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Ardennes (Department, France)

Last modified: 2024-04-06 by olivier touzeau
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Flag of Ardennes - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 18 February 2019

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Administrative data

Code: 08
Region: Grand Est (Champagne-Ardenne until 2014)
Traditional provinces: Champagne, Lorraine
Bordering departments: Aisne, Marne, Meuse
Bordering country: Belgium (Provinces of Hainaut, Luxembourg, and Namur)

Area: 5,229 km2
Population (2016): 275,371 inhabitants

Préfecture: Charleville-Mézières
Sous-préfectures: Rethel, Sedan, Vouziers
Subdivisions: 4 arrondissements, 19 cantons, 452 municipalities.

The department is named after the Ardennes forest.

Ivan Sache, 14 April 2019

Flag of Ardennes

In 2015, General Councils were renamed to Departmental Councils. The logo of Ardennes was modified with two versions of wording below the main part: "Le Département" and "Conseil Départemental".
A white flag with the “Conseil Départemental” version of the logo can be seen in front of leisure and sports parcs maintained by the Departmental Council (photo).

Olivier Touzeau , 18 February 2019

Flag of the former General Council



Flag of the General Council of Ardennes, 2008-2015 - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 24 January 2009

As communicated by the Head of the PR Department of the General Council, the flag of the General Council is white with the logo of the General Council, adopted in 2008:

Our new identity comes actually on our flags under the simple form of the new logo. These flags are flown only on the sites managed by the General Council (bases de loisir [places for outdoor leisure and sports], sports halls, etc.)

The Compagnie 360 EURO RSG agency was commissionned on 14 May 2007 by the General Council to design its new visual identity. The new logo, adopted on 30 May 2008 by the Permanent Commission of the General Council, was unveiled to the public on 12 June 2008.

The boar was kept on the new logo as the main symbol of identification of the department, highlighting its values (force, courage, solidarity). The boar was stylized to match the modern and current codes. References are the logos of the General Councils of Orne and Territoire de Belfort, featuring a horse and a lion, respectively.
The boar's left curve represents the routes of communication with the other French regions and the development of infrastructure. The top point of the boar's head represents the Givet point, that is the northern part of the department "entering" Belgium. The boar's eye represents the location of Charleville-Mézières, the capital of the department. The boar's tusk represents the fortified town of Sedan, with a pun on défense, in French both "defense" and "tusk". The boar's lower curve represents momentum, speed and dynamism. The boar looks towards North-East Europe.
The "A" of "Ardennes" has to be read "A comme Avenir" (A like Future); the final "S" represents the curves of river Meuse.

The current trend in the colour choice for logos requires no more than two colours, matching criteria of elegance, institutional character, modernity, simplicity and efficiency. The references are the logos of the General Councils of Somme and Eure. Golden yellow and green blue have been selected as the main colours of the local landscape.
A font was designed specifically for the logo of the General Council, for a differentiation from other departments, an easy identification and an efficient representation of the department's character. The references are the corporate logos of SNCF and Suez.
There are two variants of the logo, with the writing "ARDENNES / Conseil Général" or "Ardennes / Le Département".
[Les Ardennes - Nouvelle identité visuelle du Conseil Général, June 2008]

Golden yellow stands for the stones of the Place Ducale of Charleville and of the fortress of Sedan, an is a wink to steel industry and agriculture; green blue stands for the forests and the valley of Meuse.
The colour specifications are given as:

			Pantone		    CMYK
Green-blue       	 3302c       100   0    56  69
Golden yellow (1)        132c          0  23.5 100  30.5
Golden yellow (2)        1255c         0  27.5 100  34
The font is given as Gill Sans
[Graphical charter, 14 November 2008]

Olivier Touzeau & Ivan Sache, 19 November 2009



Previous flag of the General Council of Ardennes, 1993-2008 - Image by Ivan Sache, 23 September 2009

The previous flag of the General Council (A HREF="">photo) was white with the former logo of the General Council.
The former logo of the General Council shows a white hexagon bordered in blue, "Ardennes" in blue letters surmounting a red line and the writing "de FRANCE" in black letters, flanked by a black boar running on black soil.
"de FRANCE" identifies the French Ardennes (with final "s", plural) as opposed to the Belgian Ardenne (without final "s", singular, see the toponym La Roche-en-Ardenne, and, oddly enough, the former French Region Champagne-Ardenne); the old Arduina forest is indeed cut in two pieces by the complicated border between France and Belgium.

The first logo, with the black boar and the blue hexagon, created in 1992 by the local graphist Michel Oury upon request of Jacques Sourdille, President of the General Council, was registered on 9 June 1993, under the name "Ardennes", with INPI (Institut National de la Propriété Industrielle - National Property Institute) and WIPO (World Intellectual Property Office). It was used for the first time in the June 1994 release of BIDA (Bulletin d'Information des Ardennes - Ardennes Information Bulletin), the review of the General Council.
In December 2005, a "cleaned-up" logo was shown in the Les Ardennes en marche (Ardennes Ahead), the new magazine of the General Council; the writing "CONSEIL GÉNÉRAL" and the hexagon were dropped, "helping the boar to recover its liberty out of its natural territory".
There are two variants of the logo, with the writing "ARDENNES / Conseil Général" or "Ardennes / Le Département".
[Les Ardennes - Nouvelle identité visuelle du Conseil Général, June 2008]

Re-used in the current logo of the General Council and shown on the coat of arms assigned to the department of Ardennes by Jacques Meurgey de Tupigny & Robert Louis in Marques symboliques des départements français, the wildboar is a traditional symbol of Ardennes. Such a boar is shown on the arms of the town of Sedan. In 1956, when the football team of Sedan won the French Cup against Troyes (3-1), the supporters walked their mascot, the wild boar Dudule (photo) like a dog on the stadium. Unsurprisingly, the players are nicknamed Sangliers (Wild Boars).
William I de la Marck (1446-1485), a warlord nicknamed The Wild Boar of the Ardennes involved in the wars of the Principality of Liège in the 15th century, is a main character of Walter Scott's novel Quentin Durward.
On 8 August 2008 (08/08/08, referring to the code number 08 of the department), the biggest wild boar in the world, indeed a sculpture by Éric Sléziak purchased by the General Council (website), was officially inaugurated on the Faissault-Saulces-Monclin service plaza of Highway A34.

Ivan Sache, 23 September 2009