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Dunkirk (Municipality, Nord, France)

Dunkerque, Duinkirk

Last modified: 2002-10-12 by ivan sache
Keywords: nord | dunkirk | dunkerque | duinkirk | cross (red) |
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[Flag of Dunkirk]by Ivan Sache

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Presentation of Dunkirk

Dunkirk is a maritime city of ca. 75,000 inhabitants (200,000 when including the suburbs), located on the Pas-de-Calais, the narrow bottleneck between the Channel and the North Sea, about 10 km of the Belgian border. It is the northernmost big city of France, the northernmost municipality being Bray-Dunes.

The first occurrence of the name of Dunkirk (litt., 'the church in the dunes') is dated 1067. The city was disputed between Spain, England, Netherlands and France until Turenne annexed it definitively to France in 1658 after the battle of the Dunes. The city was later fortified by Vauban.
During the reign of Louis XIV, the corsairs from Dunkirk captured or sunk ca. 3,000 ships and contributed to the ruination of the Dutch sea trade. The most famous of them was Jean Bart (1650-1702, born in Dunkirk), who is said to have answered Louis XIV when he announced him personally his appointment as chief of squad: 'Good choice, Sire!'.

From 25 May to 4 June 1940, the events known as Dunkirk hell' occurred on the beaches surroundings Dunkirk. Following the German breakthrough towards the sea, the Allied had to re-embark more than 350,000 men to England under permanent bombardment.
The city of Dunkirk was destroyed at 80% during the Second World War.

Dunkirk is now an important industrial city (steel, food processing, and chemical industry) and port (ranking 3rd in France).

Ivan Sache, 25 February 2001

Description of the flag

The flag of Dunkirk is one of the most ancient city flag in France, shown in most ancient flag charts (e.g. Danckert's flag chart [ca.1700] [dan05], flag #77, labelled 'Vl. van Duynkerken'). It is made of six horizontal stripes white-blue-white-blue-white-blue.

Ivan Sache, 25 February 2001

Historical flag (?)

[Other flag of Dunkirk?]by Ivan Sache

Danckert's flag chart [ca.1700] [dan05] shows an other flag for Dunkirk, as #79, labelled 'Franse Vl. van Duinkerk' - French flag of Dunkirk.

The flag has a white field with a red cross in canton. The cross has equal arms, which touch the upper and left edges of the flag. The cross is put on a white canton, which is separated from the main white field by a thin black fimbriation.

Ivan Sache, 18 July 2001

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