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Maizières-lès-Metz (Municipality, Moselle, France)

Last modified: 2021-03-27 by ivan sache
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Flag of Maizières-lès-Metz, current and former versions - Images by Olivier Touzeau, 19 September 2020


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Presentation of Maizières-lès-Metz

The municipality of Maizières-lès-Metz (11,490 inhabitants in 2018; 892 ha; municipal website) is located 10 km north of Metz. The eastern part of the municipal territory is composed of several ponds; stretching over 50 ha, the Brieux municipal park includes seven ponds, sports areas, hiking and biking trails...

Maizières was first mentioned in 977 in a charter signed by Emperor Otto II, as Maidera. The name Masieres was coined in 1218, and subsequently submitted to innumerable variations recorded in the local, departmental and national archives: Maisières (1235), Meisières (1241), Masyeres (1246), Maixerey (1321), Maixeire (1404), Maxières (1495), Maizière devant Metz (1514), Maisière (1631), Maizière (1635), Mezières (1756).
For long, the name of official use was Mezières. The establishment of a post office, scheduled to 1 December 1846, was the cause of the adoption of the name of Maizières-lès-Metz. The State Councillor in charge of the Postal Service required "the postal stamp to be added an epithet to prevent mistaking with homonym municipalities in the departments of Ardennes, Indre, etc. I suggest to name the new post office to 'Maizières-Brieux'; His Excellency the Ministry of the Interior informed me that the Municipal Council has to be asked about the name change." On 6 September 1846, the Municipal Council proposed to use Maizières-lès-Metz, instead, which was accepted by the authorities. The Minister of the Interior blamed the local authorities for having blurred his instructions: the Municipal Council should also have explicitly amended the name of the municipality, which was achieved on 5 November 1846. A Royal Order signed on 30 May 1847 by King Louis-Philippe eventually validated the new name of the municipality.

Maizières and its different written and oral forms, as well, is most probably related to Latin "maceria, maceriae", "an enclosure wall"; nothing has remained in archives from an early settlement. "lès", as well as "lez" or "les" - final "z" or "s" not pronounced, is an obsolete word meaning "beside, near", which is used now only in toponyms. The word is derived from Lower Latin (6th century) "latus", "beside, near", a derivation from "latus, lateralis", "a side".
[Centre National de Ressources Textuelles et Lexicales]

During the periods of German occupation of the region, the name of the municipality was germanized, first, in 1871, to Maizières-bei-Metz. In the beginning of the First World War, the German authorities banned French language and changed the name to Macheren. During the Second World War, Order of 25 January 1941 imposed the name of Machern-bei-Metz.
Constituting a lock preventing the advance of the allied troops to Metz, Maizières was submitted to several air raids in August 1944, which caused the destruction of 90% of the town's buildings. In the southern sector of the municipality, 350 apartment buildings were suppressed; the northern and western sectors were less damaged but 360 buildings required significant repairing. The Brosius workers' estate was fully destroyed, as were all the administrative buildings: the Town Hall inaugurated in 1943, the parish church, the presbytery, the school, the fire brigade buildings... Initiated in 1947, the reconstruction of the dwellings was achieved in 1954. The reconstruction of the administrative units, initiated on 1955, was completed in 1959.

Located at the entrance of the Moselle iron and steel basin, Maizières developed as an industrial town in the late 19th century.
In 1967, Solocomet (Société Lorraine de Constructions Métallique), established in 1931 in Maizières, merged with TFM (Travaux en Fer de Maubeuge), established in 1910 in Douzies-Fegnies (Nord), to form Sotracomet (Société de Travaux et Constructions Métalliques). Once employing up to 850 workers on its two sites, the company was closed in 1976. Sotracomet was involved in the building of big bridges, such as the Kernours / Joseph-Le-Brix Bridge (1969; 300 m in length, 147 m in main span) in Bono (Brittany); the Cornouaille Bridge (1972; 600 m in length, 200 m in main span; 70 m in height) in Clohars-Fouesnant (Brittany); and the Neuville-sur-Oise Bridge (1974; 82 m in main span).
Irsid (Institut de Recherches de la Sidérurgie) was established in 1946 by the iron and steel industrialists, with the support of the French state, as a common research center. The three original sites of the institute (Maizières, Unieux and Saint-Germain-en-Laye [administrative seat]) were transferred in 1994 to Maizières. Irsid is now operated by ArcelorMittal, employing 500 people.
Covalor (Constructions Métalliques de la Vallée de l'Orne), established in 1937 in Maizières, significantly contributed to the economical re-emergence of Lorraine after the Second World War, being in charge of the reconstruction of several destroyed sites. Covalor was incorporated in 1966 to Compagnie Fran├žaise d'Entreprises Métalliques, now Eiffage.
France Transfo, established in Maizières in 1971 and subsequently absorbed by Schneider Electric, produces electric transformers.

Ivan Sache, 19 September 2020


Flag of Maizières-lès-Metz

The flag of Maizières-lès-Metz (photo) is white with the municipal logo adopted in 2014. The former flag (photo) was white with the former municipal logo.

The present-day's logo was adopted by the newly elected Municipal Council.
The light and sweet, but affirmative, writing, highlights the institutional meaning of the logo, representing modernity, rigor and design with smoothed lines.
The kaleidoscope provides a symbolic illustration of the creation of novelty inspired by what already exists. It reconciles apparently opposed ideas of stability and change, of identity and difference. The kaleidoscope's numerous colors represent the diversified resources, assets, services and activities of the town.
The stylized Cross of Lorraine evokes the regional roots and symbolizes a crossroads-town.

The color specifications are:

          Hex       CMYK
Pink    #e72786   3  96  7  0
Blue    #57a8de  62  20  0  0
Yellow  #ffe966   3   3 73  0
Green   #56a966  70  11 79  1
Mauve   #562487  83 100  8  2
Purple  #5e205d  69 100 32 22

The typeface is Philosopher - Regular.
[Graphic charter, municipal website]

Olivier Touzeau & Ivan Sache, 19 September 2020