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Ranst (Municipality, Province of Antwerp, Belgium)

Last modified: 2012-02-25 by ivan sache
Keywords: ranst | broechem |
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[Flag of Ranst]

Municipal flag of Ranst - Image by Ivan Sache, 3 October 2001

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Presentation of Ranst

The municipality of Ranst (17,948 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 4,358 ha) is located 15 km east of Antwerp. The municipality of Ranst is made since 1976 of the former municipalities of Ranst, Boechem, Emblem and Oelegem.

Ranst (6,066 inh.; 1,028 ha) is the most important component of the municipality. Tombs dating back to ten centuries BC were found there. In the Middle Ages, most of the village belonged successively to the lords of Berchem, Ranst, Zevenbergen and Doggenhout.

Broechem (3867 inh.; 1,174 ha) is the place of the recent finding of a Merovingian cemetary (6th-7th centuries), including a treasure. In the Middle Ages, the vilage belonged successively to the families Berthout, van der Rijt, le Roy, van Colen and de Fraula. The fort of Broechem was built in 1909-1912.

Emblem (3,377 inh.; 853 ha) is the smallest village of the municipality. The legend says that St. Gummarus was born in Emblem in the beginning of the 7th century. The St. Gummarus chapel in Emblem was built in 1477 near the source that miraculously gudhed forth from the saint's staff. The hamlet of Allier (Old Lier) is probably the origin of the town of Lier, founded by Gummarus, according to the local tradition.

Oelegem (4,380 inh.; 1,310 ha) is the biggest component of the municipality by its area. In the Middle Ages, Oelegem formed a single domain together with Broechem. The fort of Oelegem was built in 1909-1913.

Source: Municipal website

Ivan Sache, 12 October 2007

Municipal flag of Ranst

The municipal flag of Ranst is horizontally divided blue-yellow-red-white.
According to Gemeentewapens in België - Vlaanderen en Brussel [w2v02a], the flag was adopted by the Municipal Council on 11 December 1984 and, again, on 14 February 1986, confirmed by the Executive of Flanders on 11 March 1986 and published in the Belgian official gazette on 8 June 1986.
The colours are taken from the municipal arms, while the four stripes symbolize the four components of the municipality.

The municipal arms of Ranst are described on the municipal website as quartered:
1. In lazuur, bezaaid met blokjes van goud en een keper van hetzelfde. "Azur billetty or a chevron of the same", symbolizing Ranst. These are the arms of the Fourneau de Cruyckenborg family, lords of Ranst and living in the castle of Doggenhout.
2. and 3. In lazuur met een geschaakte dwarsbalk van drie rijen van goud en keel, vergezeld van drie mispelbloemen van zilver. "Azur a fess chequy or and gules three rows three medlar flowers argent (2 and 1)", symbolizing Broechem and Oelegem. These are the arms of the de Fraula family, the last lords of Broechem.
4. "Gules a St.Gummarus or", symbolizing Emblem.

According to Servais [svm55a], the first quarter indeed shows the arms of the former municipality of Ranst, granted by Royal Decree on 16 June 1914. These arms are used today as the municipal arms and flag (banner of arms) of Kampenhout. These arms are shown on a document related to Ranst dated 1782.
The second and three quarters indeed show the arms of the former municipality of Broechem, granted by Royal Decree on 14 July 1951. The village seals always showed the lord's arms, here the de Fraula arms.

Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 12 October 2007