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Daverdisse (Municipality, Province of Luxembourg, Belgium)

Last modified: 2016-11-08 by ivan sache
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Flag of Daverdisse - Image by Ivan Sache, 29 March 2016


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Presentation of Daverdisse and its villages

The municipality of Daverdisse (1,372 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 5,640 ha; municipal website) is the westernmost municipality of the Province of Luxembourg, located 85 km of Arlon in the upper valley of the river Lesse . The municipality of Daverdisse is made since 1976 of the former municipalities of Daverdisse, Gembes, Haut-Fays (administrative center) and Porcheresse.

Daverdisse was built in a land belonging to the abbey of Stavelot, which granted hereditary rights on pieces of the forest to the colonists. To prevent the dispersal of this right, there were no marriages with foreigners and marriages between cousins were common. This is at least the explanation of the nickname given to the inhabitants of Daverdisse, cousins, according to the dictum A Dafdisse, dès cozins. Another explanation mentions the cousin as an insect (cranefly).
Pierre Bonaparte, Napoléon I's nephew, was exiled at the farm of Mohimont (the lowest point of the municipality of Daverdisse, 210 m a.s.l.) from 1834 to 1848.

Gembes, a very old parish, is named after the brook Gembe (aka Halmache), which has its source in the Province of Namur and flows into the Lesse north of Daverdisse. The inhabitants of Gembes are nicknamed "pussycats", according to the dictum A Djimpe, dès minous.

Haut-Fays, the seat of the municipal administration of Daverdisse, is the highest village of the municipality, the gate of the church being located 433.78 m a.s.l. The village emerged from a clearing in the upper (in French, haut) beech (in French, hêtre or fayard, from Latin fagus) forest. The inhabitants of Haut-Fays are nicknamed "tomcats", according to the dictum A Ô-Fayi, dès marcôs. The word matou is often used in French for bad-looking men but here the nickname is related to the rivalry between Haut-Fays and Gembes. The men from Haut-Fays (matous) were stronger and always defeated the weaker men of Gembes (minous).
The Napoléon beech was planted in the wood of Gerhenne on 24 April 1810, along with another tree no longer alive, to celebrate the marriage of Napoléon I and Marie-Louise of Habsburg. The beech has today a circumference of more than 3.60 m.

Porcheresse depended on the Merovingian villa of Graide, already mentioned in the 8th century. Graide was the center of big estate; one of the rules imposed to the colonists was the set up of cowsheds, sheepfolds and pigpens (in French, porcherie, from porc, "a pig"). Porcheresse was originally Portaricum, the pigpen of the domain owned by Carloman, lord of Wellin and Mayor of the Palace of Austrasia.
Surprisingly, the inhabitants of Porcheresse are nicknamed "kids", according to the dictum A Pwatchrèsse, dès gadots (In Porcheresse, [there are] kids); the relationship between Porcheresse and goat breeding is unknown. The Clog Museum, open in 1982, recalls that Porcheresse was once a main clog production center in the Province of Luxembourg.

Ivan Sache, 10 June 2007


Flag of Daverdisse

The flag and arms of Daverdisse, adopted on 21 August 2014 by the Municipal Council, after validation on 16 May 2014 by the Heraldry and Vexillology Council of the French Community, are prescribed by a Decree adopted on 10 December 2014 by the Executive of the French Community and published on 23 February 2015 in the Belgian official gazette, No. 52 (text), pp. 14,082-14,086.
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: Blue with two yellow lions passant.
Coat of arms: Azure two leopards or.

The symbols were designed by Cˇdric Pauwels, member of the Heraldry and Vexillology Council of the French Community.
In August 2005, the Municipal Council planned to adopt the arms of the Villers-Masbourg d'Eclaye lineage as the municipal arms. The proposal was submitted in 2005, 2008 and 2009 to the Heraldry and Vexillology Council of the French Community, which did not validate the proposed symbols. On 20 August 2013, the Municipal Council submitted to the Heraldry and Vexillology Council of the French Community a proposal using the arms of the lords of Daverdisse. Christophe Meynard, in the name of the descendants of the sister of the last Baroness of Monin-Rendeux, authorized the use of these arms by the municipality of Daverdisse. The amended proposal was submitted on 18 February 2014 to the Heraldry and Vexillology Council of the French Community.
The proposed symbols were adopted on 21 August 2014 by eight votes, while Jean-Luc Merny abstained.
[Minutes of the Municipal Council, 21 August 2014]

Jean-Luc Memy pointed out that the proposed coat of arms was indeed the old coat of arms of Wellin; Maxime Léonet replied that the design, only found on a stone at the Town Hall of Wellin, was never officially adopted by that municipality.
[L'Avenir, 20 January 2014]

Ivan Sache & Pascal Vagnat, 29 March 2016