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Herve (Municipality, Province of Liège, Belgium)

Last modified: 2003-01-18 by
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[Flag of Herve]by Ivan Sache

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Presentation of Herve

Herve is a city of 15,000 inhabitants, located on the plateau de Herve, between Liège and Verviers, in the arrondissement of Verviers.

Herve was granted its first municipal rights in 1276; in early 1977, the municipality of Herve was created by merging the forerm municipalities of Battice, Bolland, Chaineux, Charneux, Grand-Rechain, Herve, Julémont and Xhendelesse.

Jarig Bakker, 4 May 2002

Description of the flag

The colours of the flag are derived from the coat of arms. Blue was placed along the hoist since it was the colour of the field of the arms. Yellow was placed at fly since it was the colour of the charge of the arms.

Source: Municipal website

Ivan Sache, 4 May 2002

Description of the coat of arms

In an act dated 1270, the mayeur (Mayor) and the échevins (Municipal Councillors) complained they had no seal for their charter. On 29 August 1276, however, the échevins of "the free city of Herve" wrote they had sealed the charter with the municipal seal, which unfoirtunately has not been kept.

An act dated 4 April 1414, acknowledging the reception of 300 pounds of metal to be used to make a new bell, was sealed with the oldest municipal seal which has been kept until now. The seal is damaged but clearly bears the lion of the Dukes of Limburg, with a forked tail, armed and crowned.

In the XVIth century, the city of Herve used a new seal, whose adoption date is unknown. The description of the seal is the following:

Ecu à un perron crucifère accosté des deux lettres H. E.; derrière l'écu, émerge sous une arcature, un Saint Jean-Baptiste, nimbé, tenant un agneau de la senestre.

Therefore the seal bears a shield charged with a perron surmonted with a cross and flanked with the letters H and E. Behind the shield, St. John the Baptist, nimbed and holding a lamb in sinister, shows up under an arcature. The caption was a scel [modern word is sceau] pour la franchise de Herve, therefore a seal for the franchise of Herve. This seal was used on a charter of the St. Denis Chapter on 2 May 1585, and on an act of the jail of Mons on 25 April 1770.

At the end of the XVIIIth century, the municipal seal was modified. The patron saint was kept, but the perron, from the arms of Liège, was suppressed and the lion of Limburg was reused.

During the French Revolution, the seal had the emblems of the Republic, and later those of the Empire, the Imperial eagle, with the caption: Mairie de Herve, City hall of Herve.

On 7 May 1818, the city of Herve asked William I, King of the Netherlands, the permission to readopt the former arms with the caption La régence de la ville de Herve, the Regency of the City of Herve. These arms were granted by Royal Decree on 30 March 1819.

On 14 February 1842, King Léopold I allowed the city of Herve to continuer à avoir et à porter les armoiries dont elle a usé jusqu'à ce jour, celles qui sont figurées et peintes au milieu d'icelles et qui sont : d'azur à un Saint Jean-Baptiste d'or, posé sur un tertre de même, chargé des armes de la province de Limbourg, qui sont : d'argent au lion de gueules, la queue bifurquée en sautoir, armé et couronné d'or et lampassé d'azur, l'écu timbré d'une couronne d'or à cinq fleurons, i.e., to carry on having and bearing the arms used until now, those which are figured and painted here, which are: Azure, a Saint John the Baptist Gold, placed on a terter of the same, charged with the arms of the province of Limburg, which are: Silver, a lion Gules, the tail forked in saltire, armed and crowned Gold, lampassed Azure, a crown Gold with five florets above the shield.

Source: Municipal website

Ivan Sache, 4 May 2002