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Anzegem (Municipality, Province of West Flanders, Belgium)

Last modified: 2007-10-20 by ivan sache
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[Flag of Anzegem]

Municipal flag of Anzegem - Image by Filip van Laenen, 3 November 2001

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Presentation of Anzegem

The municipality of Anzegem (14,042 inhabitants on 1 July 2007; 4,179 ha) is located 15 km east of Kortrijk, in the extreme south-east of West Flanders. The municipality of Anzegem is made since 1976 of the former municipalities of Anzegem (4,932 inh. in 2001; 1,708 ha;including Gijzelbrechtegem since 1971), Ingooigem (2,172 inh.; 855 ha), Kaster (810 inh.; 408 ha), Tiegem (1,610 inh.; 786 ha) and Vichte (4,280 inh; 477 ha).

The municipality of Anzegem is made of rural villages located between the valleys of Leie and Scheldt. Anzegem, the administrative seat of the municipality, is known for St. John the Baptist church, made of Tournai stone, with parts in the late Romanesque style. Its square bell-tower is one of the most famous in West Flanders. The Walskerke watermill, known since 1769, is the last active watermill in West Flanders. Under the Ancient Regime, Anzegem, originally known as Ansoldingehem, was ruled by the powerful lords of Hemsrode, who appointed the bailiff and the magistrates of the village. The castle of Hemsrode is still surrounded by the ponds dug by the monks of the St. Peter abbey in Ghent in the Xth century to feed the local population weakened by malaria.

Ingooigem is the adoption village of the Flemish writer Stijn Streuvels (Frank Latour, 1871-1969), born in Heule. The nephew of the famous Flemish priest and writer Guido Gezelle, Streuvels worked as a pastry-cook in Avelgem until 1905, when he bought in Ingooigem the Het Lijsternest (The Thrush's Nest) house, where he lived and worked until his death at the age of 98. The house is today the Provincial Museum Stijn Streuvels. The some 50 novels written by Streuvels can be grouped in two series. Those written before the First World War depict in a realistic manner the difficult life of the Flemish farmers, with a more universal metaphysical background on the relationships between man and nature (De oogst [August], 1900; Langs de wegen [Along the paths], 1902; De vlaschaard [The flax field], 1907). Streuvels' later novels deal with the social, religious and economic mutations that disrupted Flanders between the two World Wars (Het leven en den dood in den ast [Life and death in the drying shed], 1926), De veleurgang van de Waterhoek [The decline of the Waterhoek],1927). Streuvels also portrayed children (Het kerstekind [The Christmas child], 1911; Prutske, 1922) and wrote memoires ((Heule, 1942 ; Kroniek van de familie Gezelle [Chronicles of the Gezelle family], 1960).

Kaster once belonged to the abbey of Corbie (Picardy, France), which had there one of the biggest estates in the region of the Scheldt. The farm buildings are located around a central square and are surrounded by a 10-15-m wide canal.


Ivan Sache, 18 May 2007

Municipal flag of Anzegem

The municipal flag of Anzegem is vertically divided yellow-white-black with, in the middle of the white stripe, a shield made of the first (also the third) quarter of the municipal coat of arms.
According to Gemeentewapens in België - Vlaanderen en Brussel, the flag was adopted by the Municipal Council on 4 June 1984, confirmed by the Executive of Flanders on 7 May 1985 and published in the Belgian official gazette on 8 July 1986.

The colours of the flag come from the arms of the former municipality of Vichte ("Or fretty sable") and of the arms of the former municipality of Ingooigem ("Argent three fesses couped sable"). The shield represents the old arms of Anzegem ("Or a chevron gules charged with three annulets argent"). Kaster and Tiegem are not represented since they did not have arms before the municipal reform.
The current arms of Anzegem are quartered Anzegem ancient and Ingooigem an escutcheon Vichte.
According to Servais, the old arms of Anzegem were granted by Royal Decree on 1 June 1933, with St. John the Baptist as the supporter; they are derived from the XVIth century arms of the lords of Hemsrode. The arms of Hemsrode are shown in the Gelre Armorial for H. Wolter v. Eemsrode, Lord Walter of Hemsrode (#956, folio 81r).

Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 18 May 2007