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Calvados (Department, France)

Last modified: 2021-07-06 by ivan sache
Keywords: calvados |
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Flag of Calvados - Image by Ivan Sache, 6 October 2018

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Administrative data

Code: 14
Region: Normandie (Basse-Normandie until 2014)
Traditional provinces: Normandy
Bordering departments: Eure, Manche, Orne

Area: 5,548 km2
Population (2016): 693,679 inhabitants

Préfecture: Caen
Sous-préfectures: Bayeux, Lisieux, Vire
Subdivisions: 4 arrondissements, 17 cantons, 537 municipalities.

Ivan Sache, 11 April 2019

Flag of Calvados

The change in the name of the local assembly from General Council to Departmental Council, prescribed by the 2015 reform, made the emblem obsolete.
The revamped logo, presented on 28 April 2015, was designed by the Médiapilote-Trademark agency, from Caen, for a cost of 1,500 euros.

According to the local administration, "the issue was not to completely change the logo that has been symbolizing the department for nearly 30 years, but to had it evolved and modernized: the rectangle that represents the contour map of the department crossed by river Orne, the apple and the waves that symbolize the union of land and sea and sign our territory's DNA".
The differences between the new and the old logo are not striking. "The colors were enhanced to more tonic shades, while the apple, made rounder, was inverted for more balance with the wave". The word "Calvados" was moved from the bottom to the top of the logo, while "LE DÉPARTEMENT" was used instead of "Conseil Général". The capital letters and the bold typeface increase visibility, especially from a distance.
[14actu, 28 April 2015]

The Logotype's Charter of Use prescribes the colors as follows:

          CMYK          RGB       Pantone
Green   70-0-85-0    78-176-81     361 C
Blue   100-75-0-30   0-67-136      287 C
The fonts are prescribed in typefaces Zona Pro Bold (Calvados) and Roboto (LE DÉPARTEMENT).

River Orne (170 km) has its source in the department of Orne, which borders Calvados in the south. It flows through the department of Calvados from south to north, splitting it into two nearly equal parts, as represented on the logo. River Orne flows though Caen and discharges into the Channel at Ouistreham. The river feeds the Caen Canal to the Sea (14 km), which runs parallel to it, connecting the ports of Caen and Ouistreham.

The odd name of Calvados was assigned in 1789 by the Convention. This odd name is said to have been derived from "El Salvador", the name of a vessel from the Spanish Invincible Armada wrecked on the coast in 1588. Calvados, the world-famous brandy obtained from cider distillation, took the name of the department only in the 19th century. The first official mention of the beverage dates back to 1553, when the lord of Gouberville (Manche) was granted the permission to distillate cider.
The first protected designation of origin (PDO) was granted to calvados in 1942. There are today three PDOs:
- Calvados Pays d'Auge, produced in the eastern part of Calvados and neighboring areas in Eure and Orne;
- Calvados Domfrontais, produced in the western part of Orne and the neighboring areas of Manche, and, to a much lesser extent, of Mayenne;
- Calvados, produced in delimited areas of Calvados, Eure, Manche, Seine-Maritime, and, to a much lesser extent, Mayenne and Sarthe.
Cider distilled out of the delimited areas of the PDO are sold under the name of cider brandy.
[ Patrimoine Normand, No. 43, August 2002]

Cider, and therefore calvados, is produced from some 50 apple varieties (official list). Cider apples differ from "knife apples" (for direct use) by their higher content in polyphenols and acidity. Cider apple trees have also a range of agronomic features that make their cultivation quite different from usual apple growing.

The coast of Calvados is divided into three different areas, from east to west:
- Côte Fleurie (Flowered Coast), stretching from Honfleur to Merville-Franceville, includes the sea resorts of Deauville, Trouville, Houlgate, Cabourg and Villers-sur-Mer;
- Côte de Nacre (Nacre Coast), close to Caen, includes the sea resorts of Ouistreham Bella Riva, Luc-sur-Mer and Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer;
- Côte du Bessin (Bessin Coast), stretching from Courseulles-sur-Mer to Isigny-sur-Mer, includes several D-Day sites (Omaha Beach, Pointe du Hoc, Arromanches...).

Ivan Sache, 6 October 2018

Former General Council of Calvados


Flag of the former General Council of Calvados - Image by Ivan Sache, 6 October 2018

The flag of the former General Council of Calvados wass white with the logo of the General Council in the center.

The logo of the General Council of Calvados is made of two approximate square fields placed side by side, on the left a green square with a white apple, on the right a blue square with two white waves. "Conseil Général" is written above the logo, "Calvados" below it, in blue letters.

Ivan Sache, 2 November 2002