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Meuse (Department, France)

Last modified: 2021-06-27 by ivan sache
Keywords: meuse |
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Flag of Meuse - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 24 April 2019

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Administrative data

Code: 55
Region: Grand Est (Lorraine until 2014)
Traditional provinces: Lorraine, Champagne
Bordering departments: Ardennes, Marne, Haute-Marne, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Vosges
Bordering country: Belgium (Province of Luxembourg)

Area: 6,216 km2
Population (2019): 189,055 inhabitants

Préfecture: Bar-le-Duc
Sous-préfectures: Commercy, Verdun
Subdivisions: 3 arrondissements, 17 cantons, 499 municipalities.

The department is named after the river Meuse (950 km).
On 1 January 1997, the municipality of Han-devant-Pierrepont was transferred from the department of Meuse to the department of Meurthe-et-Moselle.

Ivan Sache, 12 April 2019

Flag of Meuse

In 2015, General Councils were renamed to Departmental Councils. The Departmental Council modernized again its logo and the fonts, inverting the blue and the green stripes with the words: LE DEPARTEMENT / meuse.
A white, rectangular (2:3) flag with the logo (photos) is hoisted in front of the Departmental Council.

Olivier Touzeau, 24 April 2019

Flag of the former General Council

[Flag]         [Flag]

Flag of the former General Council of Meuse, current and former versions - Images by Olivier Touzeau, 24 April 2019

The flag used by the General Council in January 2006 (photo) was horizontally divided white-blue-green-white, the three bottom stripes being of equal height. The top stripe is charged with the stylized silhouettes of a church and a river, the blue stripe is charged with "Conseil Général" in white letters. The flag was still used in February (photo) and May (photo) 2011/

Among the different symbols eligible to represent the rich history of the department, the General Council selected the silhouette of a church tower, evoking the countryside and the rural society, very present in Meuse. The color strips evoke the dynamic aspired to by the General Council.
Due to the department's rich history, there was a risk to fall in a restrictive communication field. Namely, it is difficult to associate the department only to the First World War [Verdun, Douaumont, Les Éparges, Vauquois, Saint-Mihiel...], because this legacy is sometimes a heavy burden. Accordingly, the church tower stereotype evokes the douce France ["sweet France", a stereotype mentioned in the Chanson de Roland and popularized in the mid-20th century by the singer Charles Trénet], which also recalls that the Meuse belongs to the "empty diagonal" [a wide stripe of land running from the Meuse to the Landes, where population density is far below the national average]. The General Council presented the features of the rural society as they are, but in an attractive manner. The logo evokes a pleasant living environment, "natural" (by the blue and green colors), but also dynamic (by the quick strips in bright colors).
[ Lecture des paysages lorrains, Université ouverte des humanités]

A simplified logo came in use in 2007: the red, yellow, grey, blue, and green lineswere replaced by only blue and green lines. The font and wording were modified, from “Conseil général / de la Meuse” to “Meuse / Conseil général”. A rectangular (2:3) flag with a centered logo (photo) was used in front of the General Council in July 2014.


Earlier flag of the General Council - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 24 April 2019

The General Council used in 1998 a white flag with the Council's logo of the time.

Pascal Vagnat, Ivan Sache & Olivier Touzeau, 24 April 2019