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Armbouts-Cappel (Municipality, Nord, France)

Last modified: 2021-01-30 by ivan sache
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Flag of Armbouts-Cappel - Image by Ivan Sache, 16 November 2020

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Presentation of Armbouts-Cappel

The municipality of Armbouts-Cappel (2,240 inhabitants in 2018; 1,015 ha; municipal website) is located 10 km of Dunkirk.
Armbouts-Cappel was mentioned as Capella Erembaldi (Erembald's Chapel) in a charter issued in 1067 by Baldwin, Count of Flanders, for the St. Winoc's abbey in Bergues. Erembald was a lord of Bruges, named for "arnu", "an eagle", and "baltha", "bold". A chapel was erected since the village was quite distant from its parish church located in Mardyck.

Erembald 's lineage was responsible of the sacrilegious murder of Charles the Good, Count of Flanders, on 2 March 1127, in the St. Donatien church of Bruges. Bertulf, Erembald's son, was Provost of the St. Donatien and hereditary chancellor of the count of Flanders. The murder was committed by his nephews, led by Borsiard. The contemporary chronicler Gautier, however, insinuates that Bertulf was a party of the event, which was accepted by most historians.
The murder of the good count (and of several people who prayed with him in the church) by members of a noble lineage caused a people's uprising in the town. Bertulf left on 16 March to Veurne, his birth town. Captured in Warneton by soldiers, the murderer was delivered to Guillaume d'Ypres. The chronicler Gualbert reports that the infuriated mob caught him and lynched him to death on the town's main square.
[Biographie nationale de Belgique. Vol. 2, 1868]

Ivan Sache, 16 November 2020

Flag of Armbouts-Cappel

The flag of Armbouts-Cappel (photo) is yellow with the municipal arms, "Ermine a chevron sable", representd with a yellow background, and the name of the municipality written in Gothic letters beneath the shield.

The arms of Armbouts-Cappel, like those of several other municipalities in the arrondissement of Dunkirk, are reported by Th. Leuridan (Armorial des communes du département du Nord, 1909) after the "Bergues painting". This is, according to the author, a painting kept in the Bergues municipal museum and entitled Accvrata territori Bergensis et aqvaedvctvvm delineatio. This is a scale map of the feudal domain of Bergues, with representation of the villages, together with their coats of arms, and watercourses.
The painting is signed "V.B. fecit anno 1641" (Latin, V.B. made it in 1641). This is, indeed, a copy of the map engraved by E.L. Creite for Sanderus' Flandria illustrata (1641), with the very same title and the arms added. The map was also copied in Joannis Blaeu's Atlas belgicus s ve Berlgii, cum regii tum foederati, geographica descriptio, published in Amsterdam in 1680.
The Bergues painting was in a very bad state of conservation; Leuridan, however, was able to identify the arms using a magnifying lens and assigned them to the villages by comparison with the copies.

Olivier Touzeau & Ivan Sache, 16 November 2020