Armchair in the (approximate) colours of the national flag of Belgium - Typical Belgian playfulness at work here. - In Brussels, inside the popular Cook & Book restaurant, café and bookstore complex; which is at the Roodebeek métro station along métro line 1, next to the Wolubilis cultural centre and directly across the street from the Woluwe shopping centre.
Belgium's independence as a nation dates from its successful revolution against the Dutch in 1830, followed by its secure foundation with a new Belgian monarchy in 1831. But the three striking colours of the Belgian flag - the black, yellow and red - actually date from the previous but short-lived revolution that attempted independence in 1789.
This was the 'Brabantine Revolution' (Révolution Brabançonne - Brabantse Revolutie), whereby much of what is now Belgium, asserted its full independence from its then-rulers, the Habsburg emperors of Austria.
In sympathy and parallel with the major revolution in 1789 in next-door France, the rebellious provinces of 'Austrian Netherlands' also went into rebellion that same year, and declared the deposition of the Austrian Habsburg Emperor, and the creation of the 'United Belgian States' (États-Belgiques-Unis - Verenigde Belgische Staten), which endured only briefly in 1789-1790. The 'Belgian' name came from the Latin word used by Julius Caesar to identify the fierce fighting tribes who inhabited this region in Caesar's day, the 'Belgae'.
In 1789, the seals of the document declaring the 'United Belgian States' to be 'free' and 'independent', were ornamented by silken tassels of black, yellow and red. The flag of the short-lived Belgian nation of 1789-90, then used these three colours, though in horizontal stripes and in a different order than the current vertically-striped Belgian flag, whose colours are in the same order as shown here on the 'National Chair of Belgium'.
The Austrians were able to briefly re-assert control of Belgium in 1790, then lost it to French control in 1792, and won it back one final time in 1793-94. The French then retained control, annexing most of what is now Belgium into France in 1795. As the Napoleonic era ended, Belgium was separated from France in 1814-1815, then given to the Netherlands in 1815, until the Revolution of 1830 enabled Belgium to finally fulfil the dreams of the Belgian revolutionaries of 1789. The current Belgian tri-colour flag was established in 1831, using the 1789 colours of the 'Brabantine Revolution'.
These are photos from the daily life of writer and political refugee from the US, Dr Les (Leslie) Sachs - photos documenting my new beloved home city of Brussels, Belgium, my life among the people and Kingdom who have given me safety in the face of the threats to destroy me. Brussels has a noble history of providing a safe haven to other dissident refugee writers, such as Victor Hugo, Karl Marx, Charles Baudelaire, and Alexandre Dumas, and I shall forever be grateful that Brussels and Belgium have helped to protect my own life as well.
(To read about the efforts to silence me and my journalism, the attacks on me, the smears and the threats, see the website by European journalists "About Les Sachs" linked in my profile, and press articles such as 'Two EU Writers Under Threat of Murder: Roberto Saviano and Dr Les Sachs'.)