Last modified: 2006-01-14 by ivan sache
Keywords: belgium | wallonia | wallonie | region wallonne | communaute francaise | rooster (red) | law | coq hardi | rattachiste |
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Flag of Wallonia - Image by Mark Sensen, 13 July 2001
The Walloon Region (Région Wallonne), in short Wallonia (Wallonie), is made of the five officially French-speaking provinces of Walloon Brabant, Hainaut, Liège, Luxembourg and Namur.
Within the Walloon Region, the legislative power is exercized by the Council of the Walloon Region (Conseil de la Région Wallonee, 75 elected Councillors), also called Walloon Regional Council (Conseil Régional Wallon) and the Walloon Government (a Minister-President and no more than eight Ministers), whereas the executive power is exercized by the Walloon Government.
The competences of the Council and the Government of the Walloon Region are defined by the Federal Consitution of Belgium, adopted on 17 February 1994.
Ivan Sache, 13 July 2001
The Wallon Region adopted its flag and
coat of arms on 23 July 1998, as published in the Belgian official gazette on 8 August 1998. The flag is the traditional Wallon flag, therefore the same as
the flag of the French Community; the two entities also share the same coat of arms. The authorities of the two entities can use the same car flag. Only the seal is slightly different, with the writing RÉGION
WALLONNE for the Walloon Region.
The Walloon Parliament has also adopted an anthem called Le chant des Wallons (The Walloons' Song).
The flag of Wallonia is yellow with a red rooster. The rooster
lifts one of its legs, and faces the hoist. It shows the
kinship of the Walloons to the French (Gallic) rooster, which is
singing, head up and beak open.
In Wallonia, the flag is nicknamed le coq hardi (the bold rooster).
Initially, the flag should have been decorated with a cravate of the Belgian colours, with the dates 1830 and 1912. This was intended to show that the Walloon Movement was not anti-Belgian. The cravate rapidly disappeared.
Source: M. Lupant [lup98]
Pascal Vagnat, 29 November 1995
The flag of Wallonia is shown on the Flags of Aspirant Peoples chart [eba94], #71, with the following caption:
Ivan Sache, 19 June 2004
In the beginning of the XXth century, the Walloon Assembly (that is the assembly of the Walloon Movement [Mouvement Wallon], not the assembly of a Walloon Region or
Community, which did not exist at that time), decided to
adopt an emblem for Wallonia. Several symbols were proposed, including
the perron of Liège, a
star, a rooster, a lark, a bull, a wildboar, a squirrel... The pun on
the Latin name of the rooster (gallus) and of the inhabitant of Gaul
(Gallus) was already popular.
The Walloon Assembly decreed (16 March/20 April 1913):
La Wallonie adopte le coq rouge sur fond jaune, cravate aux couleurs nationales belges. L'histoire glorieuse de la Principaute de Liège, faite de luttes pour les libertés (Charte de Huy, Paix de Fexhe, perron, déclaration des droits de l'homme du Congrès de Polleur...) inspire les couleurs, le cri et la devise: le coq hardi de gueules sur or, avec le cri "Liberté" et la devise "Wallon toujours!"
Wallonia shall adopt [as its emblem] the red rooster on a yellow backgroung, with a cravate of the Belgian national colours. The glorious history of the principality of Liège, made of struggle for freedom (Chart of Huy, Peace of Fexhe, perron, declaration of the human rights by the Congress of Polleur...) inspires the colours, the [war] cry and the motto: or the bold rooster gules, with the cry "Freedom" and the motto "Walloon forever!"
Paul Pastur asked the painter Pierre Paulus to design the emblem. Paulus' design was adopted on 3 July 1913 by an artistic commission. The emblem was officially recognized on 28 July 1975 by a decree of the Conseil culturel de la Communauté Française.
Source: Official website of the Walloon RegionThe proportion of the flag was 1:1 (square flag), according to Yves Moreau: La génèse du drapeau wallon (Enquêtes du musée de la vie wallonne, Tome XVI, 63ème-64ème années, N°185-188. 1987).
Here is the law proposal adopted by the Walloon Parliament in 1998.
Proposal of Decree
Establishing the Walloon Regional Day and the emblems of the Walloon Region
Proposed by Messrs. M. Bayenet, S. Kubla, A. Lié'nard et J. Daras.
The identity of a Region is conveyed by several elements, the first of them being the recognition of a flag and the establishment of a Regional Day. The Walloon rooster, proposed here as the emblem of the Walloon Region, became officially on 24 June 1975 the official emblem of the French Community.
The rooster's history extended over three-quarters of a century and is definitively linked to the Walloon Movement. Addressed for the first time on 2 October 1905 during a meeting of the Walloon League of Liège, the question of adoption of a Walloon flag motivated several debates. The adoption of the symbol of the rooster, proposed by a correpondent of the newspaper Le Réveil Wallon in the release of 19 December 1907, was accepted by the Walloon circles and finally, on 20 April 1913, by the Walloon Assembly.
The model realised by the artist Pierre Paulus was officially adopted by a commission of the Assembly on 3 July 1913. Since then, the rooster has been indisputably recognized in all circles as the straightforward symbol of Wallonia.
Therefore, we found it necessary to establish it by a Decree as the official emblem of the Walloon Region.
Moreover, the establishment of an official Regional Day should be based on two facts: first, there is a celebration Day [27 September] specific to the French Community, Community of the French-Speakers from Wallonia and Brussels, celebrating the days of struggle for independence of 1830; second, according to the various local traditions, the Wallon festivities have always occurred in September.
Consequently, the authors of the present proposal propose to establish as official Walloon Regional Day the third Sunday of September, the day of the most important festivities taking place in the city of Namur, the capital city of the Walloon Region.
Article 1. The Walloon Regional Day shall be celebrated every year on the third Sunday of the month of September. Article 2. The arms of the Walloon Region are Gold, a bold rooster Gules; they shall be designed according to the model shown in annex 1 of this decree. The bold rooster of these arms can be used separately as the symbol of the Region. Article 3.The seal of the Walloon Region shall bear the bold rooster from the arms with the caption REGION WALLONE. The caption shall be placed between two circles according to the model shown in annex 2 of this Decree. Article 4. The flag of the Walloon Region shall be yellow with a red bold rooster. According to the model shown in annex 3 of the present Decree, this flag shall have proportion 2:3. The bold rooster shall be inscribed in an invisible circle, the center of which is the same as the center of the field, the diameter of which is equal to the hoist and the circumference of which goes through the tips of the upper and lower feathers of the tail and the tip of the raised foot. The horizontality of the rooster shall be determined by an invisible straight line from the top of the crest to the tip of the upper feather of the tail.
The flag of the Region shall be hoisted on the third Sunday of September on public buildings located on the territory of the Walloon Region.
In the Region, the flag shall also be hoisted on official buildings in the same conditions and on the same days as the national flag.
The Walloon Government may want to prescribe the hoisting of the flag on other days on the buildings mentioned in the previous paragraphs. Article 5. The high authorities and the official representatives of the Walloon Region may want to use, in the exercise of their duties, a distinctive ceremonial marking. This marking, according to the model shown in annex 4 of this decree, shall be a flag of proportion 26:30, designed as the flag described in article 4 and bordered with a yellow and red fringe.
Unofficial translation of the French text of the Decree by Ivan Sache, 8 July 2001
However, the Walloons with strong separatist feelings do not necessarily recognize this flag. There are rattachistes Walloons, who promote the incorporation of Wallonia into
France and campaign with a Tricolore French flag charged with the coq
hardi in the middle.
There are, moreover, independentist Walloons who don't want to hear anything from France and consider the coq hardi as a coq collabo. Here collabo, a short form of collaborateur, directly refers to the French (and I suppose to Belgians, too), which collaborated with the Germans during the Second World War.
Pascal Vagnat, Ivan Sache & Jan Mertens, 19 June 2004
Construction sheet for the flag - Image by Mark Sensen, 3 July 2001, after annex 3 of the 1998 Decree
L'Echo - La Semaine en Wallonie, #82, 14 December 2001, recalls that
the Walloon Regional Council ordered on 11 December 1986 that Namur
would be the capital city of Wallonia and the seal of the Walloon
The newspaper adds that the 15th anniversary of the decree was celebrated in the basement of the Parliament of Wallonia. During the ceremony, Bernard Anselme, Mayor of Namur, offered to Robert Collignon, President of the Walloon Parliament, a flag "where the seal of the County of Namur and the Walloon rooster were closely merged".
Ivan Sache, 9 June 2005