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Deinze (Municipality, Province of East Flanders, Belgium)

Last modified: 2008-06-21 by ivan sache
Keywords: deinze | eagle: double-headed (black) | roses: 3 (red) |
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[Flag of Deinze]

Municipal flag of Deinze - Image by Arnaud Leroy, 17 June 2006

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Presentation of Deinze

The municipality of Deinze (28,593 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 7,553 ha) is located on the river Leie, 20 km south-west of Ghent and 30 km north-east of Kortrijk. The municipality of Deinze is made since 1976 of the former municipalities of Deinze (including Asten, Petegem and Zeveren since 1971), Bachte-Maria-Leerne, Gottem, Meigem, Sint-Martens-Leerne, Vinkt and Wontergem.

Deinze was mentioned for the first time in 840 as Donsa. The town belonged in the Middle Ages to famous families such as Van Aalst, Courtenay, Bar and Luxembourg. The Count of Luxembourg sold Deinze to Robert de Béthune in 1300. In 1241, the town was granted a municipal chart and the right to build city walls and to bear arms by the Count of Flanders. Further lords of the town were Robrecht van Kassel, Duke of Burgundy Philippe le Bon, King of Spain Philip IV and the family of Merode.
Due to its strategic location on the Leie, known as the Golden River and on the crossroads of roads to Ghent, Kortrijk, Bruges and Oudenaarde, Deinze was a wealthy town. Cloth industry developed in the XIIth century, followed in the XV-XVIth century by leather, wool and carpet industry. Accordingly, Deinze was often attacked and sacked. The French sacked the town in 1485, as did in 1488 Maximilian of Austria's German mercenaries and in 1580 French and Scottish troops. Until the second half of the XVIIIth century, Deinze was threatened by military attacks and disease epidemics, and was about to disappear more than one time.
At the end of the XIXth century, Deinze escaped the economical crisis thanks to the silk factory set up in the town by Ricard, a French manufacturer from Lille. The factory was later purchased by the Lagrange family and the industrial development of Deinze progressed.

Meigem and Vinkt were severely damaged during the Second World War. The Germans committed outrages against the civil population the day before the capitulation of the Belgian army. All the men found in Vinkt were shot against the wall of the presbytery. The Wall of Remembrance recalls other places where similar crimes were committed, such as Oradour-sur-Glane (France) and Lidice (Czechoslovakia).

The castle of Ooidonk, located in Bachte-Maria-Leerne, is considered as the masterpiece of the XVIth century Spanish-Flemish architecture in Belgium. It was built in Renaissance style on the remains of a XIIIth century fortress, which was part of the defensive belt protecting Ghent. Its builder, Martin della Faille, travelled a lot and included several references to Italy in the architecture of the castle.

Source: Municipal website

Ivan Sache, 17 June 2006

Municipal flag of Deinze

The municipal flag of Deinze is white with a black double-headed eagle surrounded by three red roses.
According to Gemeentewapens in België - Vlaanderen en Brussel, the flag was adopted by the Municipal Council on 4 June 1981, confirmed by Royal Decree on 2 February 1982 and published in the Belgian official gazette on 21 April 1982 and, again, on 4 January 1995.
The flag is a banner of the municipal arms.

Servais says that the arms of Deinze were granted by (Dutch) Royal Decree in 1818 and confirmed by (Belgian) Royal Decree on 18 June 1838. The eagle with the three roses is shown on the oldest known seal of the town, dated from the XVIth century; the municipal seal was not changed since. The origin of the eagle and roses is still unknown.

Arnaud Leroy, Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 17 June 2006