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Marne (Department, France)

Last modified: 2024-04-27 by olivier touzeau
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Flag of Marne - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 27 July 2020

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Administrative data

Code: 51
Region: Grand Est (Champagne-Ardenne until 2014)
Traditional province: Champagne
Bordering departments: Aisne, Ardennes, Aube, Haute-Marne, Meuse, Seine-et-Marne

Area: 8,162 km2
Population (2016): 570,583 inhabitants

Préfecture: Châlons-en-Champagne (named Châlons-sur-Marne until December 1997)
Sous-préfectures: Epernay, Reims, Vitry-le-François
Subdivisions: 4 arrondissements, 23 cantons, 616 municipalities.

The department is named after river Marne (525 km), a tributary to the Seine.
On 1 January 1975, the municipality of Sainte-Livière (Marne) was merged with the municipality of Éclaron-Braucourt (Haute-Marne) to form the municipality of Sainte-Livière-Éclaron-Braucourt (Haute-Marne).

Ivan Sache, 15 November 2009

Flag of Marne

The flag used by the Departmental Council is white with the Council's logo (photo).
In August 2018, the Departmental Council adopted a totally new logo, playing with letter "M" and number "51". The logo was unveiled on 1 September 2018, 9 AM, during the 72nd Fair of Châlons.
The former logo, mostly tourism-oriented, was no longer representative of the present-day's environment, of the department's ambitions, and of the institution's reality.
The green color symbolizes the vineyard landscapes of the Montagne de Reims, of the Valley of Marne, of the Hills of Sézannais, and of Vitryat, the big agricultural plains, and the Argonne forest. It represents bioeconomy, a source of innovation, and the department as a "green lung" located close to Île-de-France.
[La Marne Agricole, 5 September 2018]

The logotype is composed of an icotype [iconic logo constituted of an image] (51) and a denomination, "Marne LE DÉPARTEMENT", re-worked with a specific, identifying writing.
Number "51" forming the icotype as the same graphic base as the "M" of "Marne", composed of curves and lines to express union and sweetness, but also rigor and seriousness. The icotype is expected to become the symbol of belonging and recognition of the department of Marne.
[Official presentation]

"M" stands for "Mémorable", "Magique" (Magic), "Magnifique" (Magnificent), "reMarquable" (Outstanding), "Maestria" (Mastery), "Mystérieux" (Mysterious), "Merveilleux" (Marvelous), "Minutieux" (Thorough), "Majestueux" (Majestic), "Magistral" (Masterly), and, "Marnaises and Marnais" (the feminine and masculine respective names of the inhabitants of the department).
These meanings are illustrated in a promotional video produced by the department.

Olivier Touzeau & Ivan Sache, 27 July 2020

Former flag


Flag of Marne - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 22 April 2019

The flag formerly used by the Departmental Council was white with the Council's logo (photo). In 2015, General Councils were renamed to Departmental Councils. The Departmental Council modified its logo; the words "Conseil général" were substituted by "Le département".

Olivier Touzeau, 27 April 2019

Former General Council


Flag of the former General Council of Marne - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 22 April 2019

The flag of the General Council (photo) was white with the logo "modernized" in 2008.
In the "modernized" version, the diamond's upper part is light blue while its lower part is darker blue; the bubbles, seven instead of eight, have been moved out of the diamond. More important, the writing "LA MARNE" was substituted by a "hand-made" writing "La Marne". The curves in the new writing evokes the meander of river Marne.

[Flag]         [Flag]

Flag of the General Council of Marne, earlier versions - Images by Ivan Sache, 15 November 2009
Left, as seen in January 2006;
Right, as seen in April 1998.

Earlier flags of the General Council of Marne The logo is made of a square diamond from which emerge yellow disks representing the bubbles characteristic of the Champagne wines. The 2005 version of the logo has replaced the diamond-shaped coat of arms by a blue diamond split in the middle by a white curve. The writing has also been changed, from "CONSEIL GÉNÉRAL / DE LA / MARNE" to "LA MARNE / GÉNÉRAL".

The logo is based on the coat of arms of the department, adopted by the General Council in 1982 as "Azure a fess argent double cotised potent counter potent or". These arms were assigned by Jacques Meurgey de Tupigny & Robert Louis (Marques symboliques des départements français). The bend featured on the arms of the County of Champagne was substituted by a fess, to symbolize river Marne that crosses the department from east to west.

Pascal Vagnat, & Ivan Sache, 27 April 2019