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Beveren (Municipality, Province of East Flanders, Belgium)

Last modified: 2017-04-30 by ivan sache
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Flag of Beveren - Image by Arnaud Leroy, 8 September 2006

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Presentation of Beveren

The municipality of Beveren (45,771 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 15,018 ha, therefore one of the biggest municipalities of Belgium by its area) is located in Waasland, 20 km east of Antwerp. The municipality of Beveren was established in 1976 as the merger of the former municipalities of Beveren, Doel, Haasdonk, Kallo, Kieldrecht, Melsele, Verrebroek, and Vrasene. Beveren is often called Beveren-Waas for the sake of differentiation from three other villages called Beveren, all located in West Flanders, in the municipalities of Alveringem (Beveren-IJzer), Roeselare (Beveren-Roeselare) and Waregem (Beveren-Leie), respectively. All these places, like several other in Belgium (Beerschoot, Bever, Berwinne, Beverlo), recall the beaver and its marshy habitat.

Beveren was the oldest political center in the Waasland and formed a lordship. The Country of Beveren, shown on the Great Map of Flanders designed by Mercator in 1540, was made of:
- the four parishes of Beveren, Kallo (written Calloo), Kieldrecht (including what would be later Doel) and Verrebroek (written Verbrouck);
- five enclaves in Sint-Niklaas, Lokeren, Waasmunster, Belsele and Haasdonk;
- the four domains of Pumbeek, Paddeschoot and Arschoot (ruled by the Court of Sint-Niklaas) and Sombeke (ruled by the Court of Waasmunster); - the river Scheldt from the Kalkovense kille to the border with the domain of Saaftinge.
The military center of the Country of Beveren was the powerful castle of Singelberg, still mentioned in 1666; the cause and year of its later suppression are not known.
Among the successive lords of Beveren were the descendants of Diederiks van Diksmuide, the Counts of Flanders, the Dukes of Burgundy, the Princes of Croÿ, and the Dukes of Arenberg.
[Hertogelijke Heemkundige Kring "Het Land van Beveren"]

Beveren is mostly know for its football club KSK (Koninklijke Sportkring) Beveren. The club was founded on 1 July 1934 and registered with the Belgian Football Federation on 6 September 1935 as SK Beveren-Waes. It was later renamed SK Beveren-Waas (1945) and KSK Beveren (1978). KSK Beveren won the national championship in 1979 and 1984 and the Belgian Cup in 1978 and 1983. Its most famous player was the goal-keeper Jean-Marie Pfaff (b. 1953). Pfaff played successively with SK Beveren (1973-1982), Bayern Munchen (1982-1988), Lierse SK (1988-1989) and Trabzonspor (1989-1990). He played 64 times with the Red Devils, the national Belgian team, and was elected best goal-keeper of the FIFA World Cup 1986 in Mexico, and best goal-keeper of the world in 1987.
[KSK Beveren official website]

The other celebrity of Beveren is the Beverne Blue rabbit, a bred of local giant and normal blue rabbits. Later, the Sint-Niklaas rabbit was bred from the Beveren Blue. According to the official standard set up by the Beveren Rabbit Club, a genuine Beveren Blue rabbit should have blue nails and weight between 3 and 5.5 kg. It should be "reverse mandolin-shaped" and not cylindric like the Flanders Giant Rabbit.
[Fédération Française de Cuniculiculture]

Ivan Sache, 8 September 2006

Flag of Beveren

The flag of Beveren is horizontally divided in eight horizontal stripes in turn yellow and blue with a red saltire all over.
According to Gemeentewapens in België - Vlaanderen en Brussel [w2v02], the flag and arms, adopted on 10 June 1980 by the Municipal Council, are prescribed by a Royal Decree signed on 1 December 1980 and published on 22 January 1981 in the Belgian official gazette . The flag is a banner of the municipal arms, "Barruly or and azure eight pieces a saltire gules".

According to the Hertogelijke Heemkundige Kring "Het Land van Beveren", representations of the arms of Beveren are found on a seal (diameter 40 mm) affixed to a document of the Municipal Court on 12 June 1607 (State Archives, Mons). A similar seal of 48 mm in diameter is kept in the General State Archives in Brussels. On both seals, St. Martin is shown as a rider cutting his cloak into two pieces.
These arms were borne by Henri II van Beveren, borchggrave van Dixmueden, as shown on the Gelre Armorial, No. 936, folio 80v. Image No. 978, folio 81v, show the arms of Beveren, lord of Diksmuide as "Barruly argent and azure six pieces a saltire gules".

The municipality of Diksmuide uses a flag similar to the flag of Beveren, but without the saltire.

Arnaud Leroy, Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 8 September 2006