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Alpes-Maritimes (Department, France)

Last modified: 2012-10-13 by ivan sache
Keywords: alpes-maritimes | provence-alpes-cote d'azur | fleur-de-lis (yellow) | cross (yellow) | tree (yellow | larch (yellow) | palm-tree (yellow) | quadrifoil | chamber of commerce and industry | nice cote d'azur |
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[Flag of the General Council of Alpes-Maritimes]

Flag of the General Council of Alpes-Maritimes - Image by Ivan Sache, 24 September 2009

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Administrative data

Code: 06
Region: Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur
Traditional provinces: Provence, County of Nice
Bordering departments: Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Var
Bordering countries: Italy (Regions Piedmont and Liguria), Principality of Monaco (enclaved)

Area: 4,299 km2
Population (2006): 1,073,184 inhabitants

Préfecture: Nice
Sous-préfecture: Grasse
Subdivisions: 2 arrondissements, 52 cantons, 163 communes.

The department is named "Maritime Alps" after the Alps mountains
The first department of Alpes-Maritimes existed from 1793 to 1814, including Monaco and part of Liguria, but not Grasse, then in the department of Var. The department was recreated in 1860 after the incorporation of Nice and Savoy to France, a part of the department of Var being transferred to the new department (arrondissement of Grasse); an odd consequence of the transfer is that river Var does not water any longer the department of Var.
The Treaty of Paris (10 February 1947), fixing the border between France and Italy, allocated the municipalities of Tende and La Brigue to France (confirmed by referendum on 16 September 1947), as well as the hamlets of Libre, Piène-Basse and Piène-Haute (incorporated to Breil-sur-Roya) and Molières (incorporated to Valdeblore), and other uninhabited territories incorporated to the municipality of Isola.

Ivan Sache, 11 November 2009

Flag of the General Council

The flag of the General Council of Alpes-Maritimes is blue with the logo of the General Council, surmounting the writing "CONSEIL GENERAL / DES ALPES MARITIMES" in white letters. The flag is widely used in the town of Nice and, probably, elsewhere in the department.
The logo of the General Council of Alpes-Maritimes is made of a blue quadrifoil, outlined in yellow and inscribed in a red disc itself outlined in yellow. The four foils are charged with a larch (N), a fleur-de-lis (W), a cross (E) and a palm-tree (S), all yellow.

The symbolism of the logo, which is based on the Department's Medal, created in 1997, is explained on a dedicated page of the website of the General Council.
The four charges, inscribed in the section of a quadrifoiled column, a common feature of the Romanesque chapels of the department, recall the geography and history of the department:
- The larch is a main component of the traditional economy of the northern, mountainous part of the department;
- In contrast, the palm-tree, introduced on the French Riviera in the late 19th century, symbolizes the southern part of the department, open to tourism and external inputs;
- The fleur-de-lis recalls that the western part of the department (Grasse arrondissement) historically remained part of Provence, then ruled by the Anjou dynasty, when the County of Nice "dedicated itself" to the Count of Savoy in 1388; the border was then river Var and the borderstones were engraved with the fleur-de-lis. It took until 1865 to reunite eastern Provence and the County of Nice; indeed, the eastern part of the Department of Var was added to the newly created Department of Alpes-Maritimes, so that river Var ceased to water the Department of Var;
- The cross recalls Savoy, the suzereign of the County of Nice, whose eastern border with the Kingdom of Sardinia was marked by borderstones engraved with a cross.
The colours represent the ancient rulers of the department's territory: blue for Anjou, red for Savoy, red and yellow for the County of Barcelone, once the ruler of Provence.

Ivan Sache, 24 September 2009

Communauté Urbaine Nice Côte d'Azur

[Flag of CUNCA]

Flag of Nice Côte d'Azur - Image by Ivan Sache, 12 June 2010

The Communauté Urbaine Nice Côte d'Azur was created on 1 January 2009, succeeding the Town Authority (communauté d'agglomération) of the same name (CANCA), created on 1 January 2002. It was replaced on 31 December 2011 by Métropole Nice Côte d'Azur.
The CUNCA groups the 27 municipalities of Nice, Aspremont, Beaulieu-sur-Mer, Cagnes-sur-Mer, Cap d'Ail, Carros (joined 2009), Castagniers, Coaraze, Colomars, Duranus, Èze, Falicon, La Garde, Lantosque (2009), La Roquette-sur-Var, La Trinité, Levens, Saint-André-de-la-Roche, Saint-Blaise, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Saint-Jeannet, Saint-Laurent-du-Var, Saint-Martin-du-Var, Tourrette-Levens, Utelle (2009), Vence and Villefranche-sur-Mer (all together, 35,100 ha and more than 500,000 inhabitants - 350,000 in the town of Nice proper).
The Community Council is made of 105 delegates, elected by the Municipal Councils in proportion to the population of each municipality. Accordingly, Nice has 39 delegates, Cagnes-sur-Mer, 10 delegates, Saint-Laurent-du-Var, 8 delegates, Vence, 5 delegates, and the other municipalities, 1 to 3 delegates each.

The flag of the CUNCA, as seen in March 2010 in the port of Beaulieu-sur-Mer, is dark blue with the logo of the authority, made of the writing NICE / CÔTE / d'AZUR, the first letters of each word (N/C/A) in light blue and the other in white (dark blue in the original logo). "communauté urbaine" is written below, in smaller white letters (dark blue in the original logo).

Ivan Sache, 12 June 2010

Chamber of Commerce and Industry Nice Côte d'Azur

[Flag of CCI Nice]

Flag of CCI Nice Côte d'Azur - Photo by Ivan Sache, 9 November 2008

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) Nice Côte d'Azur (website) dates back to the first Chamber of Commerce of Nice, created by Consul Bonaparte in 1803. After the fall of the French Empire and the reincorporation of Nice into the Kingdom of Sardinia, the Chamber was replaced in 1825 by the Royal Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture of Nice (Real Camera di Commercio e d'Agricoltora di Nizza). When Nice was eventually reincorporated to France in 1865, Napoléon III created by Imperial Decree the Chamber of Commerce of Nice, aimed at "defending the industrial and commercial interests of the new department of Alpes-Maritimes". Renamed Chambre de Commerce et d'Industrie de Nice in 1960, CCI Nice Côte d'Azurr took its current name in 1988.
CCI Nice Côte d'Azur manages the airports of Nice-Côte d'Azur - the second biggest airport in France, with more than 10,000 passengers per year, serving 20 French and 81 foreign airports - and Cannes-Mandelieu - the second biggest business airport in France -, and the "Riviera" ports of Cannes, Golfe-Juan, Nice and Villefranche.

The flag of CCI Nice Côte d'Azur, as seen in the ports of Nice and Golfe-Juan, is white with the emblem of the CCI. CCI Nice Côte d'Azur does not use the traditional CCI emblem, the hexagon with blue and red sectors, but a more "modern" design, made of a gray broken triangle and seven blue ellipses, the central one being bigger and darker.

Ivan Sache, 22 November 2009