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Zonhoven (Municipality, Province of Limburg, Belgium)

Last modified: 2015-07-28 by ivan sache
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[Flag of Zonhoven]

Municipal flag of Zonhoven - Image by Filip van Laenen, 13 October 2001

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Presentation of Zonhoven

The municipality of Zonhoven (20,060 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 3,934 ha) is located just north of Hasselt.

Zonhoven means, according to the popular etymology, de zon die schijnt boven onze hoven, "the sun shining over our farms". Pr. Molemans, however, proposed in 1982 a more probable etymology; the oldest known written form of Zonhoven, Sonue / Sonuwe, is made on the Germanic root ahwjo, from ahwa, "water", and on sou, the old name of the brook Roosterbeek. Zonhoven would therefore mean "the low lands near the Roosterbeek".

Zonhoven was a domain in the County of Loon. together with the domains of Houthalen and Vogelsanck (Zolder), Zonhoven formed the dowry brought in 1308 by Mathilda of Loon to Godfried of Heinsberg. The three domains formed until the French Revolution of Barony with the right of higher and lower justice. The lord of Bastogne was appointed the first lord of Vogelsanck in 1309.
In 1336, Vogelsanck was transferred to William of Oreye and his son Arnoul of Rummen, husband of Elisabeth of Flanders, the natural daughter of Louis of Nevers. The domain was later transferred to Jan of Hamal, who kept it until 1390. By marriage, Vogelsanck was transferred to the La Marck family and the castle of Vogelsanck was involved in the war between the La Marck and Hoorn families. In 1490, the castle was seized by Robrecht de La Marck, lord of Sedan, and Jeannot le Bâtard, respectively the nephew and the son-in-law of the famous William de La Marck, the Ardennes Boar. On 3 April 1490, the troops of Prince-Bishop of Liège Jan of Hoorn defeated the partisans of La Marck on the moors of Zandhoven; Robrecht and Jan were captured, while the lord of Vogelsanck faught together with Hoorn.

Source: Municipal website

Ivan Sache, 5 January 2008

Municipal flag of Zandhoven

The municipal flag of Zonhoven is blue with a yellow sun (with eyes, nose and mouth) in the middle.
According to Gemeentewapens in België - Vlaanderen en Brussel, the flag was adopted by the Municipal Council on 25 April 1980, confirmed by Royal Decree on 16 April 1981 and published in the Belgian official gazette on 12 May 1981 and, again, on 4 January 1995.
The flag is a banner of the municipal arms, but with a different representation of the sun.

According to the municipal website, the "canting" arms of Zonhoven, "Azure a sun shining or", were granted by Royal Decree on 29 May 1838.

Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 5 January 2008