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French Community (Belgium)

Communauté française

Last modified: 2016-11-07 by ivan sache
Keywords: belgium | french community | communauté française |
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[Flag]

Flag of the French Community - Image by Mark Sensen, 13 July 2001


See also:


Presentation of the French Community

The French Community (Communauté française) has the jurisdiction on the Walloon provinces, the German-speaking Community excluded, and on the Region of Brussels-Capital.
Within the French Community, the legislative power is exercized by the Council of the French Community (Conseil de la Communauté française, 94 elected Councillors) and the Government of the French Community (a Minister-President and no more than seven Ministers), whereas the executive power is exercized by the Government of the French Community.
The competences of the Council and of the Government of the French-speaking Community are defined by the Federal Constitution of Belgium, adopted on 17 February 1994.

Ivan Sache, 28 November 2004


Flag of the French Community

[Flag]

Construction sheet for the flag - Image by Mark Sensen, 3 July 2001, after pictures attached to the Decree

Decree of 3 July 1991, published in the Belgian official gazette on 15 November 1991, prescribes the emblems of the French Community, which had replaced the French Cultural Community. The text of the Decree includes official pictures (black and white) for the flag (2:3), arms ("Or a bold rooster gules") and seal, and specifications for the position of the rooster in the flag.

Article 1. The day of the French Community in Belgium shall be celebrated every year on 27 September.

Article 2.. The arms of the French Community are "Or a coq hardi gules"; they shall be represented according to the model attached in Appendix 1 of the present Decree. The coq hardi from the arms can be used separately as the symbol of the Community.

Article 3. The seal of the French Community shall bear the coq hardi from the arms with the caption "COMMUNAUTÉ FRANÇAISE DE BELGIQUE". The caption shall be inscribed between two thin lines, clockwise, according to the model attached in Appendix 2 of the present Decree.

Article 4. The flag of the French Community is yellow with a red coq hardi.
According to the model attached in Appendix 3 of the present Decree, the flag shall have proportions two : three; the coq hardi is inscribed in an invisible circle whose center matches the center of the field of the flag, whose diameter equals the hoist of the flag, and whose circumference touches the ends of the upper and lower feathers of the tail and the end of the raised leg.
The horizontality of the roaster is determined by an invisible line joining the top of the comb to the end of the upper feather of the tail.

Article 5. The flag of the French Community shall be hoisted on 27 September on the public buildings of the French-speaking Region.
In this region, it shall also be hoisted over the official buildings in the same conditions and on the same days as the national flag.
In the bilingual Region of Brussels-Capital, the flag of the French Community shall be hoisted on 27 September on the public buildings housing the institutions considered as belonging exclusively to the French Community in Belgium.
The Executive can order the hoisting of the flag on other days on the aforementioned public buildings.

[Flag]

Flag of the Officials of the French Community - Image by Eugene Ipavec & Mark Sensen, 25 July 2006

Article 6. The higher authorities and the official representatives of the French Community in Belgium can use, in the exercise of their duties, a distinctive honorific emblem. This emblem, according to the model attached in Appendix 4 of the present Decree, shall be made of a flag in proportions twenty-six : thirty, designed as the flag described in Article 4, and bordered with a yellow and red fringe.

Article 7. The Decree of the Cultural Council of the Cultural French Community of 20 July 1975 prescribing a flag and a day to the French Community is abrogated.

Unsurprisingly, the Decree prescribing the very same emblems to the Walloon Region, adopted in 1998, uses the same wording, with some rearrangement of the paragraphs.

Mark Sensen, Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 19 June 2008


French Cultural Community (1970-1980)

[Flag]

Flag of the French Cultural Community - Image by Mark Sensen, 13 July 2001

The flag and day of the French Cultural Community (Communauté culturelle française), the forerunner of the French Community, were prescribed by a Decree adopted on 20 July 1975 by the Cultural Council of the French Community (Conseil culturel de la Communauté Française).

Mark Sensen, Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 19 June 2008


Wallonia (1913)

[Flag]

Flag of Wallonia, 1913 - Image by Mark Sensen, 13 July 2001

In the beginning of the 20th century, the Walloon Assembly (that is the assembly of the Walloon Movement [Mouvement Wallon], not the assembly of a Walloon Region or Community, which did not exist at that time), decided to adopt an emblem for Wallonia. Several symbols were proposed, including the perron of Liège, a star, a rooster, a lark, a bull, a wildboar, a squirrel... The pun on the Latin name of the rooster (gallus) and of the inhabitant of Gaul (Gallus) was already popular.
The Walloon Assembly decreed (16 March / 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, the [war] cry and the motto: "Or the bold rooster gules", with the cry Liberté [Freedom] and the motto Wallon toujours ! [Walloon forever!]

The emblem, designed by the painter Pierre Paulus (1881-1959) upon request by Paul Pastur (1866-1938), was adopted on 3 July 1913 by an artistic commission.
[Portail de la Région wallonne]

The proportions of the flag were 1:1 (square flag), according to Yves Moreau (La génèse du drapeau wallon, Enquêtes du musée de la vie wallonne, Tome XVI, 63e-64e années, N°185-188. 1987).

Mark Sensen, Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 19 June 2008


Heraldry and Vexillology Council of the French Community

[Flag]

Flag of the Heraldry and Vexillology Council of the French Community - Image by Ivan Sache,23 April 2016

The Decree establishing the Heraldry and Vexillology Council of the French Community and prescribing the rules of adoption of municipal flags, arms and seals in the French Community was adopted on 27 June 1985 by the Council of the French Community, confirmed on 5 July 1985 by the Executive of the French Community and published in the Belgian official gazette on 17 October 1985.
The Decree was subsequently modified by two Amendments, the first adopted on 10 April 2003 and published on 9 May 2003 in the Belgian official gazette, and the second adopted on 23 June 2006 and published on 27 September 2006 in the Belgian official gazette.
[Report of the Council, 2013]

Article 1. An Heraldry and Vexillology Council of the French Community, hereafter referred to as "the Council", shall be established.

Article 2. (abrogated) The Council shall be made of seven members with voting rights and one clerk with an advisory capacity.
The members and the clark are appointed by the Executive among the candidates proposed on a double list by the Council of the French Community.
The Council shall include at least a specialist in heraldry, a specialist in vexillology, a doctor-in-law or a law graduate and a representative of the Executive.
The members shall be appointed for four years and can be re-appointed.

Article 3. (abrogated) The Council shall elect a President among the councillors.
The President shall be appointed for one year and can be re-appointed.
In case of absence or impediment of the President, he shall be replaced by the earliest appointed councillor.

Article 4. As prescribed by the present Decree, every town or municipality can have arms, a seal and a flag.
The arms shall be reproduced on the seal of the town or the municipality. However, an historical seal with a different design can be recognized by the Executive, when the town or the municipality can vouch for its use from time immemorial.
The seal shall include, above, the caption Commune de... [Municipality of...] or Ville de... [Town of...], and, below, the caption Communauté française [French Community].
The flag shall reproduce the town or municipality's arms or shall combine the colours matching the arms' tinctures or, simply, the traditional colours of the town or municipality.
There shall not be identical flags, arms or seals for different towns or municipalities.

Article 5. As prescribed by the present Decree, the Council shall exercise an advisory competence when towns or municipalities require the recognition of arms, seals and flags.
Following the recommendation of the Heraldry Council, given within three months (deleted), the Executive of the French Community shall recognize, according to the procedures and the methods it has defined, the arms, seals and flags of the towns and municipalities which have asked for the recognition.

Article 6. (abrogated) The Council can issue certificates of the use from time immemorial, by the towns and municipalities, of arms, seals and flags.

Article 7. For the town and municipalities of the French Community, the Royal Decree from 6 February 1837 prescribing the shape of the municipal seals and the Royal Decree from 14 February 1913 on the recognition and grant of the municipal arms shall be abrogated.

Article 8. The present Decree shall come into force on the day of its publication in the Belgian official gazette.

The Heraldry and Vexillology Council of the French Community was inaugurated on 5 March 1989, with the following tasks:
- To design arms for the French Community. This was achieved by the Decree of 3 July 1991 prescribing the official day and the emblems of the French Community;
- To supply the Executive with recommendations on the arms, seals and flags of the municipalities resulting from the merger of former municipalities;
- To publish the Armorial of the French Community. This was achieved in 2002 with the release of the book Armoiries communales en Belgique - Communes wallonnes, bruxelloises et germanophones (2 volumes [w2v03] [w2v03a]);
- To supply the Executive with recommendations on the arms of individuals and family associations and their registration. Planned for 2004, the task was actually initiated on October 2010. A first version of the Armorial was published in 2013.
[Official website]

The flag and arms of the Heraldry and Vexillology Council of the French Community are prescribed by an Order adopted on 5 November 2014 by the Executive of the French Community and published on 2 February 2015 in the Belgian official gazette, No. 48, pp. 13,665-13,667.
The symbols are prescribed as follows:

Flag: Bicolored, red and yellow. The red field is charged in the upper part with a shield at hoist and a swallow-tailed oriflamme at fly, all yellow. At the base of the flag appears the red "coq hardi", placed on a yellow triangle.
Coat of arms: Per chevron reversed a shield plain or a swallow-tailed oriflamme of the same and or a 'coq hardi" gules.

The tinctures, as well as the "coq hardi", are the symbols of the French Community.
The shield of arms is a symbol of heraldry.
The swallow-tailed oriflamme, the kind of banner used in the early ages of heraldry, is a symbol of vexillology in its broader sense.

Ivan Sache & Pascal Vagnat, 29 March 2016


 
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