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Aalter (Municipality, Province of East Flanders, Belgium)

Last modified: 2019-07-30 by ivan sache
Keywords: aalter | lions: 2 (black) | crosses: 2 (white) | cross: moline (white) |
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[Flag of Aalter]

Municipal flag of Aalter - Image by Arnaud Leroy, 31 July 2005

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Presentation of Aalter

The municipality of Aalter (18,887 inhabitants on 1 January 20057; 8,192 ha) is located 15 km west of Ghent and 30 km east of Bruges. The municipality of Aalter is made since 1976 of the former municipalities of Aalter (13,675 inh.; 4,635 ha), Bellem (2,267 inh.; 1,208 ha), Lotenhulle (2,273 inh.; 1,766 ha) and Poeke (527 inh.; 582 ha).

In 974, Diederik, Count of West Friesland, transferred his part of the estate (villa) Helftra to the St. Peter's abbey in Ghent. However, archeological findings have shown that the site of Aalter had been settled much earlier. The villa Helftra became later the seat of the County of Aalter, ruled by the lord of the Woestijne (lit., the Desert). The lord lived in the medieval castle built on the river Durme. In 1379, the Count of Flanders bought the domain and granted it to his son, the lord of Praet. The family of Praet kept the domain until 1488 and ruled it again in the XVIIIth century.
Aalter developed as a wealthy agricultural village. In the XVII-XVIIIth century, the farmers, spurred by the Jesuits, cleared the moors. Industrialization of the village started only after the Second World War.

The cyclist race Aalter-Brussels was run from 1952 to 1958, with only Belgian winners.

Source: Municipal website

Ivan Sache, 30 July 2005

Municipal flag of Aalter

The municipal flag of Aalter is quartered, first and fourth, red with a white cross moline; second and third, yellow with a black leopard with a red tongue and nails.
According to Gemeentewapens in België - Vlaanderen en Brussel, the flag was adopted by the Municipal Council on 18 March 1985, confirmed by the Exectuive of Flanders on 7 May 1985 and published in the Belgian official gazette on 8 July 1986.
The first and fourth quarters are the field of the municipal arms, while the second and third quarters are their chief.

According to the International Civic Heraldry website, the municipal arms of Aalter shows a white cross moline, supposed to come from the arms of the lords of Woestijne. The lion in the chief is taken from the arms of the lords of Poeke. Before the municipal fusion, Aalter used arms granted by Royal Decree on 18 December 1903, "argent a saltire gules". Beforehand, the municipal council used a seal, "or a saltire gules", showing the arms of Woestyne as used by the Praet family.

Arnaud Leroy, Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 31 July 2005