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Ferrières (Municipality, Province of Liège, Belgium)

Last modified: 2007-12-02 by ivan sache
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[Flag of Ferrieres]

Municipal flag of Ferrières - Image by Arnaud Leroy, 16 July 2007

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Presentation of Ferrières

The municipality of Ferrières (4,505 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 5,690 ha) is located near Huy, in the region of Condroz. The municipality of Ferrières is made since 1976 of the former municipalities of Ferrières, My, Vieuxville, Werbomont and Xhoris.

Vieuxville is the place of the ruins of the fortress of Logne. Mentioned for the first time in 883, the fortress belonged to the abbey of Stavelot. It was fortified in 1138 by Abbot Wilbald and the village of Logne developed around the castle. The fortifications were increased in the next centuries.
In 1427, Abbot Jean Godeschale de Gueuzaine sold the castle for 400 guilders to Everard II de La Marck, lord of Arenberg. The turbulent de La Marck family significantly contributed to the troubles that torn the Principality of Liège apart in the XV-XVIth century, using the fortress of Logne as a stronghold. Everard's grandson, Guillaume de La Marck, better known as the Wild Boar of the Ardennes and popularized by Walter Scott's novel Quentin Durward (1823) and Delacroix' painting Le massacre de l'évêque de Liège, challenged Prince-Bishop of Liège Louis de Bourbon, who had granted him the fortress of Franchimont but eventually banned him from the Principality. La Marck went to France and convinced King Louis XI to fund a small army under his command, which would allow the passage of the French troops throught Liège to Brabant. La Marck invaded the Principality, marched against Liège and murdered the Bishop on 30 August 1482; then he submitted and plundered the Principality and appointed his son Jean Prince-Bishop. However, Jean de Hornes was elected Prince-Bishop in Leuven and immediatly recognized as the legitimate ruler by the Pope and the German Emperor. A bloody war started between La Marck, supported by Louis XI, and Emperor Maximilian. Guillaume eventually recognized the authority of Jean de Hornes on 21 May 1484; the next year, he was captured in an ambush and beheaded in Maastricht on 18 June 1485, but his brothers Everard and Robert carried on the struggle against Jean de Hornes.
Robert II de La Marck, lord of Sedan and Guillaume's nephew, challenged Emperor Charles V, who decided in 1521 to get rid of the La Marck and their fortresses. The castle of Logne was besieged on 20 April and seized on 1 May; its defenders were exectuted and the ruined castle was reallocated to the abbey of Stavelot and mostly used to rebuild the village. The ruins were purchased by the Province of Liège in 1967 and restored.

Source: Belgian Castles website

Ivan Sache, 2 July 2007

Municipal flag of Ferrières

According to Armoiries communales en Belgique. Communes wallonnes, bruxelloises et germanophones the Heraldry and Vexillology Council of the French Community made the following proposal for the flag of Ferrières:
Jaune traversé d'une triple laize longitudinale ondée occupant les 3/10e du guindant et chargée au centre d'un cercle rouge de diamètre équivalent.
Yellow with a triple horizontal wavy stripe (on the image in the source, the stripes are rather dancetty, indented) stretching over the 3/10th of the flag height and charged in the middle with a red disk of the same diameter.
The flag is a "vexillological abstract interpretation" of the municipal arms, D'or à un tête de gorgone de gueules, or a Gorgon's head gules.

The municipal website shows a tiny image of the coat of arms, with a black background.
The Gorgon is a hell's monster mentioned by Homer (Odysseus, XI, 633). Hesiod (Theogony, 274) lists three Gorgons, Stheno, Euryala and the most famous of them, Medusa. According to Ovid (Metamorphoses, IV, 653; V, 241), Medusa's hair were snakes. She was so ugly that anybody watching her was immediatly petrified. Using a mirror shield and a magic sword forged by Hermes, Perseus cut Medusa's head. He offerred the head (Gorgoneion) to Athena, who used it to decorate her shield, the aegis.

Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 2 July 2007