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Belgische Gemeentewapens - Armories communales de Belgique
Belgian Civic Heraldry


Origin/meaning :

The arms of Brussel were granted officially on March 25, 1844, but were also granted in 1817 by the Dutch government.
The arms show the local patron saint, Archangel St. Michael. The archangel appeared already on the oldest known seal of the city, known from 1257, but mentioned in 1231. All later arms and seals have shown the patron saint, but the actual composition differed widely during the centuries.

During the Napoleonic time Brussel was a city of the first rank and thus used a chief with three bees above the old arms. These were removed when Napoleon was defeated. In 1817 the supporters, which had been used on several seals and images, were officially granted. The banners were added in 1844 to symbolise the fact that the city had become the capital of Belgium.

It has been stated that the original colour of the arms was a red shield, with a transparent image of the saint. Later the saint was coloured according to the colours of the statue on the city hall.

Literature : Servais, M. : Armorial des provinces et des communes de Belgique. Liege, 1955, 1041 p

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