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Avelgem (Municipality, Province of West Flanders, Belgium)

Last modified: 2019-07-30 by ivan sache
Keywords: avelgem | cross: sarcely (white) |
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[Flag of Avelgem]

Flag of Avelgem - Image by Arnaud Leroy, 28 February 2006

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Presentation of Avelgem

The municipality of Avelgem (9,523 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 2,175 ha) is located 10 km south-west of Kortrijk, close to the border of West Flanders with East Flanders and Hainaut. The municipality of Avelgem is made since 1976 of the former municipalities of Avelgem (997 ha), Bossuit (199 ha), Kerkhove (366 ha), Outrijve (324 ha) and Waarmaarde (293 ha).

Avelgem is the birth town of the Belgian cyclist Marc Demeyer (1950-1982). In 1973, Demeyer won the Points Chauds (intermediate sprints) in the Tour de France; in 1974, he won Paris-Brussels; in 1975, he won once again the Points Chauds in the Tour de France. His biggest victory was Paris-Roubaix in 1976. Demeyer also won two stages in the Tour de France, in 1978 and 1979, respectively.

Ivan Sache, 28 February 2006

Municipal flag of Avelgem

The municipal flag of Avelgem is vertically divided blue-red-yellow (1:2:1) with a white cross sarcely in the red stripe. The flag has the unusual (for Belgian municipal flags) ratio of 3:4.
According to Gemeentewapens in België - Vlaanderen en Brussel, the flag was adopted by the Municipal Council on 27 December 1977, confirmed by Royal Decree on 21 June 1978 and published in the Belgian official gazette on 26 August 1978.

Gemeentewapens in België - Vlaanderen en Brussel further says that the flag is "strange", with a central stripe charged with the municipal arms and flanked by a blue and a yellow stripe. Blue and yellow recall the municipal arms granted in 1819 under the Dutch rule, "Azure a cross sarcely or". The cross is indeed not a cross moline since the hooks are reversed compared with a genuine cross moline; the Dutch text says geënhendeerd kruis, which would represent in fact a bloemkruis. In 1841, the colours of the arms (indeed the Dutch national colours) were changed to gules and argent.
Servais gives the dates of the original grants as 20 October 1819 and 18 August 1841. The arms were designed after the oldest known seal of the city, late XVIIth century, the cross being derived from the lords of Avelgem, who ruled Avelgem until 1378.
The Gelre Armorial indeed shows these arms for Avelghem (#964, folio 81r).

Arnaud Leroy, Pascal Vagnat, Santiago Dotor & Ivan Sache, 19 May 2007