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Borgloon (Municipality, Province of Limburg, Belgium)


Last modified: 2007-10-20 by ivan sache
Keywords: borgloon | looz |
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[Flag of Borgloon]

Municipal flag of Borgloon - Image by Jarig Bakker, 8 October 2001

See also:

Presentation of Borgloon

The municipality of Borgloon (in French, Looz; in Limburgian, Loeën; 10,206 inhabitants on 1 July 2007; 5,112 sq. km) is located in Haspengouw (in French, Hesbaye), between Tongeren and Sint-Truiden. The municipality of Loon is made since 1976 of the former municipalities of Borgloon (3,193 inh.), Bommershoven (in Limburgian, Boemersoeve; 888 inh.), Broekom (in French, Broechem-lez-Looz; in Limburgian, Broekem; 392 inh.), Gors-Opleeuw (in French, Gorslieux; in Limburgian, Leif; 410 inh.), Gotem (in French, Gothem-lez-Looz; in Limburgian, Gottem; 282 inh.), Groot-Loon (in French, Grand-Looz; in Limburgian, Grot-Laun; 142 inh.), Hendrieken (in Limburgian, Hennerke; 251 inh.), Hoepertingen (in Limburgian, Hoepertenge; 2,053 inh.), Jesseren (in Limburgian, Jeestere; 712 inh.), Kerniel (708 inh.), Kuttekoven (in Limburgian, Kuttekove; 82 inh.), Rijkel (in Limburgian, Rekel; 766 inh.) and Voort (in Limburgian, Voët; 166 inh.).

In the beginning of the XIth century, the Counts of Loon (in French, Looz) made of Borgloon their main residence and therefore the capital of the County. The town developed around a fortress, which was destroyed in 1180 by the Bishop of Liège Raoul of Zaehringen. Accordingly, the counts moved to Kuringen and then Hasselt, which became the new capital of the County of Loon.
Around 1200, Borglon was granted a chart and allowed to have a city wall, being awarded the title of bonne ville (good town) of the Principality of Liège. Like in several other towns at that time, the city enclosed in the wall was ruled by the Law of Liège, whereas the neighbouring villages were ruled by the Law of Loon.

The County of Loon matched more or less the Belgian province of Limburg, whose name is therefore unfortunate, excluding the towns of Tongeren, Sint-Truiden, Diepenbeek and Alken (enclaves of Liège), and Lommel (enclave of Brabant). The County of Loon probably succeeded the Carolingian County of Haspinga, and was founded by Otto, Count of Betuwe, or his son Giselbert (d. 1044/1046). There is no written mention of the County before 1031. In 1190, Count Gerard had to acknowledge the suzereignty of the Principality of Liège; would a Count of Loon have no male heir, the County should be incorporated into the Principality. The Loon lineage extincted in 1336 with the death of count Lodewijk IV; his nephew and heir Diederik of Heinsberg (d. 1361) was the brother-in-law of Bishop of Liège Adolphe of La Marck, who allowed him to inherit the County in spite of the opposition of the St. Lambert chapter. Loon was transfered in 1361 to Diederik's nephew, Godefrey of Heinsberg (d. 1395), lord of Dalembroek. However, Bishop Englebert of La Marck incorporated the County to the Principality on 5 May 1361 and his troops occupied Loon. Godefroy sold his rights to his cousin Arnold of Rummen (d. 1373) on 25 January 1362. On 23 September 1366, Arnold definitively sold his rights on Loon to Bishop Jean d'Arckel. The Prince-Bishop of Liège took the title of Count of Loon but the autonomy and the insitutions of the County were preserved, as confirmed in 1522.

Source: J. Baerten, Het Graafschap Loon Assen: Van Gorcum, 1969; quoted on Wikipedia

Ivan Sache, 27 May 2007

Municipal flag of Borgloon

The flag of Borgloon is horizontally divided yellow-red-yellow-red-yellow-red-yellow-red-yellow-red (ten stripes). It is widely used in the town, as shown by photographies on the municipal website.
According to Gemeentewapens in België - Vlaanderen en Brussel, the flag was adopted by the Municipal Council on 21 April 1980, confirmed by Royal Decree on 6 August 1980 and published in the Belgian official gazette on 25 September 1980 and 4 January 1995.
The flag is a banner of the municipal arms.

The municipal arms of Borgloon ("Barry of ten pieces or and gules") are the old arms of the County of Loon. When Count Arnold IV (d. 1273) married Countess Jeanne of Chiny (1205-1271), he became Count of Chiny as Arnold II and bore "Per pale Loon and Chiny", the arms of Chiny being "Gules a semy of crosslets or two fishes accosted of the same". Diederik of Heinsberg quartered those arms with the arms of Heinsberg ("Gules a lion argent"). Arnold of Rummen replaced the Heinsberg quarters with the arms of Rummen ("Argent a lion sable").
The Gelre Armorial shows "Barry of ten pieces or and gules" for the County of Loon (Grave v. Loon, #1343, folio 95v). The Lalaing Armorial shows "Barry of ten pieces or and gules" for "Zu bleberghe" (#55, folio 74v); the link with Loon is not known, if any.
The arms of the County of Loon are shown as an escutcheon on the flag and arms of the Province of Limburg. The yellow and red stripes of Loon appear on the municipal flag and arms of the Limburgian municipalities of Beringen, Bree, Hamont-Achel, Meeuwen-Gruitrode, Neerpelt, Nieuwerkerken and Peer. The lord of Oudenaarde was from the Loon lineage, and the yellow and red stripes also appear on the flag and arms of Oudenarde (but only six stripes, starting with a red one).

Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 27 May 2007