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Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (Region, France)

Last modified: 2022-03-01 by ivan sache
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[Flag]         [Flag]

Flag and armored banner of Region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes - Images by Olivier Touzeau, 22 August 2017, and Ivan Sache, 7 August 2018, respectively

See also:

Administrative data

Departments: Ain, Allier, Ardèche, Cantal, Drôme, Grand Lyon, Isère, Loire, Haute-Loire, Puy-de-Dôme, Rhône, Savoie, Haute-Savoie
Bordering Regions: Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, Centre-Val de Loire, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Occitanie, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
Bordering countries: Italy, Switzerland
Traditional provinces: Auvergne, Bourbonnais, Burgundy Comtat Venaissin Dauphiné Nivernais, Languedoc, Lyonnais Savoy

Area: 69,711 km2
Population (2016): 7,916,889 inhabitants
Regional prefecture: Lyon

Flag of Region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

The flag of Region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (photo, photo), adopted in September 2016 once the name of the region hadbecame definitive, is blue with the Region's logo, adopted at the same time, in white.
It should be noted that wrong variations with the graphic part of the logo on the right or in blue on a white field can be seen on the websites of several flagmakers (example, example).

From January 2016 to September 2016, the new region used a provisional logo (image) made of the names the two former regions, each being written with the font in use in their former logotypes, and separatde by an hyphen. The logo could be seen on communication items in black in one line, or in yellow in two lines (photo).
On official circumstances, it appears that the new region was represented during this transitional time with the use of the flags of two former Regions Auvergne and Rhône-Alpes (photo).

Olivier Touzeau, 22 August 2017

Banner of arms of Region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

A proposal of arms for Region Auvergne Rhône-Alpes was presented on 9 February 2018. The arms, designed by Mathieu Casali, are "Quarterly, 1. Auvergne, 2. Savoy, 3. Lyonnais, 4. Dauphiné".
According to the designer, the arrangement of the quarters matches (more or less) the local geography, and is, by chance, compliant with the rules of heraldry. For Lyonnais / Lyon (3rd quarter), the traditional chief of France ("Azure three fleurs-de-lis or") was omitted, for the sake of simplicity.
[Region website]

The adoption of the arms was included in the agenda of the plenum of the Regional Council held at Lyon on 14-15 June 2018, as follows:
19:00 -19:30
Adoption of an official coat of arms for Region Auvergne Rhône-Alpes, as a symbol of the unity of our territory.
[Region website]

The debate was postponed to the next plenum, scheduled to 11-12 October 2018, which did not prevent a banner of arms (not mentioned in the agenda) to be flown on the official stand, behind the President of the Region.
[Place Gre'net, 18 June 2018]

In fact, the debate was postponed sine die and has never been scheduled since then. The arms and the flag are therefore used de facto.

Ivan Sache & Olivier Touzeau, 12 August 2021

Former Region Auvergne

Administrative data

Departments: Allier, Cantal, Haute-Loire, Puy-de-Dôme
Bordering Regions: Bourgogne, Centre, Limousin, Midi-Pyrénées, Rhône-Alpes
Traditional provinces: Auvergne, Bourbonnais, Nivernais, Languedoc, Lyonnais

Area: 26,013 km2
Population (1995): 1,315,400 inhabitants
Regional prefecture: Clermont-Ferrand

Flag of the Region

[Flag]         [Flag]         [Flag]         [Flag]

Flag of the former Region Auvergne, four versions - Images by Olivier Touzeau, 24 August 2017

The flag of Region Auvergne is white with the Regional Council's logo, showing a green outlined stylized volcano with the name "AUVERGNE" written underneath in black letters, CopperPlate Gothic-type font. The green line has white artefacts in the drawing.
Auvergne has a volcanic soil and boasts some 80 or so extinct volcanoes (called puys). The volcano symbolizes two concepts that may seem opposite and complementary at the same time: on one hand, stability and immutability, on the other hand, energy. It also stands for strength and Auvergne originality within France.

In 2005, the drawing was modified with a smoother green line, a shorter spiral, and the font was changed (photo, photo). A version for the Regional Council, with the institutional logo, charged with the wording "Conseil régional Auvergne" (photo) could be spotted too.

At least from 2012, the logo was rebranded, adding the motto, "the fair and great region", and modifying the font of the word "Auvergne". Flags with this new version of the logo could be seen for example during the World Skills Championships (photo, photo).

Olivier Touzeau & Philippe-Pierre Darras, 24 August 2017

Former flag of the Region


Former flag of Auvergne - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 7 October 2017

The flag used by the Regional Council in the 1990s was yellow (like the banner of arms of Auvergne) with the first logo of the Region, merging the gonfanon of the arms of the traditional province with the stylized silhouette of a volcano, arrows for hydroelectricity, and a rising orange and red sun in a typically 1980s' logotype (Luc Doublet. L'aventure des drapeaux [dou87]).

Olivier Touzeau, 26 August 2017

Former Region Rhône-Alpes

Administrative data

Departments: Ain, Ardèche, Drôme, Isère, Loire, Rhône, Savoie, Haute-Savoie
Bordering Regions: Auvergne, Bourgogne, Franche-Comté, Languedoc-Roussillon, Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur
Bordering countries: Italy, Switzerland
Traditional provinces: Burgundy, Dauphiné, Languedoc, Comtat Venaissin, Savoy

Area: 43,698 km2
Population (1995): 5,569,200 inhabitants
Regional prefecture: Lyon; seat at Charbonnières-les-Bains, to be relocated at Lyon in 2010

Region Rhône-Alpes lacking geographical and historical homogeneity, the name Rhône-Alpes, associating a river and a mountain, was probably the best default choice. The natural division of the Alps is not respected by the administrative borders, since the limit between the Northern and Southern Alps goes through the department of Drôme. This limit was also the border between Provence and Dauphiny. Since crossing the Rhône was extremely difficult in the past, Ardèche, located on the right bank, belonged to Languedoc and had few contacts with Dauphiné.
The Region has more economical homogeneity, although the departments of Ardèche, Drôme and Hautes-Alpes are less developed than the other ones.
However, some identity developed with time and the neologism rhônalpin was coined, the same way the neologism francilien was coined for Île-de-France.

Ivan Sache, 15 September 2003

Flag of the Region

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Flag of the former Region Rhône-Alpes; right, 2005-2014; left, 2014-2016 - Images by Olivier Touzeau, 23 Auguqt 2017, and Ivan Sache, 17 September 2009

The Regional Council of Rhône-Alpes changed the logo and flag of the Region in 2005. The flag, white white the Region's logo, was hoisted in front of the building of the Regional Council located at Charbonnières-les-Bains, near Lyon (photo).

The logo was presented as follows on the Regional Council's website:

The construction of the logo is mostly of typographic nature, to ensure a perfect lisibility in all circumstances and on all supports. Its visual dynamic is created by the use of oblique ascendant construction lines, which punctuate the writing of an open territory, in continuous evolution. By a visual contraction game, the two words "Rhône" and "Alpes" form a single one, thus contributing to express the link and the territory's unit. Finally, the selected colours, plum colour and green, ensure a sober and elegant harmony, which contributes to the clearly modern graphism adopted for the new visual identity.

In November 2014, the region modified the logo, using from this date only one colour and adding a monogram on the right. A white flag with this logo can be seen in use after the 2016 merger together with the Auvergne regional flag (photo).
In May 2015, the flag with the original logo could still be seen in front of the Regional Council in Lyon (photo).

Olivier Touzeau, Ivan Sache & Pascal Vagnat, 23 August 2017

Former flag of the Region

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Former flag of the Region, two successive versions - Images by Olivier Touzeau, 23 August 2017, and Pierre Gay, 2 November 1996, respectively

The flag of the Region, adopted on 2 January 1991, is white with the Region's logo, made of eight vertical lines that symbolize the eight departments of the region.
The vertical lines represent the future and the ambitions, while the horizontal lines represent competences and determination. The rainbow colors represent performance, modernism, youth and quality of life.
The blue line represents river Rhône. It shows the coherence of a great European region. The graphism shows also the west to east region's elevation from the plains to the mountains.

The text of the logo was subsequently modified, with a normal "^" on "Rhône-Alpes" and the words "La Région" beneath.

Olivier Touzeau, Jaume Ollé & Tristan Blaudet, 23 August 2017

"Banner of arms" of the Region


"Banner of arms" of the Region - Image by Ivan Sache, 31 May 2018

Flagmakers sell a "banner of arms" for the Region, in the Meurgey de Tupigny's style. Lacking any official character, such "creations" are hardly seen in use but on private initiative.
The flag is a banner of arms "Per pale, Dauphiné and Lyonnais inescutcheon Savoy a chief azure five fleurs-de-lis or", thus combining the arms of the main traditional provinces constituting the Region.

Up to now, I have spotted this flag only in two places:
- Yvoire (Haute-Savoie);
- Buis-les-Baronnies (Drôme) - ironically, located in the southernmost part of the Region, which historically belonged to Provence, not represented on the banner of arms.

Ivan Sache, 31 May 2018