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Dunkirk (Municipality, Nord, France)

Dunkerque, Duinkirk

Last modified: 2005-04-09 by
Keywords: nord | dunkirk | dunkerque | duinkirk | cross (red) | chamber of commerce and industry | cross (blue) | lion (black) |
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[Flag of Dunkirk]by Ivan Sache


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Presentation of Dunkirk

Dunkirk (75,000 inhabitants; 200,000 when including the suburbs), is a maritime city 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 (lit., "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


Municipal flag of Dunkirk

The flag of Dunkirk is one of the most ancient city flags in France, shown in 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


Logotype flag of Dunkirk

[Logotype flag of Dunkirk]by Olivier Touzeau

In July 2004, the historical flag of Dunkirk was not hoisted over the city hall, along with the French and Flemish flags. Instead, there was a white flag with the municipal logotype. The municipal logotype of Dunkirk bears the motto Les grands horizons, which means "great horizons / forecasts".

Olivier Touzeau, 26 July 2004


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 borders 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


Yacht Club de la Mer du Nord

[Burgee of YCMN]by Ivan Sache

Soon after the end of the Second World War, Yacht Club Dunkerquois was founded in Dunkirk. Beforehand, the yachtmen from Dunkirk sailed with Yacht Club du Nord de la France in the neighbouring city of Calais. The two clubs merged under the flag of Yacht Club du Nord de la France.
In 1958, the Dunkirk section of YCNF seceded and formed Yacht Club de la Mer du Nord. Since then, YCMN has promoted yachting and racing in the North Sea.

In 1963, the club was awarded the national Neptune d'Argent, as the most dynamic and competent yacht club of the year. The sailing boat Dunkerque, from YCMN, won the Tour de France à la Voile in 1979, 1980, 1981. In 1983, four members of YCMN won the World Quarter Ton Cup on the Comte de Flandres.
The match-racer and skipper Bertrand Pacé learned to sail and skip with YCMN.

The burgee of YCMN is white with a blue cross and a black lion in canton. The blue cross recalls the flag of Dunkirk, whereas the lion is the well-known Flemish lion.

Source: YCMN website

Ivan Sache, 25 December 2004


Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Dunkirk

[Flag of CCI Dunkirk]by Olivier Touzeau

The flag of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Dunkirk is made of the logotype of the CCI on a white field, with the hoist and the fly delimited as if the white field was made of ellipse on a blue field. As far as I could see, the limit between the white and blue fields were of about 1/4 of the length at the upper hoist and lower fly, and about 1/8 at the upper fly and lower hoist.

Olivier Touzeau, 29 March 2004

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