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Limburg (Province, Belgium)


Last modified: 2009-03-21 by ivan sache
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[West Flanders]

Flag of the Province of Limburg - Image by Gerard Van der Vaart, 19 March 1997

See also:

Presentation of the province of Limburg

The Belgian Province of Limburg should not be called so, since it has no relationship with the historical Duchy of Limburg! Accordingly, it should not use a flag so blatantly derived from the banner of arms of the Duchy of Limburg. Here is the (hi)story:

At the end of the Ancient Regime, the region limited by Liège, Maastricht and Aachen was divided among several feudal states: the County of Loon (in French, Looz), the Principality of Liège (in Dutch, Luik), the Duchy of Limburg, the domains of Valkenburg and 's Hertogenrad (belonging to Limburg) and the County of Dalhem.
After the incorporation of Belgium to France in 1794, the feudal system was suppressed and the country was divided into nine departments, which are the origin of the current ten Belgian provinces (Brabant split much later). The Principality of Liège (pro parte), the Duchy of Limburg, the County of Dalhem and a few other smaller domains were merged into the Department of Ourthe, with Liège as its capital. The County of Loon, the domains of Valkenburg and 's Hertogenrad and a few other smaller domains were merged into the Department of Lower Maas, with Maastricht as its capital. The eastern part of the region formed the Department of Roer, which was later ceded to Germany.

After the fall of Napoléon I, the Congress of Vienna reconstituted the Kingdom of the Netherlands under the rule of William I, including what would later be Belgium. William renamed the Departments "Provinces" and changed their names: the Department of Ourthe became the Province of Liège and the Department of Lower Maas became the Province of Limburg. However, the former capital of the Duchy of Limburg (the town of Limbourg) was already in the Province of Liège. The Province of Limburg was mostly constituted by the County of Loon; its only parts formerly ruled by Limburg were Valkenburg and s' Hertogenrad.
Belgium seceded from the Netherlands in 1830. The sharing of Limburg between the two neighbours was difficult. The "24 Articles' treaty", signed in 1839 only, allocated to the Netherlands the part of the Province of Limburg located east of the Maas. This is the origin of the two Belgian and Dutch Limburgs. The Dutch Limburg is still related to the historical Duchy of Limburg but the Belgian Limburg does not include a single piece of land formerly belonging to the Duchy, being mostly made of the former County of Loon.

Source: Pascal Parent, Belgique : province de Limbourg. Vexillacta [vxl], #13, September 2001.

Ivan Sache, 8 June 2005

Provincial flag of Limburg

The provincial flag of Limburg is white with a red lion with yellow tongue and claws. The lion bears a Ducal coronet and an escutcheon made of ten yellow and red horizontal stripes. It is a banner of the provincial arms.
After the adoption of the federal system in Belgium, the Flemish Community imposed the adoption of arms and flags by all the provinces and municipalities of Flanders. The new arms of Limburg were derived from the arms of the Duchy of Limburg, with the addition of a Ducal coronet over the lion and of an escutcheon with the colours of Loon.
The flag and arms of Limburg were adopted by the Provincial Council on 8 May 1996 and confirmed by the Executive of Flanders on 29 October 1996.

Source: Pascal Parent, op. cit.

Ivan Sache, 8 June 2005

Coat of arms of Limburg

[Coat of arms of Limburg]

Provincial coat of arms of Limburg - Image forwarded by Rik Beijnsberger, 12 December 1998

The provincial arms of Limburg are "Argent a lion rampant gules crowned, armed and langued or an escutcheon barrulet of ten pieces or and gules".
The supporters are a deer and a swan, the respective mascots of Hasselt, the provincial capital, and Tongeren. Tongeren is the oldest town in Belgium, formerly known as Atuatica Tungrorum, the home town of Ambiorix, the Eburon King who challenged and fought Julius Caesar.

Filip Van Laenen & Rik Beijnsberger, 12 December 1998

Former flag of Limburg

[Former flag of Limburg]     [Former flag of Limburg]

Former, unofficial flag of the province of Limburg, in proportion 1:1 (left) or 2:3 (right) - Images by Geraard van der Vaaart, 19 March 1997

Until recently, the Province of Limburg used a banner of the arms of the Duchy of Limburg, supposed to be square but often stretched to the 2:3 proportion.
William I confered arms to the (then united) Province of Limburg in 1817, as:
Argent a forked-tailed lion gules armed crowned and langued or.

Logically, the Belgian Province of Limburg should have changed its name and adopted the arms of the former County of Loon:
Barrulet of ten pieces or and gules.
Those arms are today the municipal arms of Borgloon (in French, Looz). From time to time, historians have asked for a change in the name and the arms of the province, to no avail.

Source: Pascal Parent, op. cit.

Ivan Sache, 8 June 2005

Colours of Limbourg

[Limburg provincial colours]     [Limburg provincial colours]

Unofficial colours of Limburg - Images by Mark Sensen, 27 January 2001

The Province of West Flanders 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) shows a flag horizontally divided red-white.
Some Dutch atlases and books about the provinces show another design, published by Rudi Koot in Vexilla Nostra [vxn]#185 (1993) p. 32-33, as horizontally divided white-red.

Mark Sensen, 6 February 2001

Honorary flag of the Governor of Limburg

[Governor's flag]     [Governor's former flag]

Honorary flag of the Governor of Limburg, 1996- (left) and 1936-1996 (right) - Images 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.
The honoray flag of the Governor of Limburg was changed accordingly when the official provincial coat of arms was adopted in 1996.

Mark Sensen, 27 January 2001

Provinciale Hogeschool Limburg

[Flag of PHL]

Flag of PHL - Image by Ivan Sache, 31 December 2008

"Provinciale Hogeschool Limburg" (PHL) was founded in 1995 by the merging of six provincial higher education institutes. PHL has c. 4,000 students scattered over three campuses in Hasselt: Elfde Linie (Main campus: Commerce Sciences and Businees Management, Plastic Arts, Education), Hasselt Centrum (Healthcare) and Muziekodrom (Music), and one in Diepenbeek (Architecture, Biotechnics).

The flag of PHL, as shown on a photo of the campus of Hasselt Centrum, available on the PHL website, is white with a simplified version of the logo of PHL surmonting the name of the institute in green capital letters. The emblem of PHL, as shown on the flag, is made of six diamonds placed 1 + 2 + 3, all green but the right diamond of the second row, which is white. The white letters "P", "H" and "L" are placed in the respective diamonds of the third row.

Ivan Sache, 31 December 2008

Xios Hogeschool Limburg

Xios Hogeschool Limburg is a non- university advanced learning institute, with campuses at Hasselt and Diepenbeek. Now ten years going, courses are offered in economics, technology, education, and social work.

The flag of the institute is white with the logo of the institute in the middle.

Jan Mertens, 31 December 2008