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Hauts-de-Seine (Department, France)

Last modified: 2012-04-26 by ivan sache
Keywords: hauts-de-seine | ile-de-france | ship (white) | fleur-de-lis (yellow) |
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Flag of the department]     Flag of the General Council]

Flags of Hauts-de-Seine, left, flag of the department; right, flag of the General Council - Images by Jaume Ollé, 26 December 1997

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Ivan Sache, 15 November 2009

Administrative data

Code: 92
Region: Île-de-France
Traditional province: Île-de-France
Bordering departments: Paris, Yvelines, Seine-Saint-Denis, Val-de-Marne, Val-d'Oise

Area: 176 km2
Population (2006): 1,532,000 inhabitants

Préfecture: Nanterre
Sous-préfectures: Antony, Boulogne-Billancourt
Subdivisions: 3 arrondissements, 45 cantons, 36 communes.

The department is named after the heights (hauts) of river Seine.
The Law of 10 July 1964 on the reorganization of the region of Paris, with effect on 1 January 1968, suppressed the departments of Seine and Seine-et-Oise. The department of Hauts-de-Seine was made of 27 municipalities from Seine and 9 municipalities from Seine-et-Oise.

Ivan Sache, 15 November 2009

Flag of the department of Hauts-de-Seine

The flag of the department of Hauts-de-Seine is derived from the department's coat of arms, designed by Georges Weill, the first Director of the Archives of the Department, as "Azure a fleur-de-lis or a lymphad argent a chief argent a fess wavy azure".

G. Weill was asked to design a coat of arms for the department by the first Prefet of Hauts-de-Seine, Claude Boitel. Weill had a degree from Écoles des Chartes, the national school for archival studies and paleography, but lacked experience in heraldry. He drafted the coat of arms after having consulted heraldry books and one of his fellows from École des Chartres who had specialized in heraldry.
Searching for the coats of arms officially adopted by the municipalities incorporated in the new department, Weill found that the only geographical link between Gennevilliers, the northernmost municipality, and Antony, the southernmost one, was river Seine (via its tributary the Bièvre, today mostly gone underground due to urban development works).

Weill's first draft had in chief a fess wavy, from the coat of arms of Nanterre, the capital of the department, representing river Seine. The field of the shield was quartered and charged with attributes from the coat of arms of the main towns of the department: a lymphad for Boulogne-Billancourt, symbolizing the location of the town on the Seine, bezants for Antony, and a horn from the arms of Sèvres. The quarters also reflected that nine municipalities of the new department, including Sévres, were formerly in the department of Seine-et-Oise, whereas the remaining ones were formerly in the department of Seine. The fourth quarter was charged with a fleur-de-lis to recall that the department historically belonged to the domain of the Capetian kings and that a fleur-de-lis was shown on the coat of arms of the royal abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, in Paris, whose Abbott was made lord of Antony by Charlemagne.
The Prefet asked Weill to propose two simplified drafts, one with the attributes of the municipalities of Boulogne-Billancourt and Antony, the other one with the horn of Sèvres instead of the bezants.

On 1 June 1970, the General Council adopted a modified version of Weill's first new proposal. The red (gules) field of the coat of arms of Boulogne-Billancourt was changed to blue (azure).

Source: Interview of Georges Weill, website of the General Council of Hauts-de-Seine

Ivan Sache 14 January 2004

Flag of the General Council of Hauts-de-Seine

A white and blue representation of the coat of arms of the department was used after 1982 in the flag of the General Council, which also bears number "92" (code of the departement).

Source: Lucien Philippe, Les drapeaux de la région d'Île-de-France. Emblèmes et pavillons [eep] #17 (January 1989)

Jaume Ollé, 26 December 1997