Country : Belgium
The arms were officially granted on March 1, 1993 and before on April 19, 1847 and November 10, 1819.
The arms are blasoned with a golden crown with five flowers, but since 1847 are always registered with a smaller crown. Only between 1819 and 1847 the described crown was used. The city uses the crown as registerd, see above.
The medieval seals of Mesen from 1295 and 1328 showed a sitting lady with a book as well as a some kind of dome or church. In 1328 the contra-seal of the city showed a fleur-de-lys. However, in the 15th century the arms are shown as a red chevron in gold, with three red crescents. These were also shown as the city arms on a map of 1615. Two 17th century rolls of arms show the same design, but with different colours. At the same time the arms are shown on a map of 1538 as a crosier. Two other maps of the 16th century also show the crosier, with or without a letter M. The two different arms could have been the arms of the city and the county Mesen, which may have differed. In the 17th century the small and contra-seals of the city again showed the fleur-de-lys.
Also, at the end of the 17th century the arms of the city and county Mesen are shown as blue with a silver fleur-de-lys. The arms have not changed since. The fleur-de-lys (and the crosier) were also used by the local Abbey, founded by Adela of Mesen, Princess of France in the 11th century. The city was ruled by the abbey and the abbey was under jurisdiction of the French King, the city thus was not under jurisdiction of Flanders. A silver fleur-de-lys is the symbol of St. Mary, the patron saint of the abbey. The French Kings used a golden fleur-de-lys, which made the symbol even more appropriate for the city.
The arms in the Koffie Hag/Café Hag albums +/- 1930
Literature: Servais, 1955
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