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Dalhem (Municipality, Province of Liège, Belgium)

Last modified: 2008-09-06 by ivan sache
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[Flag of Dalhem]         [Flag of Dalhem]

Municipal flag of Dalhem - Photographies by Ivan Sache, 5 May 2008

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Presentation of Dalhem

The municipality of Dalhem (6,585 inhabitants on 1 July 2007; 3,606 ha) is located north-east of Liège, on the linguistical border between French and Dutch. The municipality of Dalhem is made since 1976 of the former municipalities of Dalhem, Saint-André, Berneau (seat of the municipal administration), Bombaye (in Dutch, Bolbeek), Feneur, Mortroux, Neufchâteau and Warsage (in Dutch, Weerst).w/PW wPWThe village of Dalhem, built in 1080 on a spur watching the confluency of the Berwine and the Bolland, gave its name to a small feudal state, whose first capital had been 's-Gravenvoeren. Until 1085, the County and the town belonged to Palatine Count Herman II of Lotharingia; it was later transferred to the Counts of Hochstaden. Duke Henri II of Brabant incorporated the County to his Duchy and bore the title of Count of Dalhem, as did his descenders. Together with the Duchy of Limburg, the County of Fauquemont (Valkenburg) and the Lordship of Hertogenrade (Hertzogenrath), the County of Dalhem formed the Pays d'Outremeuse (lit., "beyond the river Meus"e).
The borders of the County changed with time; it incorporated once the following places:
- now in Dutch Limburg: Cadier, Mheer and Noorbeek (municipality of Margraten) and Oost (municipality of Eijsden);
- now in the municipality of Voeren, Belgian Limburg: Moelingen, 's-Gravenvoeren, Sint-Martens-Voeren, Sint-Pieters-Voeren (until 1251);
- now in the Province of Liège: the municipality of Aubel (including the abbey of Val Dieu); Mortier, Housse and Trembleur (municipality of Blegny); the villages forming the municipality of Dalhem except Mortroux; Julémont (municipality of Herve); the municipality of Olne; Cheratte and Richelle (municipality of Visé).

In 1648, the State of Dalhem, including Dalhem, Olne, Trembleur, Feneur, Bombaye and Oost, was incorporated to the United Provinces. In 1785, the Treaty of Fontainebleau transferred Cadier and Oost to the Spanish (then Austrian) Netherlands; the remaining State formed together with Hertogenrade the United Countries of Daelhem and Hertogenrade.
In the XIVth century, Dalhem was granted the title of Town and was allowed to have a castle and city walls. The castle is still visible but most of the fortifications were suppressed in the XVIIth century, leaving only the Upper Gate.

Dalhem is the birth place of General Albert Thys (1849-1915). Thys joined Léopold II's Military House as the Secretary to the Colonial affairs. The king sent hims to England to propose to Stanley a new expedition in Central Africa on behalf of the African International Association. In 1887, he moved to Congo and managed the building of the Matadi-Léopoldville railway, which was inaugurated in 1898. Thys founded on 27 December 1886 the Compagnie du Congo pour le Commerce et l'Industrie, which had several subsidiaries such as Chemin de Fer du Congo, Compagnie des Magasins Généraux, S.A. Belge pour le Commerce du Haut-Congo, Compagnie des Produits and Compagnie du Katanga. In 1904, the colonial station of Sona Qongo was named Thysville (today Mbanza-Ngungu). (Biography after Thierry Denoël Le nouveau dictionnaire des Belges, 1992).
Albert Thys' grandson, the poet Odilon-Jean Périer (1901-1928), author of Le Promeneur (1927), is buried in the cemetary of Dalhem.
The football referee Francis Rion, born in Dalhem in 1933, refereed 102 international matches from 1962 to 1982. In 1981, he caused a great fuss in Belgium by showing on his trunks an advertisement for a bank; the Belgian Federation did not like that and Rion stopped his career.
The actress Marie Gillain was born in 1975 in the hamlet of Rocourt, village of Neufchâteau, and lived there until 1999. Originally an amateur theater actress in Liège, she got her first part in a movie in Gérard Lauzier's Mon père ce héros, with Gérard Depardieu. Since then, she has been directed by Jacques Doillon, Bertrand Tavernier, Paolo and Vittorio Taviani and Ettore Scola.
Warsage is the birth place of the center-forward footballer Roger Claessen (1941-1982), who won two times the national championship with Standard de Liège and played 17 times with the Red Devils, the Belgian national team. Another famous Belgian player and coach, Émile Lejeune, was also born in Warsage (1938).

Source: Municipal website

Ivan Sache, 9 June 2007

Municipal flag of Dalhem

The flag of Dalhem, as hoisted over the former town hall of Dalhem (of the former municipality of Dalhem, since the town hall was transfered to Berneau when the new municipality of Dalhem was formed in 1976) and over the post office of Feneur (the smallest village of Dalhem, 482 inhabitants), is a banner of the municipal arms, with the name of the municipality in yellow letters, placed above the arms.

According to Armoiries communales en Belgique. Communes wallonnes, bruxelloises et germanophones, the Heraldry and Vexillology Council of the French Community proposed to use the banner of the municipal arms:
Bleu chargé en son centre d'un château jaune ouvert et ajouré de bleu, à trois tours crénelées, la tour centrale plus haute que les deux autres et pavoisée de part et d'autre d'une bannière chargée d'un lion, ledit château accompagné de huit épis jaunes, quatre de chaque côté, rangés l'un au dessus de l'autre et posés symétriquement en oblique (A blue flag with, in the middle, a yellow castle open and windowed in blue, with three crenelled towers, the central tower being higher and flanked by two banners charged with a lion, the castle surrounded by eight yellow spikes, four on each side placed above each other and symmetrically diagonally oriented).
The lions must represent the Duchy of Brabant.

Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 28 May 2008