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Thimister-Clermont (Municipality, Province of Liège, Belgium)

Last modified: 2012-02-25 by ivan sache
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[Flag of Thimister-Clermont]         [Proposal of flag of Thimister-Clermont]

Municipal flag of Thimister-Clermont - Images by Arnaud Leroy, 7 March 2005
Left, flag in use
Right, flag proposal, not used

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Presentation of Thimister-Clermont and its villages

The municipality of Thimister-Clermont (5,331 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 2,869 ha) is located north-east of Liège. The municipality of Thimister-Clermont was formed in 1976 by the merging of the former municipalities of Thimister, Clermont, Elsaute, Froidthier and La Minerie.

Thimister is named for thyme, once grown in the area. Thimister, the administrative center of the municipality, was part of the ban of Herve, a subdivision of the Duchy of Brabant.
The village is located close to the Chausseé Charlemagne, the main road between Liège and Aachen (Germany). In the beginning of August 1914, German Emperor William II presented King of Belgians Albert I with an ultimatum; the Emperor wanted his troops to cross Belgium on their way to France, which was a more convenient way than crossing the well-defended Rhine border. Belgium had decided to remain neutral and rejected the ultimatum, but Germany violated the Belgian neutrality and invaded the country. The 10th Army Corps, stationed near Aachen and commanded by General Otto von Emmich, was ordered to march against the fortified town of Liège via the Chaussée Charlemagne and the Country of Herve. On 4 August, a squadron of the Belgian 2nd Lancers Regiment was sent on reconnaissance and met the enemy on a place called La Croix-Polinard, near Thimister. Cavalryman Antoine Fonck, mortally wounded, was the first Belgian soldier killed during the war. A commemorative monument was erected near the place where he died on 23 August 1923; Fonck's heroism is celebrated every year in Thimister the first Sunday of August.
Thimister mostly lived from agriculture, producing Herve cheese (one of those very stinking Belgian cheeses, said to have been among Charlemagne's prefered cheese) and cider, whose production started in 1898 thanks to Joseph Ruwet.

Clermont-sur-Berwinne was a parish remotely depending on the church of Herve. In 1411, it was a free domain depending of the Duchy of Limburg. The French administration incorporated Clermont to the canton of Aubel; during the First World War, the Germans partially annexed it.
Clermont has kept a beautiful group of Louis XIII, Louis XIV and Louis XV houses. The town hall was rebuilt in 1888 over the main street of the village, so that is is said that in Clermont marriages are celebrated "over the street".

Elsaute is separated in two parts by the highway and the railway. The parish of Elsaute has always been split between the municipalities of Clermont (today part of Clermont-Thimister) and Henri-Chapelle (today part of Welkenraedt). Reverend Father Fabry, the former parish priest, used to say: A Elsaute faut que ça saute ! (In Elsaute, everything has to be done quickly), which is today a kind of unofficial motto of the village.
In the middle of December, hundreds of riders gather in Elsaute near a shrine dedicated to St. Eligius, where their horses are blessed, and then ride back to Elsaute where they have a wild time. The pilgrimage started in the middle of the 19th century.

Froidthier was mostly known for its woolen cloth factory, owned by the Snoeck family until destroyed in a blaze in 1888. In the hamlet of Chaumont, there is a monument dedicated to New Zealanders airmen who were shot down there during the Second World War.

La Minerie had an outcropping coal lode. In 1827, the Dutch government awarded the Bures concession to the Jeansson and Moreau families, which were succeeded by the Charbonnages Réunis de la Minerie.

Source: Municipal website

Ivan Sache, 7 March 2005

Municipal flag of Thimister-Clermont

The municipal flag of Thimister-Clermont, according to a photography obtained from the municipal administration, is white with the municipal coat of arms ("Or a cross engrailed sable") and the small black letters TC in lower hoist.

According to Armoiries communales en Belgique. Communes wallonnes, bruxelloises et germanophones [w2v03], the Heraldry and Vexillology Council of the French Community proposed a flag made of a banner of the municipal arms.

Arnaud Leroy, Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 10 June 2005