This page is part of © FOTW Flags Of The World website

Montpellier (Municipality, Hérault, France)

Last modified: 2003-01-18 by ivan sache
Keywords: herault | montpellier | disc (red) | throne | blessed virgin | baby jesus |
Links: FOTW homepage | search | disclaimer and copyright | write us | mirrors

[Flag of Montpellier]by Ivan Sache, coat of arms after GASO website

See also:

Presentation of Montpellier

Montpellier is a city of c. 225,000 inhabitants, prefecture of both the department of Hérault and the Region Languedoc-Roussillon.

The name of Montpellier was probably derived from Mons Petrosus ('Stony Mountain') through Montpeirie. A Countess of Maguelonne gave the city to the bishop Ricuin, who placed it under the patronage of the Blessed Virgin, and invested his vassal Guilhem I with powers on the city. When the last member of the Guilhem dynasty, Guilhem VIII, died in 1202, the city fell to the share of the King of Aragon, Guilhem's son-in-law, and later to the junior branch of the kings of Majorca.
Montpellier was then a flourishing city, famous for its School of Medecine, founded in 1220, in which the writer François Rabelais (1494-1553, Gargantua and Pantagruel's father) graduated.
In 1349, King Philippe VI de Valois bougth the city to the King of Majorca and rattached it to the Kingdom of France.

The city recently experienced a strong cultural and economical development, associated with a large-scale urbanism plan. The XVII-XVIIIth century downtown was totally restored and the big Place de la Comédie, locally known as l'Oeuf ('the Egg') because of its shape, became the hot spot of Montpellier. Modern architectural groupings (e.g. Antigone) were designed by the Catalan, post-modern, neo-classical architect Ricardo Bofill and harmoniously appended to the historical center.

Ivan Sache, 24 June 2001

Description of the flag

The city hall, a huge concrete building not really in harmony with the surrounding buildings, has three poles on its flat roof:

  • the center pole, higher than the tow others, flies the French national flag.
  • the pole at viewer's left flies two flags, the one with the municipal coat of arms being above the traditional flag of Provence, vertically striped yellow-red.
  • the pole at viewer's right also flies two flags, the one with the logo of the city being above the traditional flag of Languedoc.

On the main square in front of the city hall is displayed a row of flags

  • Municipal flag with the logo, slightly different from the one hoisted on the roof of the city hall
  • European Union
  • Germany (for the twin town of Heidelberg)
  • China (for the twin city of Chengdu)
  • Spain (for the twin city of Barcelona)
  • USA (for the twin city of Louisville)
  • France
  • Israel (for the twin city of Tiberias)

Ivan Sache, 24 June 2001

Flag with the municipal coat of arms

The flag on the roof of the city hall refered above bears the municipal coat of arms on a white background.

The coat of arms shows on a blue field the Blessed Virgin holding Jesus and sitting on a golden throne. The uncial letters A and M, in silver, placed in chief, stand for Ave Maria. In the bottom of the arms is a white escutcheon with a red roundel, which was the blazon of the Guilhem dynasty.

Source: GASO website

Ivan Sache, 24 June 2001