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Belgium: Gendarmerie / Rijkswacht

Last modified: 2020-07-26 by ivan sache
Keywords: gendarmerie | rijkswacht |
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Presentation of the Gendarmerie / Rijkswacht

The Belgian Gendarmerie / Rijkswacht was the National Police force in Belgium from the Independence (1830) until the year 2000 when it was disbanded, all Police forces being amalgamated into a Federal Police Force with two levels (January 1st, 2001). In fact, as it is now, a Federal and several Local Polices with the same uniforms, ranks, etc. Officers can be switched from local to federal and the contrary if they want it, according the positions becoming free.
A good history in English about the Belgian Gendarmerie is to be found on Wikipedia.

Claude Marchal, 26 June 2012

Flag of the ex-servicemen of the Gendarmerie / Rijkswacht

[Gendarmerie flag]

Flag of the Ex-servicemen of the Gendarmerie / Rijkswacht - Image by Claude Marchal, 26 June 2012

The former members of the Gendarmerie founded recently (in fact 4 months ago) an association called "Anciens Gendarmes BE Oud-Rijkswachters" (website). The French "Anciens Gendarmes" and the Dutch "Oud-Rijkswachters" stand for "former Gendarmes" in English. "BE" stands for Belgium, of course. They want, under others, to remember the traditions of the former Gendarmerie and will, between others, honor the fallen members; those fallen during the wars but also those killed in service.

Although the Gendarmerie was demilitarized in 1992, the corps kept a nearly military organization as in the past. This spirit now can be found back into the association. As tradition, a standard or flag was created and officially presented to the President of the association, last week end.
The three colors of the flag are, of course, the Belgian colors. "België" is Flemish and "Belgique" is French for "Belgium". The two dates are for the beginning and the end of a Gendarmerie force (or Maréchaussée, which is the same under another name) in Belgium. The red and blue shield as well as the grenade badge were the insignia of the Gendarmerie, grenades being a tradition for elite corps since Napoléon. "More majorum" says in Latin something like "as in the past" and shows the will not to forget the values and traditions of the corps.

Claude Marchal, 17 May 2014