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Arques (Municipality, Pas-de-Calais, France)

Last modified: 2020-09-12 by ivan sache
Keywords: arques |
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[Flag]

Flag of Arques - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 21 May 2020


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Presentation of Arques

The municipality of Arques (9,945 inhabitants in 2009: 2,241 ha; municipal website) is an industrial town located in the middle of the triangle Lille-Dunkirk-Boulogne.

The name of Arques probably comes from Latin arces, "a citadel".
Arques is famous for its crystal factory (Cristallerie d'Arques, now Arc International), founded by the Durand family in 1825, as a traditional, home-scale glass producer for the Bordeaux winemakers. Following a stay in the USA in 1930, Jacques Durand completely revamped the production system towards a large-scale industry. Today, Arc International hires 13,000 workers and produces more than 1,000 tons of glass per day.

The boat lift of Fontinettes, a famous industrial wizardry, is located in Arques, once an important river port, located on the junction of river Aa and of canal of Neuffossée, which links the Aa to the Lys. The junction required the crossing of five locks, with a difference in height of 13.13 m, causing huge traffic jams. In 1888, a boat lift was set up to replace the locks. The barges were placed into two compartments filled up with water and fixed on two huge pistons constituting a kind of hydraulic scales: one of the compartment was lifted up whereas the other was pushed down. The boat lift was replaced in 1967 by a single big lock, which can transfer six boats in 20 minutes.

Ivan Sache, 31 March 2004


Flag of Arques

The flag of Arques (photo) is white with the municipal logo.
Created by the Communication Department of the municipality in 2014, the logo brings together four themes emblematic of the town: nature, water, the Fontinette boat lift, and, of course, glass and crystal, to which the city owes its reputation worldwide. The text font is also intended to be less "strict" and slightly tilted to the right, a sign of a town going forward.
[Municipal website]

Olivier Touzeau, 21 May 2020


Former flags of Arques

[Flag]         [Flag]

Former flags of Arques - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 21 May 2020, & Arnaud Leroy, 31 March 2004, respectively

The former flag of Arques (photo) was white with the former municipal logo introduced in 2005.
Yellow evokes light and radiance. The logo's background represents a circle, a symbol of perfection, while the rays running to the right mark the town's vitality, the will to move forward, to act. The background can be reminiscent of a sun, representing heat and light, or even of the rising sun, evoking a new period. The lettering leaning slightly to the right incfreases the idea of a permanent movement, of a town on the move.
[Municipal website (archived)].

An earlier flag of Arques, as communicated in 2004 by the PR department of the municipality, was white with the former municipal logo.

Olivier Touzeau, Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 21 May 2020


 
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