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Ardèche (Department, France)

Last modified: 2016-11-12 by ivan sache
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[Flag of Ardeche]

Flag of Ardèche - Image by Ivan Sache, 24 September 2009


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Administrative data

Code: 07
Region: Auvergne-Rhô-Alpes (Rhô-Alpes until 2014)
Traditional province: Languedoc
Bordering departments: Drôme, Gard, Isère, Loire, Haute-Loire, Lozère, Vaucluse

Area: 5,529 km2
Population (2006): 306,238 inhabitants

Préfecture: Privas
Sous-préfectures: Largentière, Tournon
Subdivisions: 3 arrondissements, 33 cantons, 339 communes.

The department is named after river Ardèche (120 km), tributary of the Rhône.

Ivan Sache, 11 November 2009


Flag of Ardèche

The flag of Ardèche is blue with 16 yellow fleurs-de- lis placed 4+4+4+4 and a yellow border charged with eight blue escutcheons placed 3+2+3. The flag is hoisted in front of the building of the General Council at Privas, as seen on a photo shown on the front page of the website of the General Council, and in front of the building of the Regional Council of Rhônes-Alpes at Charbonnières-les-Bains (near Lyon), as seen on a photo taken by Pascal Vagnat on 12 February 2006.

The department of Ardèche, originally named "Sources de la Loire ou Pays du Vivarais (26 February 1790) and renamed "Ardèche" on 6 March 1790, is mostly made of the former Pays of Vivarais.
Originally known as "pagus vivariensis", named for its capital, Viviers, Vivarais was confiscated in the 13th century by the Bishop of Viviers from Count of Toulouse Raymond VI, excommunicated because his support to the Cathars during the Albigensian Crusade. Subsequently incorporated to the Kingdom of France, Vivarais was nominally part of the Province of Languedoc but kept its own States (États Particuliers du Vivarais), presided by one of the Barons of Vivarais and ran by the Consul and the Seneschal of Vivarais. The presiding Baron represented Vivarais at the States General of Languedoc.

Robert Louis assigned in 1949-1950 to the Department of Ardèche the ancient arms of Vivarais, D'azur semé de fleurs de lis d'or, à la bordure d'or chargée de huit écussons d'azur ("Azure semy de lis or a border of the second eight inescutcheons of the field"). On the flag, the semy of lis is replaced by 16 fleurs-de-lis. The town of Aubenas has the same border on its arms, said to highlight the status of the town, one of the eight towns of Vivarais appointing a Consul to the States of Vivarais.

Ivan Sache, 24 September 2009