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Dentergem (Municipality, Province of West Flanders, Belgium)

Last modified: 2007-12-02 by ivan sache
Keywords: dentergem | wakken | dove (white) | cross (blue) |
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[Flag of Dentergem]         [Flag of Dentergem]

Flag of Dentergem - Images by Arnaud Leroy, 17 June 2006
Left, unofficial variant, in use
Right, official flag, not in use

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Presentation of Dentergem and its villages

The municipality of Dentergem (8,191 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 2,599 ha) is located 15 km north-east of Kortrijk. The municipality of Dentergem is made since 1976 of the former municipalities of Dentergem (2,625 inh.; 1,176 ha), Markegem (725 inh.; 426 ha), Oeselgem (1,780 inh.; 461 ha) and Wakken (2,801 inh.; 536 ha).

In 1899, it became known that Dentergem had already existed as a lake settlement, and there were traces of Gallo-Roman and Frankish habitation. The domain of Dentergem belonged in the Middle Ages to the lords with the same name. Letbertus lived in 1035. Dentergem was first named in 1096 as Dentrengem (Denter-ingahem, "Dando's estate"?). Letbertus van Dentergem was mentioned in 1195, either the aforenamed or a namesake. In the XIIIth century the lords were Dancelus, Johannes, Wilhelmus and Daniel van Dentergem. Pieter van der Zype is mentioned in 1391; Knight and lord of Dentergem he was appointed in 1398 Governor of Lille. He was married to Maria van Diksmuide. The domain of Dentergem became the property of the De Gruutere family, later of the van Kerkhove family, which later styled themselves van Kerkhove van Dentergem. Roger de Kerkhove de Denterghem (de = French for Dutch van; an h added somewhere in the name was considered even more elevated) became honorary chairman of the Heemkundige Kring "De Paelwulghe" (local cultural circle) in 1983.

Markegem was mentioned for the first time as Marckenghem, that is "the place (haim) settled by Marko's lineage" (Markinga), in a document dated 1103, in which the Bishop of Tournai confirmed that the church of the village belonged to the Benedictine abbey of Saint-Amand-les-Eaux (now in the north of France). This was confirmed by a papal bull, dated 24 May 1107, calling the village Marchengem. In 1119, it was mentioned as belonging to Flanders.
Since 1504, Markegem belonged to the Protestant family of Uutenhove, whose most famous member was Karel van Utenhove, Mayor of Ghent. Pieter van Steeland, lord of Markegem, died in 1613. A few years later, the son of Gilles du Faing, Grand Bailiff of Flanders, inherited the village after his marriage with Margaretha van Steeland.

Oeselgem was mentioned in 1259 as Oulsenghiem and in 1304 as Oecelghem. The name of the village might mean "a place where the river Leie meanders", oeselen being an old word for a meander. William van Oeselgem ruled the village in 1259. Catharina van Oeselgem is known for her lawsuit with Agnes van Bellegem for the possession of the domain of Mortaegen, which ended in 1337 with a compromise. In the XVth century, the village belonged successively to the van Uitkerke and van Gistel families. Further owners of Oeselgem were the Gruutere (Antoon de Gruutere was appointed Grand Bailiff of the Waasland in 1576 and died in 1581) and the Kerkhove families.

Source: Municipal website

Ivan Sache & Jarig Bakker, 17 June 2006

Municipal flag of Dentergem

The municipal flag of Dentergem is vertically divided blue-yellow with, in the middle, a red escutcheon charged with a white dove holding a green branch of olive in its beak.
According to Gemeentewapens in België - Vlaanderen en Brussel, the flag was adopted by the Municipal Council on 30 March 1989, confirmed by the Executive of Flanders on 21 November 1989 and published in the Belgian official gazette on 8 December 1990.

The shield shows the arms of the former municipality of Dentergem.
Servais writes that these arms were granted by (Dutch) Royal Decree on 10 November 1819 and confirmed by (Belgian) Royal Decree on 22 December 1840. The dove comes from the arms of the Kerkhove family.

However, the municipal administration of Dentergem has confirmed they use a non-official (and therefore illegal!) variant of the flag instead of the official one, with a yellow field divided by a blue cross and the shield in the middle.

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

Former municipality of Wakken

[Flag of Wakkem]

Flag of Wakkem - Image by Ivan Sache, 13 July 2007

Wakken was mentioned in 791 as in villa noncupante Wackinio and is one of the seven oldest parishes in West Flanders. The name of the village means either "a wet place" (wack hem) or "a place belonging to someone whose name starts with wak" or "a place located near the river whose name starts with wak" ("Wackinna"). In the Middle Ages, the village belonged to the lord of Harelbeke. Anton of Burgundy, a natural son of Duke Philip the Handsome known as the Grand Bastard, founded a lineage that ruled Wakken from 1480 to 1707. His son Anton II married in 1480 the daughter of Knight Andries Andriessen, lord of Wakken. The domain became a Barony in 1480 and a County in 1626, ruled by the Bourgondië-Wackene family until 1707, and the castle of Wakken became a famous place. Anton II's son Adolf was Governor of Zeeland, Vice Admiral of Flanders and Grand Bailiff of Ghent. He founded the St-Sebastiaan's Guild in 1546; the guild was granted privileges by Emperor Charles V the same year. The guild blossomed in the XVIIth century and had 85 members in 1660. From 1713 to 1717, the guild had 17 women as its members.

Source: Municipal website

Ivan Sache, 17 June 2006

The flag of Wakken is vertically divided light blue-white. It was used in a ceremony to honour Luc Verbeke (1944-2007), a poet and cultural worker active in the French Flanders.

Jan Mertens, 13 July 2007