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Puurs (Municipality, Province of Antwerp, Belgium)

Last modified: 2008-03-29 by ivan sache
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[Flag of Puurs]

Municipal flag of Puurs - Image by Arnaud Leroy, 19 August 2005

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Presentation of Puurs

The municipality of Puurs (16,250 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 3,341 ha) is located in the south-western corner of the province of Antwerp, 20 km south-west of Antwerp and 20 km north of Brussels, in a region called Klein Brabant (Small Brabant) but (administratively) no longer located in Brabant. The municipality of Puurs is made since 1976 of the former municipalities of Puurs, Breendonk, Liezele and Ruisbroek.

Long ago, the inhabitants of Puurs borrowed the Blessed Virgin's icon from the nuns' convent of Kalfort, because they had none in their parish church and could not imagine a procession without such an icon. There was a kermis after the procession, with a lot of beer, and the inhabitants of Puurs forgot to give back the icon to the nuns, in spite having promised to do so after the end of the procession. A few days later, there was a big storm and the nuns could not invoke the Virgin's icon for their protection. After the storm, the superior inspected the grounds of the monastery to check that lightning had not caused any trouble. In the garden, she found in the brook a calf's head (kalfskop) on which the Virgin's icon sat enthroned. The kalfskop "explains" the name of Kalfort.

Puurs is mostly known for asparagus cultivation, the Dendermonde-Puurs steam railway (Stoomspoorlijn Dendermonde-Puurs), a 14-km long heritage railway maintained by the BVS association (Belgische Vrienden van de Stoomlocomotief - Belgian Friends of the Steam Locomotive), and, last but not least, the Duvel Mortgaat brewery, located in Breendonk. The brewery produces the famous Duvel double-fermented strong pale ale and also the Maredsous abbey's bier and the white beer Steendonk, in joint venture with Palm. Duvel Mortgaat was founded in 1871 and is still an independent brewery still owned by the Mortgaat family. The name of Duvel comes from the local form of duivel, "devil". When brewer Mortgaat asked one of the village's beer specialists to taste his beer, he was answered "That's devil's beer".

Ivan Sache, 19 August 2005

Municipal flag of Puurs

The municipal flag of Puurs is red with a diagonal black and white chequered stripe.
According to Gemeentewapens in België - Vlaanderen en Brussel, the flag was adopted on 10 September 1981 by the Municipal Council, confirmed by the Executive of Flanders on 3 December 1984 and published in the Belgian official gazette on 8 July 1986.
The flag is a banner of the first (and fourth) quarter of the municipal arms of Puurs, which symbolize the former municipalities of Puurs and Breendonk.

Arnaud Leroy, Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 19 August 2005