Monday, November 2, 2020


Whenever I'm walking the streets of a new town - like, for instance, Ghent, Belgium - I feel like my head is on a swivel. I mean, I can usually be seen walking along, camera in hand, looking this way and that for potential heraldry.

Unless, of course, I find a coat of arms, and then I'm pretty much focused on it until I've taken a good look and sufficient photographs, and then I start "swivel-necking" again until, like my little 15 pound terrier, I see another "Squirrel!"

In this specific instance, we were still congregated in the Friday Market Square (Vrijdagmarkt) in Ghent, and I had finished walking completely around the statue of Jacob van Artevelde and taking plenty of pictures (more than I have shared with you in the previous three posts), when I spotted a coat of arms on the side of a truck that was parked and peeking out from behind a van at the edge of the square.


The arms are, of course, and as it is written on the side of the truck, those of John I of Brabant (also called John the Victorious) (1252/53 – 3 May 1294), Duke of Brabant (1267–1294), and Duke of Lothier and Limburg (1288–1294).

His arms as painted here are blazoned: Quarterly: 1 and 4, Argent a lion rampant gules (Limburg); 2 and 3, Sable a lion rampant or (Brabant). More often, you will see his arms with the quarters reversed from the order here, with Brabant in the first and fourth quarters (upper left and lower right), and Limburg in the second and third (upper right and lower left). That said, the Codex Manesse or Great Heidelberg Book of Songs, Cod. Pal. germ. 848, 18r (, shows his arms as here on the truck. So who am I to say that one is "correct" and the other is "incorrect"?

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