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Belgium: Flag proposals

Last modified: 2014-04-26 by peter hans van den muijzenberg
Keywords: proposals | swinnen (luc) | vandehulst (herman) | okkerse (theun) | kroll (pierre) |
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Luc Swinnen's project

[Swinnen's flag]

Luc Swinnen's Project for a New Belgian Flag - Image by Eugene Ipavec, 27 April 2009

Artist Luc Swinnen's Project for a New Belgian Flag, according to an online report, 6 April 2008, wanted to give Belgian politics a positive boost. With the help of Herman Vanderhulst a variant design was made.

The pixels blurring the lines between the stripes symbolize how cultures and languages are interwoven in Belgium. As the current flag reminds the viewer of "the old Francophony" - at least according to Swinnen - the new one wants to appeal to both French and Dutch speakers and promote a healthy national spirit... admittedly utopian.
The title (wink! Magritte) by the way is Ceci n'est pas un drapeau (This is not a flag).

Jan Mertens, 27 April 2009

Theun Okkerse's proposal

[Okkerse's flag]

Theun Okkerse's proposal of new Belgian flag - Image by Ivan Sache, 7 June 2012

The Dutch designer Theun Okkerse (bibliography; also the designer of the flag of the 25th ICV), from Dordrecht, has proposed a new national flag for Belgium (see the presentation in Vlag!, No. 7, December 2010), arguing that a significant administrative reform would also require a significant redesign of the flag.
The proposed flag uses the traditional colors of Flanders and Wallonia, as does the today's flag; Okkerse has superimposed a horizontally divided yellow-black-yellow flag (Flemish colors) and a vertically divided yellow-red-yellow flag (Walloon colors), placing the distinctive color of each region in the middle. The intersection of the black, horizontal stripe and of the red, vertical stripe, forms four arrows "pointing" to the center of the flag.

Ivan Sache & Marc Pasquin, 8 June 2012

Pierre Kroll's "proposal"

[Kroll's flag]

Pierre Kroll's "proposal" of new Belgian flag - Image by Ivan Sache, 22 September 2012

Pierre Kroll (b. 1958 in Gwaka, Belgian Congo; personal website), originally taught as an architect, became an independent cartoonist in 1985. He has contributed since 1994 to several newspapers and magazines, such as Le Vif, Le Vif L'Express, La Cité, La Wallonie, Défi Sud, Espaces de Liberté, Le Pourquoi Pas ?, Trends Tendances, Pan, Le Soir Illustré, Femmes d'Aujourd'hui, La Libre Belgique and Le Peuple. He has been the "resident" cartoonist of the weekly Télémoustique since 1996 and of the daily Le Soir since 2002.
Awarded the "Press Cartoon of Belgium" Prize in 2006 and 2009, Kroll is an active members of the UN-sponsored "Cartooning for Peace" project, launched in 2006 by the French cartoonist Plantu.

On 18 February 2011, "Politic Twist", the witty Belgian politics blog ran by the daily La Libre, featured a cartoon by Kroll entitled "A new flag for Belgium?".
The cartoon pictures King Albert II dubiously watching for a new Belgian flag, while the current Belgian flag emerges from a trash bin placed in the background. The king says something like "In all fairness, it's not bad once you are used to it!".
The new flag is quartered yellow-red-blue-white, the colours being explained as follows:
- yellow from the field of the Flemish flag;
- red from the Walloon and French-speaking rooster;
- blue from the field of the flag of the Region of Brussels-Capital;
- white from the arms of the German-speaking Community.
"That's it!" is added just above Kroll's signature.

The date of publication of the cartoon is of significance; the day before (17 February 2011), Belgium broke the world record of the longest existence of a country without an official government (249 days). Kroll probably expressed in his cartoon some hopeless sympathy for the king who had sought a Prime Minister accepted by all the regions and communities forming Belgium, to no avail. The crisis eventually ended on 6 December 2011 with the appointment of Elio di Rupo as the Prime Minister, validated on 10 December by the Federal Parliament (and still in office!).

Another cartoon by Kroll (Le Soir, 28 September 2007) refers to the frenzy for the national flag that followed the call by the movement Pro Belgica on 27 August 2007 to show the national colours by any means on 11 September, the birthday of Queen Paola.

Ivan Sache, 22 September 2012