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Centre-Val de Loire (Region, France)

Last modified: 2017-08-10 by ivan sache
Keywords: centre-val de loire |
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Flag of Region Centre-Val de Loire - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 10 April 2017

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Administrative data

Departments: Cher, Eure-et-Loir, Indre, Indre-et-Loire, Loiret, Loir-et-Cher
Bordering Regions: Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté,, Île-de-France, Normandie, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Pays de la Loire
Traditional provinces: Anjou, Berry, Bourbonnais, Maine, Marche, Île-de-France, Orléanais, Poitou, Touraine

Area: 39,151 km2
Population (1995): 2,433,200 inhabitants
Regional prefecture: Orléans

The Regional Council of Centre applied in 1994 for a change of the name of the Region to Centre-Val de Loire. The official adoption of the new name, by Law, required the preliminary approval by all the Region's departments and all other Regions. Region Pays de la Loire rejected the new name, claiming "Loire" to belong to them. Accordingly the Ministry of the Interior definitively stopped the procedure of changing the name.
The Tourism Bureau of the Region Centre has decided, however, to use the rejected name of on its papers, posters, pamphlets, etc. According to the PR department of the Council, the results was astonishing, American and Japanese people understanding then that the Châteaux of the Loire valley are in Region Centre because of the use of the word "Loire".
A mistake was indeed made when names were assigned to the Regions. Pays de la Loire should not have been giben such a name, since the Loire waters only two departments on five of the Region, whereas it waters four departments in Region Centre, which should have got this name.

The aspired change in the name of the Region was eventually prescribed by Article 2 Paragraph V of Law No. 29 (text), adopted on 15 December 2014 by the National Assembly and on 17 December 2014 by the Senate, validated on 15 January 2015 by the Constitutional Council, and promulgated on 16 January 2015 by the President of the Republic.

Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 24 October 2016

Flag of Region Centre-Val de Loire

The flag of Region Centre-Val de Loire, hoisted in front of the Castel Maintenon hotel, is white with the Region's logo in the center.

The Region's territory was not changed by the 2014 reform but a new logo had to be designed to reflect the updated name of the Region. There was a strong demand of such a logo for the Paris International Agriculture Show, to be held in March 2015. To spare time and money, the design of the new logo was assigned to the Directorate of Communication of the Regional Council.
The main element of the logo, the heart, was retained from the previous logos as a symbol of continuity. It represents the "heart of France", the regional motto widely recognized by the inhabitants of the Region, which is France's historical and geographical heart. The Region is a digest of France, of its history and natural, cultural, literary and gastronomical heritage.

The blue wavy stripe represents the valley of Loire, which crosses the Region and opens its territory both eastwards and westwards to the neighbouring Regions. The blue panels flanking the heart in base highlight the omnipresence of water in the Region, as the tributaries of the Royal river [the Loire, nicknamed "Royal" because the kings of France built several castles in the valley during the Renaissance], the network of rivers that irrigate the whole Region's territory, the thousand ponds of Brenne [a wetlands area known as the Thousand Ponds' Country]. Moreover, the six departments forming the Region are named after a river [or two].

Yellow represents grain and oilseed rape, the main crops [1,246,000 ha and 303,000 ha, respectively, in 2015 out of a total Regional area of 3,953,600 ha] in the plains of Beauce and Champagne berrichonne.
Green represents the Regional Natural Parks of Loire-Anjou-Touraine [27,806 ha; established in 1996 and shared with Region Pays de la Loire], Perche [18,200 ha; established in 1998 and shared with Normandy], and Brenne [17,662 ha; established in 1989], the forest of Orléans [50,000 ha], Sologne [a wetlands area of c. 50,000 ha limited by rivers Loire and Cher], vineyards [21,800 ha], and the "garden of France" [the nickname of the traditional province of Touraine since the 15th century].
Blue represents the Royal river and the valley of Loire, nicknamed the Valley of the Kings.
The smooth, "hand-drawn" design conveys the emblematic sweetness and way of life of the region.
[Region website, 17 March 2015]

The new logo was unveiled on 16 March 2015.
The heart was not closed, as a symbol of open-mindedness.
The map of France featured in the previous logo was not retained in the new logo, being considered as tautologic since the name of Region says all about its geographical location.
[Le Berry Républicain, 17 March 2015]

Olivier Touzeau & Ivan Sache, 10 April 2017

Former flag of Region Centre

[Flag]         [Flag]

Flag of Region Centre, last and previous versions - Images by Ivan Sache, 30 August 2009

The flag of Region Centre (photo, Région Centre. Le Journal, No. 2, March 2003), similar to the "horizontal" logo of the Region, was white with a white map of France outlined in blue and pierced by a very stylized heart, represented in various shades of blue. "Région Centre" was written in blue letters below the emblem.
On the "vertical logo", "Région" was placed above the emblem and "Centre" below it.

The previous version of the flag (seat of the Regional Council, August 1997) was white with a different logo. The shape of the map of France was different, the heart was really heart-shaped with three shades of blue, lighter inside the heart, brighter outside it, ending in an arrow piercing the map. REGION CENTRE was written above the emblem, LE / CŒUR-DE-FRANCE (The Heart of France) below it.

Pascal Vagnat, 30 August 2009