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Pas-de-Calais (Department, France)

Last modified: 2013-12-28 by ivan sache
Keywords: pas-de-calais | nord-pas de calais | diocese of arras | dove (white) | artois comm |
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Administrative data

Code: 62
Region: Nord-Pas de Calais
Traditional provinces: Artois, Picardy
Bordering departments: Nord, Somme

Area: 6,671 km2
Population (2005): 1,456,000 inhabitants

Préfecture: Arras
Sous-préfectures: Béthune, Boulogne-sur-Mer, Calais, Lens, Montreuil, Saint-Omer
Subdivisions: 7 arrondissements, 77 cantons, 894 communes.

The department is named ("Strait of Calais"), the French name of the Strait of Dover.
On 1 January 1971, the municipality of Ytres was transferred from the department of Somme to the department of Pas-de-Calais. On 1 January 1974, the municipality of Beauvoir-Rivière, transferred from Somme to Pas-de-Calais, merged with Wavans-sur-l'Authie to form the municipality of Beauvoir-Wavans.

Ivan Sache, 14 November 2009

Former flag of the General Council

[Former flag of the General Council]

Former flag of the General Council of Pas-de-Calais - Image by Ivan Sache, 17 October 2009

The former flag of the General Council of Pas-de-Calais is white with the former logo of the General Council. This flag must be obsolete, since the General Council has adopted a new logo.
The former logo of the General Council of Pas-de-Calais is made of a green triangle representing a highly stylized map of the department, flanked on its left by six hatchings representing the sea. "PAS.DE.CALAIS" is written in blue letters below.

Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 17 October 2009

Artois Comm. Intermunicipal Authority

[Flag of Artois Comm]

Flag of Artois Comm. - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 7 April 2004

Communauté d'agglomération Artois Comm. groups 59 municipalities surrounding the towns of Béthune and Bruay-la-Buissière.

The flag of Artois Comm. is white with the logotype in the middle. The symbolics of the logotype is described on the Artois Comm. website as follows:
- The yellow disk is the sunny symbol of life.
- The green square stands for the rural parts of the community.
- The blue triangle is the "A" of Artois and symbolizes the community.
- The little red square is for the required, strong energy/dynamism of the community.
- The yellow ellipse emphasizes the fact that the members work together.

Olivier Touzeau, 7 April 2004

Diocese of Arras

[Flag of the Diocese of Arras]

Flag of the Diocese of Arras - Image by Ivan Sache, 29 December 2008

France is divided in Ecclesiastic Provinces of the Roman Catholic church, itself divided in Dioceses. Upon request of the French bishops, the Provinces were restructured in 2002 (Decree of Pope John Paul II, 8 December 2002) to better match the French administrative divisions, especially the Regions (for the Provinces) and the Departments (for the Dioceses). The Ecclesiastic Province of Lille (Cambrai before 2008), matching Region Nord-Pas-de-Calais, is made of the Dioceses of Lille (Metropolitan Archbishopric), Cambrai (Archbishopric) and Arras. The Diocese of Arras, formally known as "Diocese of Arras, Boulogne-sur-Mer and Saint-Omer" and matching the Department of Pas-de-Calais, is made of 94 parishes grouped in 10 decanates.

A photo taken during the World Youth Day 2005, held in Cologne (Germany) on 16-21 August 2005, shows a flag of the Diocese of Arras as a pale yellow flag with the logo of the diocese in the middle. The photographer writes on his blog: "[...] our yellow flag of the Diocese of Arras [...], the colours depend on the buses." I understand that the managers of the group from Arras designed flags with different coloured background to be able to identify the group members and to load them in their respective buses. The flag has, most probably, no official character.
The logo of the diocese was designed in 1999 by the graphist Alain Crépin for the celebration of the Jubileaum A.D. 2000. It is made of a stylized, multicoloured cross, with blue (W), yellow (N), red (E) and green (S) branches, surrounded by fragments of circles, red (NW), green (NE), blue (SE) and yellow (SW). A white dove is placed in the middle of the cross. "DIOCÈSE / D'ARRAS" is written in white letters on a red rectangle placed near the lower left part of the logo, the "D" being on the green branch of the cross.
Crépin explains on the diocese website that he represented a cross similar to those erected in the local countryside, not to be seen as a torture and pain device but as a wooden cross bending under the western wind. A bird is resting in the middle of the branches of the cross. More than a cross, this cross is a communication forum located at the crossroads of men and ideas.
The green branch of the cross represents the countryside, the vitality of the plants and of the rural part of the diocese.
The blue branch of the cross represents the sea and the West, vacation, tourism and the hard job of seamen.
The red branch represents the eastern part of the diocese, the former mining and industrial district; here red represents science and technology but also blood, tears, illness, loneliness, unemploiement and exclusion. The sharp angles of the red branch are like daggers or bad words symbolizing sin, the hardness of the human heart and the refuse to be kind and welcoming.
The yellow branch of the cross represents the highness of the soul and the heights of heavens, as well as the ascending road to life and God's voice.
The circle looks like a clock with needles never stopping turning, every moment being God's gift. The circle also means that nobody can stay still and that we all should meet each other.
The dove announces the end of the Deluge, of bad weather, of unhappy events. In the center of the logo, the colour is bright like the sun, mystery and God, calling for concentration and prayer.

Ivan Sache, 29 December 2008