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Loir-et-Cher (Department, France)

Last modified: 2010-09-25 by ivan sache
Keywords: centre | loir-et-cher | salamander | chambord | castle (grey) |
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[Flag of the General Council]

Flag of the General Council of Loir-et-Cher - Image by Ivan Sache, 30 September 2009

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Administrative data

Code: 41
Region: Centre
Traditional provinces: Orléanais, Touraine
Bordering departments: Cher, Eure-et-Loir, Indre, Indre-et-Loire, Loiret, Sarthe

Area: 6,343 km2
Population (1999): 314,968 inhabitants

Préfecture: Blois
Sous-préfectures: Romorantin-Lanthenay, Vendôme
Subdivisions: 3 arrondissements, 30 cantons, 291 communes.

The department is named after rivers Loir (311 km), tributary of the Sarthe, and Cher (350 km), tributary of the Loire.

Ivan Sache, 12 November 2009

Flag of the General Council

The flag of the General Council of Loir-et-Cher, as spotted by Pascal Vagnat in Romorantin-Lanthenay in August 1998, is white with the logo of the General Council.
The logo of the General Council of Loir-et-Cher shows a stylized salamander, outlined in blue and with a yellow tongue, superimposed on the grey facade of the castle of Chambord. The whole is flanked by the black writings "LOIR-ET-CHER" (top, in italics) and "CONSEIL / GENERAL", between horizontal grey lines.

The salamander is the emblem of King Francis I (1494-1547, crowned in 1515), sometimes, erroneously said to have been "granted" to the king by Leonardo da Vinci. The motto of the king, Nutrisco et extinguo (I nourish [the good] and extinguish [the bad]) is linked to the alleged affinity of the salamander with flames. In French heraldry, the salamander is usually represented "in flames", for instance on the municipal arms of Le Havre and Vitry-le-François, two towns founded by Francis I.
The castle of Chambord, the largest castle in the valley of Loire - the facade shown on the logo is 156 m long -, was hardly used by Francis I. The king stayed at the castle during a few hunting parties and housed there Emperor Charles V - to show him his magnificence. When the king died, his private appartments were still under construction. The castle and the surrounding domain were eventually purchased by the French state in 1932 and transformed into a public domain. The Count of Chambord's renunciation to the throne of France for a matter of flag took place in the castle.

Ivan Sache, 30 September 2009