Ecartelé, aux 1 et 4 d'or au lion de sable, armé et lampassé de gueules; aux 2 et 3 d'or au lion de gueules, armé et lampassé d'azur; couronne comtale à treize perles dont trois relevées
The arms are a combination of the arms of the counties Vlaanderen and Holland.
Hainaut is a county in the southern part of the country and was first mentioned in the 11th century. The oldest arms of the county show 3 chevrons sable on a shield or. These arms are known since Baldwin V (1171-1195). In the 12th-13th centuries the succession in Hainaut was very complicated. In 1279 Jan I of Vlaanderen inherited Hainaut. He did not use the old arms, but the arms of Vlaanderen instead. His son William I of Hainaut (II of Vlaanderen and Holland) used arms quartered of Vlaanderen and Holland. He did not use separate arms for Hainaut. The quartered arms have been in use ever since.
The arms in a 17th century manuscript
The arms in the Wapen- en Vlaggenboek van Gerrit Hesman (1708)
The arms in the Koffie Hag/Café Hag albums +/- 1930
The arms on a police badge (source)
Literature: Vries, H. de : Wapens van de Nederlanden, Amsterdam, 1995.
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