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Liège (Province, Belgium)


Last modified: 2004-07-03 by ivan sache
Keywords: liege | luik | wallonia | lions: 3 (green) | perron | posthorns: 3 | governor | proposal |
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No official flag for the province of Liège

Two Belgian provinces have not offically adopted a flag: Hainaut and Liège.

Pascal Vagnat, 30 May 1999

Unofficial banner of arms of the province of Liège

[Liege banner of arms]by Gerard van der Vaart

The banner of arms unofficially used by the province of Liège is:

Quartered, I gules the perron of Liège or flanked by the letters L and G of the same, II gules a fess silver, III silver three lions rampant vert 2 + 1 crowned or langued and armed gules, IV or five fesses gules, in point or three horns silver and gules 2 +1.

Ivan Sache, 20 June 2004

The first quarter shows the municipal arms of the city of Liège, described as follows:

"The present arms were officially granted on February 1st, 1947, and may be surrounded by several chains of military decorations. The arms of Liège show a monument or perron. The perron is most likely derived form an actual monument in the city. It is first seen on a coin of Hendrik II of Limburg, as prince-bishop of Liège, dating between 1145 and 1165. The perron was shown freely on coins until the mid XIVth century, when the symbol was placed in a shield. Whether the city at the time already used it as city arms is not known. Ever since the perron, including the base with the three lions, has been the arms of the city. The actual shape, however has varied widely during the centuries, and similarly, not all images show the lions. In the late XVIIth century the whole name, LIEGE was shown around the perron. The letters L and G appear for the first time in the late XVIIIth century."

Jarig Bakker, 17 November 2001

The coat of arms of the province of Liège does not represent correctly the current province of Liège: the former county of Hoorn, represented by the three posthorns, was incorporated into the Netherlands in 1839; the former duchy of Bouillon, represented by the horizontal red-white-red stripes, is now located in the Belgian province of Luxembourg; the county of Looz/Borgloon, represented by the horizontal yellow and red stripes, is now more or less the Belgian province of Limburg. Only one half of the current province of Liàge belonged to the former principality of Liège, represented by the perron and letters L and G. The other half was split between the former duchy of Limburg and abbey-principality of Stavelot-Malmédy, which are not represented on the provincial banner of arms.

Source: Pascal Parent. Deux projets de drapeaux rejetés : Provinces de Hainaut et Liège (Two rejected proposals of flags: Provinces of Hainaut and Liège). Vexillacta [vxl] #15, March 2002.

Ivan Sache, 22 March 2002

[Liege rectangular banner of arms]by Gerard van der Vaart & Mark Sensen

The flag is used either in 1:1 or 2:3 proportions.

Mark Sensen, 30 January 2001

Unofficial provincial colours

The colours were taken from the arms. These colours were not fixed. Various sources give different designs, but two main sets can be compiled.

  • A chart called Vlaggen der Belgische Provincies - Drapeaux des Provinces Belges (Flags of the Belgian Provinces). This is not dated, but to judge from the font face used, it is from the 1920s or 1930s.

[Liege provincial colours #1]by Mark Sensen

  • Some Dutch atlases and books about the provinces show another set, published by Rudi Koot in Vexilla Nostra [vxn] #185 (1993) p. 32-33

[Liege provincial colours #2]by Mark Sensen

Provincial Governor's honorary flag

[Governor's honorary flag]by Mark Sensen

I have some xerox copies of sheets, which seem to come from a book (bilingual Dutch and French) containing regulations (for the Navy maybe?). It contains a sheet with the honorary flags of the governors of the provinces, adopted by Order in Council of 28 October 1936.
It includes a construction sheet. The flags are 150x150 cm. Each stripe is 50 cm. The shields are 43.5 cm wide and 50 cm high excluding 3.75 cm for the point of the shield. The shields are in the center of the black stripe.

Mark Sensen, 27 January 2001

Rejected proposal of provincial flag

[Rejected proposal]by Ivan Sache

Léon Nyssen, editor of Vexillacta [vxl], designed a flag proposal for the province of Liège and send it to the provincial authorities on 30 October 2001.

The proposal was described in Vexillacta #15 (March 2002) by Pascal Parent in a paper entitled Deux projets de drapeaux rejetés : Provinces de Hainaut et Liège (Two rejected proposals of flags: Provinces of Hainaut and Liège).

The flag proposal is not fully related to the provincial arms because these arms do not represent correctly the current province of Liège, as explained above. The flag proposal is 2:3, vertically divided, with four vertical stripes yellow-red-yellow-red and five horizontal white-red-white-yellow-blue. The vertical stripes have the colours of the former principality of Liège. The upper horizontal, white-red stripes have the colours of Limburg. The lower horizontal, white-yellow-blue stand for the abbey-principality of Stavelot-Malmédy. The colours are also placed according to the geographical location of the former entities: Liège on West, Limburg in North-East and Stavelot-Malmédy in South-East.

On 11 January 2002, governor Paul Bolland informed Léon Nyssen that the Permanent Deputation, based on a report by the provincial archivist M. Flagothier, had rejected the proposal and decided to keep the banner of arms as the unofficial flag of the province.

Ivan Sache, 22 March 2002