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Ekeren (District, Municipality of Antwerp, Belgium)

Last modified: 2011-12-24 by ivan sache
Keywords: antwerp | ekeren | kettles: 3 (yellow) | sint-mariaburg | mariaburg |
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Presentation of the Ekeren district

The Ekeren district (22,326 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 807 ha) was formed in 1983 when the former municipality of Ekeren was merged into the municipality of Antwerp (except a small part incorporated into the municipality of Kapellen).

The domain of Ekeren was once one of the biggest feudal domain in Brabant, incorporating today's Ekeren district and Hoevenen (today part of Stabroek), Brasschaat, Kapellen, and, for a while, a part of the town of Antwerp proper. At the end of the 15th century, Ekeren was shared among three lords. The domain was reformed in the beginning of the 16th century through a series of purchases. In 1795, the French rulers set up the municipality of Ekeren, while Hoevenen and Kapellen were incorporated to Stabroek and eventually made independent municipalities in 1800. Hoevenen was reincorporated to Ekeren from 1828 to the end of 1865, while Brasschaat was made an independent municipality in 1830. In 1846, nearly half of the territory of Ekeren was incorporated to Kapellen. For the increase of the port of Antwerp, decided on 22 March 1929, yet another part of Ekeren was incorporated to the municipality of Antwerp.

Source: District website

Ivan Sache, 3 October 2008

Flag of the Ekeren district

The flag of the Ekeren district is prescribed in a Decree adopted on 22 September 2008 by the Municipal Council, approved on 18 February 2009 by the Flemish Heraldic Council, signed on 1 July 2009 by the Executive and published on 10 February 2011 in the Belgian official gazette.

The flag (image, as shown in the 5-6 February 2011 edition of the Antwerp popular daily Gazet van Antwerpen, is a swallow-tail, blue with two shortened horizontal stripes, yellow, and three yellow kettles in top hoist. The "E" for Ekeren is obvious, so are the kettles and the traditional yellow and blue colours.
Although various local representative bodies (youth, culture, elderly) had a say in the matter, apparently there has been no popular contest as it happened in Borgerhout and Wilrijk.

Jan Mertens, 13 February 2011

Former municipality of Ekeren

[Former flag of Ekeren]

Former flag of Ekeren - Photo by Leo Schrauwen, March 2007

The former flag of Ekeren, still hoisted on the town hall of Antwerp (photo), is a banner of the municipal arms, "Azure, three brewing kettles or".
However, the flag hoisted in the Meeting Room of the District Hall, located in Castle Veltwijck, is vertically divided blue-yellow, with the municipal coat of arms, outlined in yellow, in the blue stripe, as shown on a photo taken by Leo Schrauwen.

According to Servais [svm55], the arms of Ekeren were granted by (Dutch) Royal Decree on 6 October 1819, in the Dutch national colours, and confirmed by (Belgian) Royal Decree on 27 December 1841, with the same colours. First mentioned in 1627, the arms are of obscure origin; they might have originally represented acorns, canting for the name of the town (eik means "oak" in Dutch), although the name of the town rather comes for the old name of the local river, Akerna; however, ther same word, aker, is used in Dutch for both an acorn and a brewing kettle. Brewery was indeed once significant in Ekeren.

Ivan Sache & Jan Mertens, 11 September 2009

Sint-Mariaburg ward

Sint-Mariaburg (aka Mariaburg) grew around the seat of the insurance company Antverpia founded by Antoon Van den Weyngaert offering all amenities to the new inhabitants leaving Antwerp to pursue a healthier life in a pleasant landscape, whose spirit was embodied in a community song, a march, and a flag! The ward is today divided between Ekeren and the neighbouring municipality of Brasschaat.

The article Mariaburg hijst de vlag by Greet Bombeke (Gazet van Antwerpen, 23 September 2008) recounts the relaunch of the Mariaburg flag. The result of a popular contest launched on 4 November 1900 by the Gazet van Mariaburg, the flag was thought up by Henri Van den Weyngaert, son of Antoon Van den Weyngaert. The first prize was 10 BEF, then 5 BEF for the second, third, and fourth prizes. The original flag was inaugurated on 25 December 1900 and is still extant, and a coat of arms was modelled on it.
The flag is made of seven horizontal stripes, white and sky blue, white uppermost; a white canton (three stripes high) bordered green, bearing a yellow "ogival" letter "M", crowned yellow. Blue and white are the Marian colours, and the "M" recalls the local patron saint; green represents hope for the future as well as verdant nature.

A painting shown on the frontpage of the website of the Brasschaat Decorative Arts Academy (no longer online) represents Sint-Mariaburg. The flags of Belgium and Antwerp fly on the Antverpia office while two other buildings fly the Sint-Mariaburg flag designed in 1900.

Jan Mertens, 7 October 2008