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Wallonia - Walloon Region (Belgium)

Wallonie - Région Wallone

Last modified: 2012-10-07 by ivan sache
Keywords: belgium | wallonia | wallonie | region wallonne | rooster (red) | coq hardi | paulus (pierre) |
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[Flag of Wallonia]

Flag of Wallonia - Image by Mark Sensen, 13 July 2001

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Presentation of the Walloon Region

The Walloon Region (Région Wallonne), in short Wallonia (Wallonie), is made of the five French-speaking provinces of Walloon Brabant, Hainaut, Liège, Luxembourg and Namur.
Within the Walloon Region, the legislative power is exercized by the Parliament of the Walloon Region (Parlement de la Région Wallonne, 75 members), in short, the Walloon Parliament (Parlement Wallon), formerly known as the Walloon Regional Council (Conseil Régional Wallon), and by the Governement of the Walloon Government, in short the Walloon Government, composed of a Minister-President and no more than eight Ministers. The executive power is exercized by the Walloon Government.
The competences of the Walloon Parliament and Government are defined by the Federal Constitution of Belgium, adopted on 17 February 1994.

Ivan Sache, 7 October 2012

Flag of the Walloon Region

[Construction sheet for the flag]

Construction sheet for the flag - Image by Mark Sensen, 3 July 2001

The emblems (day, arms, seal, flag and arms) of the Walloon Region are prescribed in a Decree (text) adopted on 15 July 1998 by the Walloon Regional Council, promulgated on 23 July 1998 by the Executive of Wallonia, and published on 8 August 1998 in the Belgian official gazette, pp. 25,551 (French text), 25,552 (German text), 25,553 (Dutch text), and 25,554-25,555 (Appendices 1-4).


Article 2. The arms of the Walloon Region shall be "Gold, a bold rooster gules"; they shall be represented according to the model shown in Appendix 1 of this Decree. The bold rooster 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 writing "RÉGION WALLONE". The writing shall be placed between two circles according to the model shown in Appendix 2 of this Decree.

Article 4. The flag of the Walloon Region shall be yellow with the red bold rooster. According to the model shown in Appendix 3 of the present Decree, the flag shall have proportions 2:3. The bold rooster shall be inscribed in a fictitious circle, whose center matches the flag's center, of a diameter equal to the flag's hoist and whose circumference goes through the tips of the upper and lower tail penna and through the tip of the raised leg. The horizontality of the rooster shall be determined by a fictitious straight line joining the top of the crest to the tip of the tail upper penna.
The flag of the Region shall be hoisted on the third Sunday of September [The Region Day prescribed in Article 1 of the Decree] 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 can prescribe the hoisting of the flag on other days on the buildings mentioned in the previous paragraphs.


The flag is yellow with a red rooster facing the flag's hoist and lifting the right leg.
The flag is nicknamed coq hardi (bold rooster). The Walloon rooster is cognate with the French, Gallic rooster (coq gaulois), which is represented as crowing head up.
The flag and arms are traditional Walloon symbols. They are used both by the Walloon Region and the French Community. The officials of the two entities also use the same car flag. The seal used by the two entities, however, is slightly different, inscribed "RÉGION WALLONNE" for the Walloon Region.

>The flag of Wallonia is shown on the Flags of Aspirant Peoples chart [eba94], as No. 71, with the following caption:
Wallonia (Wallonie)
Francophons (Walloons)
South Belgium

Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 19 June 2004

History of the flag of the Walloon Region

The Decree prescribing the flag of the Walloon Region reproduces, word for word, the Bill tabled on 10 June 1998 at the Walloon Regional Council by Maurice Bayenet, Serge Kubla, Albert Liénard (d. 2011) and José Daras. The preamble of the Bill sheds light on the origin of the flag:

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 the 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. [...]

The Walloon Assembly (Assemblée Wallonne) was founded in 1912 by the Walloon Movement as a kind of unofficial Walloon parliament. When the Assembly decided to adopt an emblem for Wallonia, several symbols were proposed, including the perron of Liège, a star, a lark, a bull, a wildboar, a squirrel, and a rooster... The pun on the Latin names of the rooster (gallus) and of the Gaul (Gallus) was already popular.
The Walloon Assembly adopted the flag after two sessions, held on 16 March and 20 April 1913):

Wallonia shall adopt [as its emblem] the red rooster on a yellow background, with a sash of the Belgian national colours. The glorious history of the Principality of Liège, made of struggle for freedom (Charter of Huy, Peace of Fexhe, Perron, Declaration of the Human Rights by the Congress of Polleur...) inspires the colours "Or a bold rooster gules", the cry "Freedom" and the motto "Walloon forever!"

Yves Moreau (La genèse du drapeau wallon, Enquêtes du musée de la Vie wallonne, 16 (185-188), 1987) writes that the original proportions of the flag were 1:1 (square).

Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 19 June 2004

Perception of the flag of the Walloon Region

The flag was originally prescribed with a sash of the Belgian colours, inscribed with the dates 1830 and 1912. This was intended to show that the Walloon Movement was not anti-Belgian. The cravate quickly disappeared, however.

While the flag is a widely recognized symbol of Wallonia, Walloons with strong separatist feelings do not necessarily use it. The rattachistes, who promote the incorporation of Wallonia into France, campaign with a Tricolore French flag charged with the walloon rooster in the middle. Independentist Walloons, who are opposed to incorporation into France, consider the Walloon rooster as a collaborationist rooster (coq collabo).

Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 19 June 2004

Standard of the officials of the Walloon Region

[Officials' flag]

Standard of the officials of the Walloon Region - Image by Eugene Ipavec & Mark Sensen, 25 July 2006

The aforemenetioned Decree on the emblems of the Walloon Region (text) prescribes:

Article 5. The high authorities and the official representatives of the Walloon Region can use, in the exercise of their duties, a distinctive ceremonial marking. This marking, according to the model shown in Appendix 4 of this Decree, shall be a flag in proportions 26:30, designed as the flag described in Article 4 and bordered with a yellow and red fringe.

Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 19 June 2004

Walloon Region 15th anniversary flag

L'Écho - La Semaine en Wallonie, No. 82, 14 December 2001, recalls that the Walloon Regional Council decided on 11 December 1986 that Namur would be the capital of Wallonia and the seat of the Walloon Regional Assembly.
The newspaper adds that the 15th anniversary of the Decree was celebrated in the basement of the Walloon Parliament. During the ceremony, Bernard Anselme, Mayor of Namur, offered to Robert Collignon, President of the Parliament, a flag "on which the seal of the County of Namur and the Walloon rooster were closely merged".

Ivan Sache, 9 June 2005

Belgian-Walloon flag

[Officials' flag]

Belgian-Walloon flag - Image by Ivan Sache & Mark Sensen, 22 September 2012

The TV program Bienvenue chez les Belges (RTL TVI, 2010), "dedicated to funny, amazing and unexpected stories in Belgium", is made of 50 episodes of 26' each.
Episode No. 34, Les fans belges du Tour de France, features, among others, a fan using a Belgian national flag with a Walloon red rooster added in the yellow stripe. Unfortunately, the precise meaning of the flag is not explained.
This is the first time that I see such a flag; it clearly appears to be a home-made copy, with the rooster roughly stencilled on a Belgian flag.

Ivan Sache, 22 September 2012