Last modified: 2007-11-03 by ivan sache
Keywords: chaumont-gistoux |
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Municipal flag of Chaumont-Gistoux - Image by Arnaud Leroy, 29 April 2006
The municipality of Chaumont-Gistoux (11,043 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 4,808 ha) is located near Nivelles. The municipality is made since 1976 of the former municipalities of Chaumont-Gistoux, Bonlez, Corroy-le-Grand, Dion-Valmont and Longueville.
Chaumont-Gistoux is mentioned on a chart dated 1019-1030. Chaumont
means "the bare mount" (in Latin, calvus mons), whereas Gistoux comes
from gesteau, "a sandy hill". Chaumont belonged in the VIIth century
to the abbey of Ghent and was transferred, as a free domain, to the
Prince-Bishop of Liège, in spite of belonging to the Duchy of Brabant.
The odd situation of Chaumont was very profitable to the villagers. They were never granted any municipal chart but their total independence from the Duke of Brabant was confirmed several times. As a de jure enclave of Liège into Brabant, Chaumont often exercized the right of asylum: after having paid a fee, anybody sentenced in Brabant could settle "freely" in Chaumont, provided he promised to be quite and to avoid any unlawful act. The farmers of Chaumont owning plots in Brabant could bring there seeds and fertilizers and bring back crops without paying any tax. This privilege was confirmed on 16 September 1670 by the Council of Finances on behalf of the King. The villagers were also exempted of tax when they purchased foods and goods in the markets of Brabant. The specific situation of Chaumont caused a lot of frauds and quarrels with the neighbouring villages.
Bonlez (from Latin bonum latus, "the good side of the valley"), was originally separated into two domains, Haut- (Upper) and Bas-Bonlez (Lower Bonlez). In the XVIIth century, Bas-Bonlez became a Barony and was granted a feudal court.
Corroy-le-Grand was known in 1441 as Coratum magnum. In 1152, the village belonged to the chapter of the St. Peter church in Liège. On the eve of the battle of Waterloo in 1815, the rearguard of the Prussian army, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Ledebur, fought a skirmish in Corroy with the French cavalry commanded by General Exelmans and moving back to Wavre.
Dion-Valmont was transferred as Dion-le-Mont to the abbey of Gembloux in 987, which kept it until 1623. The name of the village is related to the Celtic root *divona, "a sacred river". In 1815, the 30,000 men commanded by Von Bülow camped in Dion on the eve of the battle of Waterloo and sacked the village.
Longueville, lit. "a long village" (in Latin, longua villa) is said locally to be a very ancient settlement. It was an important crossroads with roads to Wavre, Leuven, Jodoigne and Chaumont.
Ivan Sache, 29 April 2006
The municipal flag of Chaumont-Gistoux is horizontally divided
red-white by a wavy line.
According to the Armoiries communales en Belgique. Communes wallonnes, bruxelloises et germanophones, the flag was adopted by the Municipal Council on 31 August 1995 and confirmed by the Executive of the French Community on 11 September 1998, with the following description:
Coupé ondé rouge sur blanc.
The drawing in the source book is wrong, showing the flag divided white-red.
The colours of the flag are the main colours of the municipal coat of
De gueules au lion d'argent, la queue fourchue et passée en sautoir, armé, lampassé et couronné d'or, à une cotice de sable brochant sur le tout (Gules a lion argent, the tail forked in saltire, armed, langued and crowned or, a cotice sable all over).
The wavy partition recalls the former arms of Corroy-le-Grand.
Arnaud Leroy, Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 29 April 2006