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Loison-sous-Lens (Municipality, Pas-de-Calais, France)

Last modified: 2021-01-15 by ivan sache
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Flag of Loison-sous-Lens - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 26 December 2020

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Presentation of Loison-sous-Lens

The municipality of Loison-sous-Lens (5,379 inhabitants in 2018; 355 ha; municipal website) is located north-west of Lens.

Loison was established long time ago in a marshy area, as evidenced by Celtic axes, Gallo-Roman millstones, pottery and coins found on the municipal territory. Remains of Roman dwellings probably belong to a village called Anseriacum.
In the middle of the 6th century, St. Vaast, Bishop of Cambrai and Arras, erected a chapel in the marsh, replaced in the 10th century by a church dedicated to the saint.
The village was subsequently known as Loyson, Loisons, Loizons, Loisin-lez-Lens (1656), or Logeon (local name). The name might have been derived from Latin word os, "an opening", "a mouth", referring to the narrowness of the marsh. The main source of income was fishing and the only means of communication was boat. In the 18th century, the sharing of the marsh between Loyson, Harnes and Annay, was a matter of long discussion. Draining of the marsh allowed the establishment of agriculture ... and the perpetuation of disputes between landowners.
In 1758, the village disposed of part of its marsh to get the founds (11,400 pounds) required to rebuild the church.

Coal-mining boosted the development of Loison, whose population increased from 361 in 1804 to 540 in 1895, 1,544 in 1923 and 3,450 in 1926. The village, however, remained mostly rural since no colliery was established on the municipal territory. Shaft 3ter was established as a safety exit, in the aftermath of the disaster of Courrières that claimed 1,099 lives in 1906.
Loison was completely destroyed during the First World War. The Dutch government offered huts to house the population, still recalled by the Dutch Estate (Cité Hollandaise) borough.

Ivan Sache, 28 December 2020

Flag of Loison-sous-Lens

The flag Loison-sous-Lens (photo) is white with the municipal coat of arms surmounted by the name of the municipality.

The coat of arms is "Party per chevron gules and or, in base three keys or 1 and 2 a chief azure a pair of scales or".
The three keys recall that Loison, together with the neighboring towns of Annay and Harnes, belonged to the St. Peter abbey in Ghent. So do the scales of justice and the French motto, "For Good".
The red part represents a slag heap, and therefore, the coal-mining history of the town.
Loison was awarded the War Cross on 25 September 1920.
[Municipal website]

Olivier Touzeau & Ivan Sache, 28 December 2020