France is divided into over 100 departments. Some of them are part of the French territory in Europe and others are not even close to Europe. France also has over seas territories of which none of them are in Europe but instead are as far from France as is geographically possible. The one unifying feature of all of the Departments of France is that they are French citizens, they speak French, they use the Euro as a currency and they never forget to meet their afternoon lovers between lunch and dinner.
edit The Departments of Continental Europe
Historically, France was a conglomerate of medieval towns and farms which sendt money to Rome and later to Paris. Traditionally these little hamlets were prosperous and needed little in terms of inter-trade or anything that wasn't local. In fact, throughout the history of all 100 continental Departments, each one was quite content to eat their own distinct food, sing their own local songs, speak their own near identical dialect and ridicule anyone who didn't as well. During times of religious excess they were also known to murder anyone from outside of their hamlets (especially the Roman tax collectors) by force feeding them corn meal for two months and selling their livers as paté.
When the black plague cut down the population these hamlets were forced to integrate creating regions made up of various departments. These regions still exist today including the Champagne region, quite famous all over the world for their expensive and exclusive strawberry cookies, Alsace Loraine, quite known for their lack of Loyalty to both Germany and France and the little known Corsica, a very integral and truly French part of France...just ask any local what they think and wait for the flatulence.
Each department has their own unique flag mired in history and ancient tradition. Any one from a department can immediately identify their own flag and take pride in their total ignorance of the 99 others. One quite special flag is of Duvien, famous for its pattern of red, white and blue. While Reims has a particularly stunning flag made up of patches of blue, red and white. Picardy is known for its blue, red, blue, blue, white and white then blue and a little bit of red flag while the scandelous Bascay flag has only red and blue. Corsica has a completely black flag which they hang at half mast every day to celebrate their love for France and their voluntary integration with the Republic.
edit St. Pierre et Miquelon
This duo of tiny rock Islands surrounded by Canadian territory is not, in fact, a department of France, it is an overseas territory. Most Canadians do not know that it is an overseas territory as they are all completely unaware of its existence. When Canadian planes fly into its air space, they are accustomed to hearing strange duck sounding insults and threats over the intercom system which they tend to hear while flying over Quebec anyways.
The Islanders are petitioning to become a Department one day but they are 99,500 citizens short of the minimum 100,000 citizens needed to become a Department. Their attempts to bribe the president are always thwarted by their need to spend the money on schools to educate those who choose to remain on the Island. When ever they get frisky and threaten to shoot down a Canadian plane dragging France into a Trans-Atlantic war, the French government threatens to cut them off completely from the republic. This tradition repeats itself every year. Air Canada flight 102 to Halifax was accidentally shot down in 2009, yet investigators could not find the source of the missile as St. Pierre and Miquelon did not appear on any of their maps. It remains an unsolved mystery. Strange meat to this day still appears in Restaurants in Miquelon, served with a wine and truffle sauce accompanied by air plane sized liquor bottles.
edit Future of Departments
When the government threatened to close down all of the departmental government and allow the regions to take over all responsibilities to save money, French people began mass protests. As people stayed in their own towns to protest instead of grouping together en masse, the largest protest was made up of a few dozen farmers and their tractors blocking local roads. A few bicyclists complained as well as two Mexican tourists.