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Mayenne (Department, France)

Last modified: 2009-12-26 by ivan sache
Keywords: mayenne | pays de la loire | horse: winged (red) | pegasus | lion (yellow) | leopard (yellow) | fleurs-de-lis: 2 (yellow) | ermines: 2 (black) |
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[Flag of the General Council]

Flag of the General Council of Mayenne - Image by Ivan Sache, 2 October 2009

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Administrative data

Code: 53
Region: Pays de la Loire
Traditional provinces: Maine, Anjou
Bordering departments: Ille-et-Vilaine, Maine-et-Loire, Manche, Orne, Sarthe

Area: 5,176 km2
Population (2008): 309,106 inhabitants

Préfecture: Laval
Sous-préfectures: Château-Gontier, Mayenne
Subdivisions: 3 arrondissements, 32 cantons, 261 communes.

The department is named after river Mayenne (185 km), which joins Sarthe to constitute Maine.
On 21 July 1824, the municipality of Madré was transferred from the department of Orne to the department of Mayenne, while the municipality of Saint-Denis-de-Villenette was transferred from Mayenne to Orne, suppressing two enclaves / exclaves.

Ivan Sache, 13 November 2009

Flag of the General Council

The flag of the General Council of Mayenne, as hoisted in front of the building of the General Council at Laval, is white with the logo of the General Council.
The logo of the General Council of Mayenne shows on a white background a red stylized winged horse (Pegasus), above the writing "LA MAYENNE" / "CONSEIL GÉNÉRAL", in black letters, separated by a grey horizontal line.

Pegasus recalls that Mayenne has alwyas been famous for horse breeding. Some 10% of the French racing horses are trained in the Department of Mayenne, which has 11 racetracks, including three of first category (Laval, Craon and Meslay-du-Maine). Horse training and racing employs 700 in the department.
Founded in 1991, the Department's Equitation Comittee has developed equitation; the department has now more than 1,500 members registered with the French Federation of Equitation, 6 horse-riding centers, 6 poney clubs and 5 horse-riding schools affiliated with the Federation.
The Pégase Mayenne research unit, managed by the General Council at the Laval Hospital, is the first French unit in comparative equine and human sports medicine.
Founded in 1986, the Department's Equestrian Tourism Comittee manages more than 1,000 km of bridle paths, including 85 km of towpaths along river Mayenne.

Ivan Sache, 2 October 2009

Banner of the department

[Banner of Mayenne]

Banner of the department of Mayenne - Image by Ivan Sache, 2 October 2009

The General Council of Mayenne has set up a partnership with the German District of Swabia. The hall where the partnership convention was signed was decorated with vertical banners, including a banner of the Department of Mayenne, probably made specifically for the event, vertically divided blue-red with the department's coat of arms overall in the upper part of the flag.

The coat of arms of Mayenne, adopted in 1966, is:
D'azur à un léopard en chef et deux fleurs de lis en pointe, le tout d'or, à la bordure de gueules, au pal ondé d'hermine brochant sur le tout ("Azure in chief a lion passant gardant and in base two fleurs de lis in fess or a bordure gules overall a pale wavy ermine").
Combining elements from the coat of arms of Anjou (the field azure, the border gules and the fleurs-de-lis or), Normandy (the leopard or) and Brittany (the ermine spots), the arms recall the location of the department on the borders of the three provinces. The wavy pale represents river Mayenne, crossing the department from north to south.

Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 2 October 2009