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Lummen (Municipality, Province of Limburg, Belgium)

Last modified: 2008-01-19 by ivan sache
Keywords: lummen | lion: half (red) | marck |
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[Flag of Lummen]

Municipal flag of Lummen - Image by Arnaud Leroy, 29 June 2006

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Presentation of Lummen and its villages

The municipality of Lummen (13,803 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 5,338 ha) is located north-west of Hasselt. The municipality of Lummen is made since 1976 of the former municipalities of Lummen, Linkhout and Meldert.

The name of Lummen has different possible origins. It might come from the Latin word lumen, "the light"; this explanation was very popular in the time of Father Jacobs (1750-1838). Other say that the name of the town is of Celtic or even Finn origin. In the second half of the IVth century, Lummen was settled by the Salian Franks and Lummen was known as Lampinam, Lempinan or Salampinam, which gave Lumpmen, the oldest known form of Lummel. This name might have been formed on the root laer, meaning "a fallow land".
The oldest parchmant mentioning Heerlijkheid [domain] Lummen dates back to the early XIIIth century. The domain included Lummen, Schulen, Linkhout, Koersel and Stokrooie. It was ruled from the castle "De Burg" and the lord of Lummen was a vassal of Hainaut. From the marriage of the daughter of Louis de Looz d'Agimont with Everhard I van der Marck to the XVIIIth century, Lummen belonged to the family of Marck and its limits were hardly changed. Lummen had the rank of Barony. William II Lumey van der Marck (1542-1578), a famous leader of the Watergeuzen, was a greatgrandson of William van der Marck (d. 1485), the "Boar of the Ardennes", an equally fierce opponent of the Burgundian power in the Netherlands. Short before the French Revolution, the domain was transferred to the Arenberg family.
Lummen is known for its big oak said to be 1,000 years old. Justice was exerted under this oak and witches were burned there in the XVIIth century. In 2000, 120 young oaks were planted in Lummen to symbolize the 120 newborns of the years; the oaks are exepcted to live at least 1,000 years.

Linkhout was known in 1139 as Linckholt, "a woody slope". The village belonged until the French Revolution to the Barony of Lummen. In 1343, the lord of Lummen Adolf Van der Marck was forced to pay an annuity of 200 pounds to the Duke of Brabant from his feudal rights. With time, this became a source of neverending quarrels. After the exact delimitation of the border between Loon and Brabant, the inhabitants of Linkhout built their houses over the border. Accordingly, they escaped taxes, corvée and military service. They hung their cooking hook either in Brabant or Loon depending on their interests, and were known as shrewd fraudsters.

Meldert is named after the old German word malen, "a mill". Moreover, the miller (molenaar) was colloquially called maalder or mulder. Foundations of a very old watermill were found on the Zwarte Beek (lit., Black Brook), not far from the center of the early village. Meldert would therefore mean "at the miller's". Another possible etymology says that Meldert was originally a place where wild spinach (melde) grew. Meldert was mentioned for the first time in 1361, as a part of the County of Loon.
Meldert also has its venerable tree, a linden.

Source: Municipal website

Ivan Sache & Jarig Bakker, 29 June 2006

Municipal flag of Lummen

The municipal flag of Lummen is vertically divided white-red-white (1:2:1) with a shield in the middle of the red stripe. The shield is yellow with a red half-lion with blue tongue and claws over an horizontal stripe checky white and red (3 x 10).
According to Gemeentewapens in België - Vlaanderen en Brussel, the flag was adopted by the Municipal Council on 19 December 1986, confirmed by the Executive of Flanders on 10 March 1997 and published in the Belgian official gazette on 3 December 1987.
On the flag, the shield is made of the second quarter of the municipal arms (Country of Lummen).

This shield is indeed the arms of the Counts of Marck. The arms of the former municipality of Lummen, granted by Royal Decree on 27 June 1907, are quarterly Arenberg ("Gules three quintefoils or 2 and 1") and Marck. The oldest municipal seals, dated 1447 and 1451, show a shield with the arms of the Counts of Marck.
The current coat of arms of Lummen is "Quarterly, Marck, Arenberg, azure a tree vert two foxes, Marck". The arms of Arenberg were granted to Linkhout by Royal Decree on 24 May 1960, whereas Meldert was granted on 27 March 1974 the arms of its last lords, Azanola de Onate.

Arnaud Leroy, Pascal Vagnat, Jarig Bakker & Ivan Sache, 29 June 2006