Last modified: 2005-12-03 by ivan sache
Keywords: leuven | louvain |
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Municipal flag of Leuven - Image by Filip van Laenen
Leuven (86,000 inhabitants) is the capital city of the province of Flemish Brabant.
The flag is horizontally divided red-white-red. Proportions are 2:3.
Source: Flags of the Low Countries
The flag is a banner of the municipal arms, which are:
Gules a fess argent.
The oldest known seals of the city (beginning of the XIIIth
century until the middle of the XIVth century) depicts the Romanic,
later on Gothic front of the Saint-Peter's church. In 1358, something
new appeared on the seals: in the entrance of the church, a small
shield with a fess was added. From the XVth century on, this shield
was placed in front of Saint Peter, the patron saint of the city. So,
from the XIVth century on, the city of Leuven had arms with a fess,
and younger sources show that it is a fess argent on a red field.
According to a popular story, the colours recall the large defeat of the Normans near Leuven in 891 against Arnulf of Kärnthen. On that day, so much blood flowed into the river Dijle, that only in the middle there was a small stripe of clear water: a fess argent between the red blood.
The flag was adopted on 2 April 1979.
Jarig Bakker, 30 October 2001
Quoting the Verbond der Jaartallen webpage:
Mannen van het jaar - the Men of the Year - is a unique friends' association that can only be found in Leuven. Nothing like it exists anywhere else in Europe... probably even in the whole world. The Men of the Year, also known by their Flemish nickname of jaartallen - "of the same year" form a circle of friends solely on a basis of a shared year of birth. While they are between the ages of 40 and 50, the members organise an array of activities in Leuven and its environs, culminating in a splendid celebration when a colleague finally reaches the big "five-oh". Upon reaching this milestone, they become Abrahams, which gives them the right to slow down their hectic lifestyles. Among other things, their active life among the Jaartallen then comes to a gentle end.
The clubs of the jaartallen are exclusively a male domain - but this doesn't mean that members of the fairer sex aren't welcome to take part in activities.
Each Jaartal has its own emblem, flag, costume and frame, which are displayed in the Raadskelders of Leuven Town Hall.
Ivan Sache, 11 June 2005