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Namur (Province, Belgium)


Last modified: 2007-08-12 by ivan sache
Keywords: namur | namen | wallonia | lion (black) | governor |
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Flag of the Province of Namur - Image by Ivan Sache, 20 March 2006

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History of the County of Namur

The County of Namur appeared in the Xth century around the early County of Lhomme. The County was located between the County of Hainaut and the Principality of Liège, and was submitted to several dismemberings, mostly by Liège (Couvin, Ciney, Dinant, Fosses...). The County reached its maximum area under Count Henri the Blind, in the second half of the XIIth century.
In the XIIIth century, Count of Namur Baudouin of Courtenay was the last Latin Emperor of Constantinople (as Baudouin II, 1228-1261). From the end of the XIIIth century to the beginning of the XVth century, the County of Namur was dynastically united with the County of Flanders ruled by the Dampierre family; this was a period of wealth with the increase of the cities and industry. The County of Namur was sold in 1429 to the Duke of Burgundy.
After the French Revolution, the former County of Namur, with the addition of some places and the excision of the Liège enclaves, formed the department of Sambre-et-Meuse. Until 1814, the department matched the former County, excluding Charleroi, Fosses and Fleurus, but including the eastern cantons of Marche-en-Famenne, Beauraing, Gedinne, Saint-Hubert and Wellin. The Dutch rule transformed the department into the Province of Namur, allocated the cantons of Marche-en-Famenne and Saint-Hubert to the Province of Luxembourg and reincoporated the cantons of Gedinne, Couvin, Philippeville and Mariembourg to the Province of Namur.

Source: Website of the Province of Namur

Ivan Sache, 20 March 2006

Flag of the Province of Namur

The flag and arms of the province of Namur were adopted by the Provincial Council on 15 October 1953, as follows

The Provincial Council

According to the proposal by the Permanent Deputation for the adoption of the official flag of the Province of Namur and the description of its blazon;
According to the report of Mr. J. Bovesse, Curator of the National Archives in Namur;
Whereas it results from the studies by Messers. the historians Brouwers and Huart that the black and red colours, used by the Province since 1930, are those of a former Count of Namur, Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgondy; [whereas] if the black and yellow colours have been more often in use in the county of Namur, especially in the XVIIIth century, their adoption by the Province is no longer relevant since the city of Namur has adopted them during the session of the Municipal Council of 22 January 1909;
Rules that

Article First

The flag of the Province of Namur is made of black and red colours, placed parallel to the hoist, black at hoist.

Namur, the 15th of October 1953

Ivan Sache & Geraard Van der Vaart, 3 September 2000

Unofficial banner of arms of the Province of Namur

[Namur banner of arms]

Unofficial flag of the Province of Namur - Image by Geraard Van der Vaart, 11 October 2001

The arms of the Province of Namur are:
Or a lion sable armed and langued gules a bend of the same.
A square banner of these arms is used as the unofficial province flag.

Source: M. Lupant. Flags and coat of arms of the Kingdom of Belgium [lup98]

John I of Flanders, born from Gui of Dampierre and his second wife Isabelle of Luxembourg, was the youngest son of the House of Flanders. When he received the County of Namur in 1297, he took for banner the lion of Flanders with a red bend as the brisure, and crowned the lion with a Count's crown.

Ivan Sache, 11 October 2001

Baudouin of Courtenay (descended in female line from the Flanders-Hainaut family) already bore those arms (minus the crown) in 1254 as Marquis of Namur (to note that John I would also have been Marquis, Namur was erected a Marquisate late in the XIIth century, though both titles remained in use). The "Count" of Namur entry of the Bigot roll of arms (dated to spring 1254) is le conte de Namur, l'escu d'or au lion noir au baston de gueules en beslive, in a more modern French blazoning d'or au lion de sable au bâton de gueules. Even before that date it can be assumed that some of the Flanders-Hainaut-Namur family bore these arms. They are indeed a brisure of the arms of Flanders, but predate the Dampierre dynasty by 50-100 years. Certainly Henri of Vianden (married to Marguerite of Courtenay who held Namur from 1229-1237) and his son Philip already bore arms identical to those of Baudouin of Courtenay.
So the only innovation John I might have brought is the crown, if so it would be to denote Namur as a Marquisate, though this late addition is odd (particularly as several Marquis of Namur had also been Latin Emperors of Constantinople, Baudouin of Courtenay for one).

Caranorn Aglaredhel, 22 December 2006

Colours of the Province of Namur

[Namur provincial colours]

Unofficial colours of Namur - Image by Mark Sensen, 27 January 2001

The Province of Namur used, unofficially, colours taken from the arms. These colours were not fixed.
A chart called Vlaggen der Belgische Provincies - Drapeaux des Provinces Belges (Flags of the Belgian Provinces; not dated, but to judge from the font type used, from the 1920s-1930s), as well as some Dutch atlases and books about the provinces, published by Rudi Koot in Vexilla Nostra [vxn]#185 (1993) p. 32-33, show the colours of Namur as horizontally divided red-black-yellow.

Mark Sensen, 6 February 2001

Honorary flag of the Governor of Namur

[Governor's honorary flag]

Honorary flag of the Governor of Namur - Image by Mark Sensen, 27 January 2001

The honorary flags of the Province Governors were adopted by Council Order on 28 October 1936. They are shown with construction details on a book (bilingual Dutch and French) containing regulations (for the Navy?). Each flag is a square version of the Belgian national flag with the respective province arms in the center of the black stripe. The flag is 150 x 150 cm, therefore each stripe is 50 cm in width. The shield is 43.5 cm in width and 50 cm in height, excluding 3.75 cm for the point of the shield.

Mark Sensen, 27 January 2001