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Herzele (Municipality, Province of East Flanders, Belgium)


Last modified: 2019-07-30 by ivan sache
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[Flag of Herzele]

Municipal flag of Herzele - Image by Arnaud Leroy, 21 September 2005

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Presentation of Herzele

The municipality of Herzele (in French, Herzelles; 16,822 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 47.4 sq. km) is located on the border of the hilly region known as the Flemish Ardennes, 20 km south-east of Ghent and 10 km south-west of Aalst. The municipality of Herzele is made since 1976 of the former municipalities of Herzele, Borsbeke, Hillegem, Ressegem, Sint-Antelinks, Sint-Lievens-Esse, Steenhuize-Wijnhuize and Woubrechtegem.

Herzele developed around a castle built in the beginning of the VIIth century, probably a simple wooden structure defended by earthen walls and water. A stone castle was built in the XIth century, probably by Franco van Herzele before he left for the crusade.
In the XIVth century, the castle of Herzele was disputed between the burghers of Ghent and the Count of Flanders. The castle, then owned by Seger van Herzele, the village church and several houses were burned down. The castle was rebuilt in the XVth century by Jan van Roubaix. At the end of the XVIth century, the owner of the castle, Pieter van Melun took the Protestant party; the castle was besieged by the Spaniards in 1579 and shot to pieces by the artillery. It then fell to ruin and only a tower and a few wall parts survived.
The castle of Herzele was purchased by the municipality in 1969, consolidated and restored.


Ivan Sache, 21 September 2005

Municipal flag of Herzele

The municipal flag of Herzele is red with a yellow chevron.
According to Gemeentewapens in België - Vlaanderen en Brussel, the flag was adopted by the Municipal Council on 10 September 1984, confirmed by the Executive of Flanders on 14 June 1988 and published in the Belgian official gazette on 16 September 1988.
The flag is a banner of the municipal arms.

The municipal flag can be seen on the tower of the castle of Herzele, along with the flags of the European Union, Belgium and Flanders (picture on the Castle of Herzele website mentioned above).

According to Servais, the municipal arms of Herzele were granted by Royal Decree on 15 October 1912. They were the arms of the family Van Herzele / D'Herzelles at least since the XIVth century.
The Gelre Armorial shows "Gules a chevron or" for Sohier de Ghistelles, lord of Herzele (Die He. v. Haerzele, #965, folio 81v).
The town is known in French as Herzelles and the family of Herzelles was very powerful under the rule of the Austrian Hapsburgs. Ambroise-Joseph (1680-1759), Marquis of Herzelles, was Surintendant General of the Finances in the government of the Low Countries from 1736 to his death. His father Jean-Baptiste was Captain of the Dragons in the service of Spain, while his uncle Guillaume-Philippe was Chancellor of Brabant. His brother, also named Guillaume-Philippe (1684-1744), was Bishop of Antwerp from 1742 to 1744.

Arnaud Leroy, Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 20 July 2007