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Momignies (Municipality, Province of Hainaut, Belgium)

Last modified: 2014-01-12 by ivan sache
Keywords: momignies | macon | fleurs-de-lis: 3 (yellow) | ermine (black) | flowers: 3 (yellow) |
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[Flag of Momignies]         [Flag of Momignies]

Flag of Momignies - Images by Arnaud Leroy, 15 May 2007
Left, flag in use
Right, flag proposal, not in use

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Presentation of Momignies

The municipality of Momignies (5,140 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 8,558 ha, including 2,785 ha of forests) is located in the Boot of Hainaut, west of Chimay. The municipality of Momignies is made since 1976 of the former municipalities of Momignies, Macon, Monceau-Imbrechies, Macquenoise, Beauwelz, Forge-Philippe and Seloignes. Some 3/4 of the limits of the municipality is made by the border with France.

The main monument of Momignies is the big bandstand built on the village square. Bandstands represent a local tradition dating back to the end of the 19th century. In the Boot of Hainaut and in the country of Avesnois (in France), most villages had a square with a bandstand. They were the ordinary people's alternative to the private concerts given by the wealthy in their parks and residences. The Momignies bandstand, built in 1887 is a classical, octogonal edifice, in which the musicians sit slightly above the ground level (in French, this is called kiosque à musique and is a common, old-fashioned feature of the spas). The kiosque à danser seems to be specific of Hainaut: the edifice has the shape of a mushroom and the stand is located on a stalk, so that the dancers can go under it.

On 8 February 1944, the American B17 Susan Ruth heading to Francfort was shot and crashed down near Beauwelz. Two out of the 10 crew members were killed during the crash, another three were captured and executed by the Germans in Saint-Rémy on 22 April. Four out of the five survivors could attend the inauguration of the commemorative stele in August 1989.
On 2 September 1944, the American troops entered Belgium at the border hamlet of Cendron, near the village of Forge-Philippe. The first fighting for the liberation of Belgium took place the same day on the ridge of Imbrechies, where 12 GIs were killed.

Momignies has a long tradition of glassmaking, which dates back to the Roman times. There was plenty of wood, sand, soda and water in the region. The local sandstone was used to build the ovens and the crucibles. The glassworks were set up on the edge of the forests; Emperor Charles V allowed the glassmakers to build ovens wherever they wanted. Several glassworkers came from Venice or Germany, and the trade secrets were transmitted only from father to son. In the 17th century, most glassworks disappeared from Momignies because of the wars. Moreover, the beginning of industrial coal mining in the basin of Charleroi encouraged the glassworkers to move there: the first glassworks powered by coal was set up in Charleroi in 1669, so that the town became quickly one of the main world centers of glass production. Several glassworks still existed near Momignies, but in France. In 1898, the French manufacturer Chambon decided to set up glassworks in Belgium because the English import tax was lower for the Belgian than for the French products. The Momignies glassworks employed in 1889 53 men, 5 women and 30 children. The glassworks was a good example of paternalistic capitalism, with a three-day festival on St. Lawrence Day, decorations, medals, a choral etc. Édouard Chambon wrote around 1923 a Glass-blowers' Song.
The mechanization of glass-blowing started in 1932 and was completed in 1946. The Momignies factory was incorporated to the Verlipack group in 1975; in March 1985, the group was bankrupted and the Momignies glassworks was reopened as the Nouvelles Verreries de Momignies. It was incorporated to the German group Gerresheim in 1997 and submitted to a major restructuring programme in 2002-2004. Today, the Nouvelles Verreries de Momignies produce 240 millions pieces per year, mostly for the French luxury industry (L'Oréal, Givenchy, Dior, YSL, Chanel...)


Ivan Sache, 15 May 2007

Flag of Momignies

The municipal flag of Momignies is vertically divided blue-white-red with the municipal coat of arms in the middle.
The coat of arms of Momignies is "Quarterly, 1 and 4 argent three fesses gules, 2 and 3 quarterly azure three fleurs de lis or placed 2 and 1 gules an escutcheon ermines all over, an escutcheon gules three quintefoils or.
On the flag , the shield is topped by a crown and surmonts a yellow label with the name of the municipality in black letters. According to Servais [svm55], these were the arms of Macon before 1976. The first and fourth quarters are the arms of Croÿ, found on several Belgian municipal coat of arms.

According to Armoiries communales en Belgique. Communes wallonnes, bruxelloises et germanophones [w2v03a], the Heraldry and Vexillology Council of the French Community proposed another design, which is not used by the municipality, as Bleu à la hampe et rouge au large, ces deux couleurs séparées par un triangle renversé blanc de base égale au guindant.
The proposed flag is made with the traditional colours of the municipality, arranged in a "M" pattern recalling Momignies.

Arnaud Leroy, Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 15 May 2007