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Rebecq (Municipality, Province of Walloon Brabant, Belgium)

Last modified: 2019-01-27 by ivan sache
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Flag of Rebecq - Images by Arnaud Leroy, 13 October 2007
Left, flag in use
Right, flag proposal, not in use

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Presentation of Rebecq

The municipality of Rebecq (10,255 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 3,908 ha; municipal website), located on the linguistic border between French and Dutch, is the westernmost municipality of Walloon Brabant. The municipality of Rebecq was established in 1976 as the merger of the former municipalities of Rebecq-Rognon (in Dutch, Roosbeek), Bierghes (Bierk) and Quenast (Kenast), and of the hamlet of Wisbecq (formerly part of the municipality of Saintes, which was incorporated to Tubize).

Rebecq was mentioned for the first time in a deed signed by King Charles the Bald on 9 July 877. The village once belonged to the lords of Trazegnies, who were succeeded by the lords of Enghien, vassals of the Duke of Brabant.
In the beginning of the 17th century, the Arenberg family purchased the Principality of Rebecq and its two famous mills located in the center of the village on a waterfall of the river Senne. Located on the left bank of the river, the two-wheeled Greater Mill was already in use in the early 15th century. In the 19th century, it was sold to the Austrian family of Minne, that transformed the building into a silk stocking factory, whose chimney is still a characteristic element of the Rebecq skyline. Later used as a grain mill, the Greater Mill was definitively stopped in 1964. The original, wooden wheel of the Smaller Mill was replaced in 1901 by a turbine taken from the suppressed mill of Quenast.
Across the Senne are located the Hospitals of Rebecq, founded by Marie of Rethel, Dame of Enghien, in 1290/1308 and revamped in the 16th century; the chapel was the place of a pilgrimage dedicated to St. Erasmus, invoked against intestine diseases. The Hospitals were, unfortunately, severely damages by a blaze in 2003.
The village of Rognon formed a municipality nearly enclaved within the bigger and richer municipality of Rebacq; the two municipalities were merged in 1824 to form the municipality of Rebecq-Rognon.
Rebecq is the birth village of the Solvay brothers, the founders of industrial chemistry.

Quenast is known for its porphyry quarries. In 1946-1948, 33 workers from the village of Monghidoro, located in Italy halfway between Bologne and Florence, emigrated to work as quarriers, followed by several others in the 1950s. There are probably today some 100 families in the municipality of Rebecq with an ancestor in Monghidoro. As the result of a process started in November 1991, the twinning of the municipalities of Rebecq and Monghidoro was officialized on 13 July 2002.

Ivan Sache, 13 October 2007

Flag of Rebecq

The flag of Rebecq, as communicated by the municipal administration, is white with the municipal coat of arms in the center.
The municipal arms of Rebecq are based on the arms of the former municipalities of Rebecq-Rognon and Quenast. The shield, "Vert a tower crenellated argent an escutcheon gules a letter R or", is nearly similar to the arms of Quenast, which differ only by the letter, "K" (for Kenast) instead of "R" (for Rebecq). The shield is flanked by roses, from the arms of Rebecq-Rognon, and surmounted by reeds, from the municipal seal of Bierghes (that had no arms).

Armoiries communales en Belgique. Communes wallonnes, bruxelloises et germanophones [w2v03a] shows the municipal flag proposed by the Heraldry and Vexillology Council of the French Community as "horizontally divided red-white-green, 1:2:1, with a medlar flower placed in the white stripe near the hoist".
The proposal uses the colours of the arms of Quenast while the medlar flower, recalling the family of Arenberg, was used once by Rebecq-Rognon on its arms.
Roses and medlar are also associated to the Arenberg family in Hensies, with the medlar flower shown on the municipal flag.

Arnaud Leroy, Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 13 October 2007