Last modified: 2008-09-06 by ivan sache
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Flag of the French Community - Images by Mark Sensen, 13 July 2001
The French Community has the jurisdiction on the Walloon provinces, excluding the German-speaking Community, 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 the Government of the French-speaking Community are defined by the Federal Consitution of Belgium, adopted on 17 February 1994.
Ivan Sache, 28 November 2004
The French Community officially adopted the traditional Walloon flag as its flag on 3 July 1991.
Pascal Vagnat, 17 May 1996
In the beginning of the XXth 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):
La Wallonie adopte le coq rouge sur fond jaune, cravate aux couleurs nationales belges. L'histoire glorieuse de la Principaute de Liège, faite de luttes pour les libertés (Charte de Huy, Paix de Fexhe, perron, déclaration des droits de l'homme du Congrès de Polleur...) inspire les couleurs, le cri et la devise: le coq hardi de gueules sur or, avec le cri "Liberté" et la devise "Wallon toujours!"
Wallonia shall adopt [as its emblem] the red rooster on a yellow background, with a cravate of the Belgian national colours. The glorious history of the Principality of Liège, made of struggle for freedom (Chart 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 "Freedom" and the motto "Walloon forever!"
Paul Pastur asked the painter Pierre Paulus to design the emblem. Paulus' design was adopted on 3 July 1913 by an artistic commission.
Source: Official website of the Walloon RegionThe 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).
The Decree of 20 July 1975 by the Conseil culturel de la Communauté Française prescribes the flag of the French Cultural Community (Communauté culturelle française, the forerunner of the French Community), also mentioning a Community Day.
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.
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
Flag of the Officials of the French Community - Image by Eugene Ipavec & Mark Sensen, 25 July 2006, after Appendix 4 of the 1991 Decree
The Decree establishing the Council 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 mentions "towns" (villes) and "municipalities"
(communes), which indeed have the same administrative status, the
honorific title of "town" being granted to the municipalities that
deserve it for particular reasons, mostly historical.
I have kept in my translation some inconsistencies of the original text. The title of the Decree says "the flag, the arms and the seal" while Article 4 says "arms, a seal and a flag" and, subsequently, "arms, flags and seals". Articles 5 and 6 say "arms, seals and flags".
Article 1. An Heraldry and Vexillology Council of the French Community, hereafter referred to as "the Council", shall be established.
Article 2. 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. 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, 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. 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 Moniteur Belge [Belgian official gazette]."
Ivan Sache, 15 January 2008