Day of the German-speaking Community of Belgium
|Day of the German-speaking Community of Belgium|
|Observed by||German-speaking Community of Belgium|
|Next time||15 November 2014|
|Related to||Day of the Flemish Community, French Community Holiday|
The Day of the German-speaking Community of Belgium is celebrated on November 15 each year. It is a public holiday for the German-speaking Community of Belgium but it is not celebrated elsewhere in Belgium. The equivalents of the other communities are the Day of the Flemish Community (July 11) and the Day of the French-speaking Community (September 27).
The German-speaking Community measures over 853 km2 in the Belgian region of Wallonia, and is made up of two territories consisting of nine municipalities. This territory roughly covers the formerly Prussian districts (Kantone) of Eupen, Malmedy and Sankt Vith (Saint-Vith). The East Cantons were part of the Rhine Province of Prussia until 1920, but were annexed by Belgium following Germany's defeat in World War I and the subsequent Treaty of Versailles. Today Malmédy is not part of the German-speaking Community.
In 1989, there was a call for proposals for a flag and arms of the Community. In the end the coat of arms of the Community was designed by merging the arms of the Duchy of Limburg and the Duchy of Luxembourg, to which the two parts of the community belonged before Belgian independence.
A decree adopted on October 1, 1990 and published on November 15, 1990 prescribed the arms, the flag, the colours and the Community day, which was to be celebrated on November 15.
Here is an English extract of the original version of the decree:
Article 1. The Day of the German-speaking Community shall be celebrated every year on 15 November.
Article 2. The German-speaking Community shall bear the following arms:
- In silver a red lion together with nine blue cinquefoils, surmonted by a royal crown.
- The flag of the German-speaking Community shall show on a white field a red lion together with nine blue cinquefoils.
- The colours of the German-speaking Community shall be white and red in a horizontal position.
Article 3. The flag of the German-speaking Community shall be hoisted on 15 November on the official buildings of the German-speaking area (Gebiet of Belgium; outside this area, it shall be hoisted on the buildings, which, because of their use, are placed under the liability of the German-speaking Community or are temporarily put at its disposal. In the German-speaking area of Belgium, the flag shall be further hoisted on the administrative buildings in the same conditions and on the same days as the Belgian national flag.