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Pont-à-Marcq (Municipality, Nord, France)

Last modified: 2014-04-22 by ivan sache
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Flag of Pont-à-Marcq - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 2 February 2013

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Presentation of Pont-à-Marcq

The municipality of Pont-à-Marcq (2,555 inhabitants in 2009; 222 ha; municipal website) is located in the north of France, half distance (20 km) of Lille and Douai.

Pont-à-Marcq is named for a bridge (pont) on river Marque, itself named from the old border region known in Frankish as marka (march). The village was successively known as Pons de Marka, Marque-en-Peule, Marcq-en-Pévèle; the modern name, Pont-à-Marcq, was officially established in 1802.
The first inn in Pont-à-Marcq was mentioned in 1284; in the 17th century, the village had three inns and a brewery. Louvois, Minister of Louis XIV, established in Marcq a coaching inn - there were only four such inns in the chastelleny of Lille, the three other being in Lille, Douai and Armentières. The coaching inn could house up to 30 horses; Emperor Napoléon I and King Louis XVIII overnighted there.
In summer 1944, the withdrawing German army attempted to delay the advance of the allied troops by concentrating armoured vehicles and cannons in Pont-à-Marcq. The Germans were expelled in August 1944 by the Grenadier Guards after a violent fighting during which 24 Guardsmen were killed.

Pont-à-Marcq is the birth place of the sculptor Philippe-Laurent Roland (1746-1816). Roland sculpted the allegoric statue of the Law placed in the Panthéon of Paris, the statue of Napoléon I standing in the Court of Honour of the Institut de France, and many other works. His most famous student was David d'Angers.

Ivan Sache, 2 February 2013

Flag of Pont-à-Marcq

The flag of Pont-à-Marcq is blue with the municipal coat of arms in the middle, bordered in ochre yellow and surmounted by a mural crown of the same colour. The name of the town is written above the shield in an arched pattern, in ochre yellow, too.
The Mayor of Pont-à-Marcq was invited at Buckhingham Palace in May 2010 for the presentation of the the new colours of the 1st Battalion of the Grenadier Guards, in the presence of HM Queen Elizabeth II. He offered a copy of the flag to his hosts (photos).

The arms of Pont-à-Marcq are "Sable an eagle argent beaked and membered or". On the flag, the shield is azure.

Olivier Touzeau, 2 February 2013