June 1940, to obey a German lieutnant who had ordered him to hoist the Nazi flag over the town hall, saying he was a colonel and could not receive orders from a lieutnant, even from a winning army. This was the first civil resistance act recorded in La Rochelle. After having refused to display the propaganda of the puppet French State in the town, Vieljeux was dismissed and expelled from the town. He came back secretely to La Rochelle in 1941 and helped to organize the Alliance Resistance network on the grounds of the company. Arrested by the Germans in 1944, Vieljeux was shot in the concentration camp of Struthof.

After the war, the company specialized in North-South (that is Europe-Africa) service. In 1996, Bolloré raided the company, then called SDV (SCAC-Delmas-Vieljeux), in a very hostile way, and incorporated it.
Still the first operator in the world on North-South service, Delmas operates today 60 ships on six scheduled lines and a lot of trucks.


Ivan Sache, 17 December 2003

House flag of Delmas

The house flag of Delmas is light blue with a white steerwheel in the middle.

[Delmas house flag]

Flag represented with a dark blue shade - Image by Jorge Candeias, 17 December 2003

The flag of Delmas, as consistently shown in Carga e Transportes (Cargo and Transportation), the Monday's supplement to the Portuguese newspaper P&uacaute;blico, has a darker blue field. That might mean that the shade is not all that well-defined, or at least that they don't mind using a darker blue if they find it convenient for marketing purposes.

Delmas probably don't mind using variations of the logotype. Some of the trucks and containers of the company are painted white with the blue loogtype, that is the house flag with inverted colours.

Ivan Sache & Jorge Candeias, 18 December 2003


[Delmas-Vieljeux house flag]

House flag of Delmas-Vieljeux - Image by Jorge Candeias, 15 December 2004

Delmas house flag is derived from the the former Delmas-Vieljeux houseflag, which is similar but with the white letters "V" and "D" flanking the steerwheel. This flag is shown on a poster by Sandy Hook advertizing the Medea liner, c. 1920.
"Sandy Hook" is the pseudonym of the painter Georges Taboureau (1879-1960), appointed peintre officiel de la marine (official painter of the French Navy) in 1947 and famous for his shipping line posters and illustrations for the Journal de la Marine Marchande (Review of the Merchant Navy).

Jan Mertens, 15 December 2004

Delmas-Vieljeux-Chargeurs Réunis

[Delmas-Vieljeux table flag]

Table flag of Delmas-Vieljeux-Chargeurs Réunis - Image by António Martins, 22 January 2009

In 1979, Delmas-Vieljeux operated 24 ships in association with Chargeurs Réunis. A table flag, proposed on German eBay in January 2008, shows a tiny flag of Chargeurs Réunis in the heart of the Delams wheel. Whether such a flag was flown on ships is not known.

Jan Martens, 21 January 2009