mostbet
This page is part of © FOTW Flags Of The World website

Region of Brussels-Capital (Belgium)

Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest, Région de Bruxelles-Capitale

Last modified: 2002-10-12 by
Keywords: brussels | brussel | bruxelles | iris | belgium | law | coat of arms | roaster (red) | lion (grey) | lion (black) |
Links: FOTW homepage | search | disclaimer and copyright | | mirrors



[Flag of Brussels-Capital]by Mark Sensen


See also:


Origin and meaning of the flag

The valley of the river Senne has been housing Brussels for more than1,000 years. With time, the lower town has progressively spread through the marshy bottoms. In the Dukes of Brabant's times, the marshy plains covered with golden irises encircled the town walls.
According to a legend, this simple plant gave a great strategic victory to the Duke's soldiers. Those knew that iris can grow immersed only in a few centimeters of water. They broke into a gallop through the flooded plains but carefully let their horses stamping iris hills. Their opponents, less knowledgeable in botanics and encouraged by the apparently careless gallop of the Duke's soldiers, got definitively bogged into the marshes.

Iris pseudacorus is the scientific name of the golden iris, the symbol of the region of Brussels-Capital, which is widely used (tramways, subway, taxis etc...) but ill-known.

The choice of this marsh iris as the symbol of Brussels did not occur for the creation of the region of Brussels-Capital (18 June 1989), as often believed.
In 1924, R. Cornette wrote that "this flower was chosen because it grows in the marshes, recalling that the capital was funded on the marshy banks of the Senne river and its tributaries (Maalbeek, Roodkloosterbeek, Geleytsbeek, Vuylbeek, Kerkebeek, Leybeek,...).
Nowadays, in spite of the ultra-rapid urbanisation, the iris can still be found in its naturel habit in the vale of Vuylbeek, in the forest of Soignes.

On 5 March 1991, the Regional Council of Brussels-Capital decided to chose an iris as emblem for the region. A public contest was organized to define its design. After several adventures, the proposal of Jacques Richez was granted by the authorities."

Translated from the EuroBru Website, with kind permission of F. Henrion, general Secretary of EuroBru.

Ivan Sache, 28 November 1999

The iris is a bulb that blossoms into large, decorative flowers. It grows particularly well in marshes, with which the territory of Brussels was originally covered.
This flower was also prominent on the sceptre of the descendants of Charlemagne, including Charles of France, who set up his fortified camp in Bruocsella, which the emperor Otto II had invested as the Duchy of Basse-Lotharingie in 977. The site was chosen as capital by Charles of France in 979, a date considered to be that of the foundation of Brussels.
So the iris is a symbol of Brussels ancient origin. And it was the inspiration for France fleur-de-lis. Note also that Brussels, shortly after its foundation, became the unfortunate rival of Paris in the struggle of the pretenders to the throne of France, the Carolingians and the Capetians.

Quoted from the CIRB-CIBG Website

The iris as "inspiration for France fleur-de-lis" is a widely used explanation, without any serious evidence. The case of the fleur-de-lis is deeply scrutinized by M. Pastoureau [pst98], in 16 pages of well-documented text. Whether the fleur-de-lis was inspired by a real iris, broom, furze or lotus is not known and not really important.

Ivan Sache, 9 December 1999


Law concerning the flag and the emblem

Law of the 16th of May 1991. The emblem of the region is the iris flower. The flag is blue with a yellow iris flower bordered white. Proportions 2:3.

The law gives the possible different versions of the flag and emblem(colour specification according to Pantone system):

field

iris

border

1

Blue 280

Yellow 116

White 

2

Blue 280

Gold 874

White

3

Black

Black*

White
*with 50% screen effect.

1

Yellow 116

Blue 280

2

Gold 874

Blue 280

3

White

Black 

Pascal Vagnat, 17 May 1996


French Community Commission of the Region of Brussels-Capital (Commission Communautaire Française de la Région de Bruxelles-Capitale)

[French Community Commission flag]from Shipmate website, with permission

This Commission, created by a special law on 12th January 1989,depends on the French Community of Belgium but was granted a large autonomy of decision on the territory of the Region.

Its arms, flag and seal were adopted on 30 June 1992.
The flag (proportion 2:3) is quarterly divided:

Source: M. Lupant [lup98]

Ivan Sache, 10 June 2001


Flemish Community Commission of the Region of Brussels-Capital (Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie van het Brusselse Hoofdstedelijk Gewest)

[Flemish Community Commission]by Mark Sensen

Same status as the French Commission, in relation to the Flemish Community.

Flag adopted on 9 June 2000 (Moniteur Belge)

Mark Sensen, 10 June 2001


Former flag

[Flemish Community Commission flag]from Shipmate website, with permission

The former arms, flag and seal of the Commission were adopted on 4 December 1992.
The flag (proportion 2:3) was white with the arms in the middle.
The arms were a square diamond horizontally divided yellow-black, charged with a white square diamond slightly rotated including a Flemish lion in grey dotted lines.

Source: M. Lupant [lup98]

Ivan Sache, 10 June 2001

This flag was not recognized either by the Flemish Heraldic Council or the Flemish Minister responsible for Brussels.

Pascal Vagnat, 19 May 2001, via the BeNeVex mailing-list

Mostbet