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France: Municipalities

Last modified: 2014-08-03 by ivan sache
Keywords: municipality |
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Flag hoisting oatn Town Hall

In France, it is mandatory for a municipality to hoist the French national flag at Town Halls (mairie or hôtel de ville). The flag is sometimes embroided with the name of the municipality like in Saint-Lambert.
The municipalities are also allowed to use a specific flag representing the town in addition to the national flag.

Dominique Cureau, 4 February 2006

Municipal seals and stamps

The official seals and stamps of the municipalities shall authentify the acts issued by the municipal authorities. There are neither Laws nor Regulations prescribing the design of the municipal seals. Some of them show the municipal coat of arms, the name of the municipality surrounded by a laurel or oak wreath, or, more traditionally, the effigy of the Republic [Marianne] surrounded by the name of the municipality.
The use of municipal seals is prescribed by the Law of 18 March 1918 regulating the manufacturing and selling of official seals and stamps. Manufacturing seals is not permitted without written permission of the Mayor. Moreover, forgery, manufacture or fraudulent use of municipal seals is punished by Penal Code, Articles 444-3 and 444-4 of the Penal Code.
[Official Gazette of the National Assembly, 1998].

Ivan Sache, 15 April 2001

Mayor's sash

According to Article R. 122-2 of the Municipal Code, "the Mayors shall wear the Tricolor sash with golden-fringed gloves in public ceremonies and every time the exercise of their functions may require that distinctive emblem of their authority".
This is the only regulation about that matter, which deals only with the circumstances in which the sash shall be worn. However, according to a well-established custom, the Municipal Councillors (the Mayor and the Deputies Mayors) wear the Mayoral sash from right shoulder to left side. The gloves are placed on the left, to the waist. Wearing the blue stripe upwards and the red one downwards is more natural, because it matches the unfurling of the national emblem from hoist, as prescribed by Article 2 of the Constitution of 4 October 1958: "The national emblem is the tricolor, blue, white, red, flag." Wearing the sash girding one's loins is also possible.
[Official Gazette of the National Assembly, 1999].

Ivan Sache, 13 April 2001