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Rumes (Municipality, Province of Hainaut, Belgium)

Last modified: 2008-04-05 by ivan sache
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[Flag of Rumes]

Municipal flag of Rumes - Image by Arnaud Leroy, 1 November 2007

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Presentation of Rumes

The municipality of Rumes (5,027 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 2,387 ha) is located 10 km south-west of Tournai, on the border with France. The municipality of Rumes is made since 1976 of the former municipalities of Rumes (903 ha), La Glanerie (530 ha) and Taintignies (935 ha).

Rumes was settled very early. A biface from the Mousterian period (Paleolithic) was found near the road to Douai, as well as a few tools from the same period. Several Neolithic stone axes and arrowheads have been found in local fields; some of these artifacts were made of local brown flint, but other were made of white or marbled grey flint, of more remote origin, demonstrating that a primitive form of trade already existed at the time.
Gallic coins made of an alliage of iron, lead and copper (potin) have been found in Rumes, as well as bronze and stain coins; ore used to mint the coins probably came from England and Germany. There were some 20 villae and also temples in Rumes in the Gallo-Roman times; the borough of Belonne in Taintignies recalls the god of war Belenos. The area seems to have been colonized by the troops of Emperor Claudius, crowned in 41 AD, while Rumes might have been named after the Roman general Rumo.
According to a chronicle form the IXth century, a big battle opposed near Taintignies in 575 the armies of Sigebert and Chilpéric, two grandsons of Clovis who competed for the rule of the Frankish tribes. Warned that Sigebert marched against Tournai, Queen Frédégonde, Chilpéric's wife, bribed two officers of Sigebert's guard, who killed him in his tent. Chilpéric won the battle but there were so many casualties that big graves were dig on the foot of the hill known since then as le mont des tombes (The Tombs' Mount") or le mont dolent (The Pain's Mount).
A primitive castle was built in the IXth century in Rumes, and mostly used as a shelter during the Northmens' raids, for instance in 881. In 899, King of France Charles le Simple confirmed the transfer of Rumes to the abbey of Saint-Amand, which purchased the village of Froidmont in 952. A stone fortress was built around 1148 by Count of Hainaut Baudouin IV; the junior son of the lord of Rumes was the squire of the Count during the Fourth Crusade (1200-1204) and was killed by the Sarracens. In 1214, the lord of Rumes was captured by King of France Philippe-Auguste during the battle of Bouvines.

Taintignies was once a Barony (then written Taintegnies). On 12 July 1722, one year before his death, Baron Louis Arnaud de Bernard sold his title, castle and goods to the noble house of Le Clément de Saint-Marcq, whose oldest known member is Pierre Le Clément, burgher in Cambrai in 1354. On 13 October 1588, the lineage was recognized as of noble birth by the Court of Artois; King Louis XIII granted them the title of Knight on 11 October 1658, a title elevated to Hereditary Knight in December 1692 by Louis XIV. The Le Clément lineage was divided into two branches, the senior branch, Le Clément de Taintegnies being extincted, and the junior branch, Le Clément de Saint-Marcq, whose head lives in Ghent.

By a Royal Decree signed on 7 May 1866 and published in the Belgian official gazette the bext day, the hamlet of Petit-Rumes (260 ha) was incorporated into the municipality of Taintignies. Located some 3 km from Rumes but only 800 m from the church of Taintignies, Petit-Rumes formed an enclave of Rumes inside Taintignies. The villagers from Taintignies complained that those from Petit-Rumes used "their" roads (and even damaged them!) without paying any tax and were buried in the parish cemetary, soon deemed too small. The villagers from Petit-Rumes complained that they were far away from administration and police and that their children had to go to school in Rumes but to cathechism in Taintignies. However, it took some 20 years to solve the problem. The villagers of La Glanerie celebrated the secession of Petit-Rumes as a victory and prepared a demand of municipal secession from Rumes, which was acknowledged a few years later. Some inhabitants of Rumes did not enjoy the loss of Petit-Rumes and bitterly accused the municipal councillors to have sold Petit-Rumes for a dinner: Vos ètes enn'binde de gueulards, vos avé vindu l'Petit-Remme pou in soupé! This would be in French Vous êtes une bande de gueulards, vous avez vendu le Petit-Rumes pour un souper (You are just a band of loud-mouths, you sold Petit-Rumes for a dinner!).

On 2 September 1844, a motorcyclist from the US Army crossed the bridge over the brook Elnon in the border village of La Glanerie. The event is considered as the liberation of the village, which proudly claims to have been the first liberated village in Belgium.


Ivan Sache, 1 November 2007

Municipal flag of Rumes

The municipal flag of Rumes is horizontally divided white-red-white-black-white-red-white, with the red stripes twice thinner than the other ones.
The flag follows the proposal made by the Heraldry and Vexillology Commission of the French Community, described in Armoiries communales en Belgique. Communes wallonnes, bruxelloises et germanophones as Sept laizes longitudinales, blanche, rouge, blanche, noire, blanche, rouge, blanche, les laizes rouges moitié moins larges que les autres.
The colours of the flag are taken from the municipal arms, D'argent à la fasce de sable à une aigle issante de gueules accompagnée en pointe d'une fleur de lis du même ("Argent a fess sable an eagle issuant gules in base a fleur-de-lis of the same").

The Hainaut Armorial gives a more detailed blason of the arms, "D'argent à la fasce de sable, le chef chargé d'une aigle ployée de gueules becquée du champ issante de la fasce, la pointe chargée d'une fleur de lys de gueules. Here the eagle is beaked argent.
According to Servais, the arms of the lords of Rumes in the Middle Ages were "Argent a fess sable". The municipal arms granted to Rumes by (Dutch) Royal Decree on 21 October 1820 are "Per pale, gules a fleur-de-lis argent, argent an eagle gules".
The today's arms of Rumes are therefore a combination of both the feudal and old municipal arms.

Arnaud Leroy, Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 1 November 2007