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Ham (Municipality, Province of Limburg, Belgium)

Last modified: 2007-12-02 by ivan sache
Keywords: ham | lion (black) |
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[Flag of Ham]

Municipal flag of Ham - Image by Arnaud Leroy, 18 June 2006

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Presentation of Ham

The municipality of Ham (9,824 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 3,269 ha) is located in the north-west corner of Limburg, between Leopoldsburg and Tessenderlo, on the border with the province of Antwerp. The municipality of Ham is made since 1976 of the former municipalities of Ham, Kwaadmechelen and Oostham. There is an other municipality with the same name, Ham-sur-Heure-Nalinnes in the province of Hainaut and a municipality of Hamme in East Flanders.

Ivan Sache, 18 June 2006

Municipal flag of Ham

The municipal flag of Ham is divided in nine stripes in turn white and red and charged with a black lion bearing a yellow crown.
According to Gemeentewapens in België - Vlaanderen en Brussel, the flag and arms were adopted by the Municipal Council on 30 March 1989, confirmed by the Executive of Flanders on 6 June 1989 and published in the Belgian official gazette on 8 November 1989.
The flag is a banner of the municipal arms.

The arms of Ham are based on the arms of the Van Hoensbroeck family, ruler of Kwaadmechelen and Oostham in the XV-XVIth centuries. The Van Hoensbroeck family is related to Hoensbroek, today a part of the municipality of Heerlen, in Dutch Limburg. According to Eversen and Meulleneers (De Limburgsche gemeentewapens, 1990), Herman Hoen was appointed in 1388 lord by the Duke of Brabant and built a castle; the domain was named Hoensbroek (Hoen tzo Broeck) and was kept by the family until the French revolution. The arms of the family shows a black lion with a forked tail, crowned and armed or on a white field with four horizontal bars. The oldest known municipal seal of Hoensbroek, dated 1449, uses the family arms only. The seal used in the XVIIIth century shows the arms supported by the patron saint of the parish, St. John the Evangelist, a design later adopted as the municipal arms. On the municipal arms, the lion's tongue is yellow whereas it is black on the family arms (as it is on the flag and arms of Ham).
The flag of Hoensbroek is made of nine horizontal stripes in turn white and red with the municipal coat of arms, showing St. John presenting the municipal arms on a blue field.

Arnaud Leroy, Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 18 June 2006