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Belgium: Football flags

Last modified: 2021-06-06 by ivan sache
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Royal Belgian Football Association

[Flag]         [Flag]

Flag of the Royal Belgian Football Association, two versions - Images by Tomislav Šipek, 13 February 2010

The Royal Belgian Football Association (in Dutch, Belgian Koninklijke Belgische Voetbalbond; in French, Union Royale Belge des Sociétés de Football Association; in German, Königlicher Belgischer Fussball-Bund; website) has a bright blue flag with the association emblem in the middle.
The association shield-shaped emblem repeats the national colours, bears the French (URBSFA) and Dutch (KBVB) acronyms upon it in white, or yellow (photo), and the year of foundation, 1895, in black, and is surmounted by a golden royal crown and flanked by golden laurels earned by Belgian football.

Jan Mertens & Tomislav Šipek, 13 February 2010

Red Devils' flag


Supporter's flag - Image by Ivan Sache, 20 April 2017

A photo taken during the Paris-Roubaix cyclist race shows a supporter waving a Belgian national flag charged in the center with a yellow trident inscribed in a red disk.
The flag is, beyond reasonable doubt, a tribute to the Belgian national football team, nicknamed the Red Devils (French, Diables Rouges; Dutch, Rode Duivels). The original emblem, showing a red trident inscribed in a yellow background, was countercoloured for the sake of differentiation from the yellow stripe.

The trident emblem was applied on the fuselage of the airplane that transported the Red Devils to Brazil for the FIFA World Cup 2014. Back to Belgium, the players were proposed by the Brussels Airlines company to design a new livery for the Airbus OO-SNA, which was renamed Trident. Inaugurated in 2016 to transport the Red Devils to France for the UEFA Euro, the plane is plain red with the trident emblem on the fuselage and the badge of the Federation on the engine (promotional video).
[7sur7, 5 April 2016; RTL, 5 April 2016]

The nickname of Red Devils dates back to the early ages of the Belgian national team. In 1905, the team adopted a red jersey; the next year, in the aftermath of two successive victories over France and the Netherlands, Pierre Walckiers, the editor-in-chief of La Vie Sportive, called on 29 April 1906 the team "Diables Rouges".
While the origin or "red" is straightforward, the reason why Walckiers called the players "devils" is still a matter of speculation. A possible origin is the nickname of "Red Devil" awarded in England to the racing driver and pioneer motorist Camille Jenatzy (1868-1913); his obituary, published on 8 December 1913 in the New York Times, describes him as follows: "Red-bearded, lean and highly nervous, he was nicknamed in England the 'Red Devil'. At one time he was regarded as the most daring of all racing motorists, his driving being characterized by the demoniacal fury and stark determination. As an illustration of its irascible temperament, it is related that during one race he jumped from his car and struck an inoffensive onlooker whose demeanor displeased him".
Jenatzy maintained a fierce rivalry with Gaston de Chasseloup-Loubet (1867-1903) for the title of fastest driver; on 29 April 1899 in Achères, driving the torpedo-shaped La Jamais Contente (The Never Happy, feminine form, a name coined by Jenatzy's wife) powered by two electric engines, Jenatzy was the first to break the symbolic limit of 100 km/h (105.88 km/h), Jenatzy won the Gordon-Bennett Cup in 1803 but his innovative electrical engine was soon commercially superseded by the combustion engine invented by Étienne Lenoir (1822-1900), another Belgian engineer, who subsequently adopted the French citizenship. Ironically, Jenatzy survived his "demoniacal fury" and was shot dead during a "tragic shooting accident" occurred during a hunting party held in Habay-la-Neuve. He was shot by Alfred Madoux, director of L'Étoile belge.
[I love Meiser blog, 14 December 2013]

Ivan Sache, 20 April 2017

Belgian / Brazil crossover flag (2014)


Belgian / Brazil football flag - Image by Tomislav Todorović, 6 August 2019

This flag (photo) was sold for 13 euro at the Belgian Hoodies fan shops.
The flag is a "Brazilian flag with the colours of Belgium". Green was changed to red, while blue was changed to black. The Brazilian motto was replaced by "COME ON BELGIUM". "BELGIUM" and "COPA DO MUNDO 2014 BRASIL" (Portuguese, "World Cup 2014 Brazil") was added to the yellow lozenge.

Steve Guess & Ivan Sache, 23 October 2014

Flags banned from football stadiums

The Royal Belgian Football Association has set up a zero-tolerance policy against racist posters, songs and flags. While such a policy can only be encouraged, it can sometimes be taunted by overzealousness.
The supporters of the UR Namur were asked by a steward to remove the provincial banner of arms of Namur from the stadium of Virton. The steward must have believed that the supporters, in a racist act, had "desecrated" the Flemish flag with a red stripe. After a few words of explanation, the Namur lion was eventually allowed to stay in the stadium, which did not prevented Namur to be defeated by Virton (0-1) and to go down even closer to the Third League.
[ExtraFoot, 8 March 2009]

Ivan Sache, 27 March 2009