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Liedekerke (Municipality, Province of Flemish Brabant, Belgium)

Last modified: 2008-04-05 by ivan sache
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[Flag of Liedekerke]

Municipal flag of Liedekerke - Image by Filip van Laenen, 30 October 2001

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Presentation of Liedekerke

The municipality of Liedekerke (12,119 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 1,008 ha) is located 20 km of Brussels, in the region of Pajottenland, on the river Dender, which forms the border with (East) Flanders.

Liedekerke was settled very early, as proved by remains from the Neolithic and the Gallo-Roman periods, as well as by Frankish toponyms, such as Impegem and Pijnegem. The oldest permanent settlement probably dates back to the Carolingian period. The name of the town probably appeared in the Xth century when the first parish church was built. It is made of the two Germanic words hlidha, "a hill", and kirka, "a church". The oldest written mention of Liedekerke, as Lidecherchis, is found on a chart dated 1092 setting up a chapter for an Augustinian abbey.
In the Middle Ages, Liedekerke belonged to the County of Flanders. Until the middle of the XIIth century, the domain of Liedekerke was ruled by the local family, followed later by the lords of Gavere, Vilain, Hannaert and of Boussu. The lord's castle, located near the Dender and shown by Sanderus in his Flandria Illustrata (1641), was demolished after the French Revolution. The population of the town steadily increased from 1,389 in 1800 to 2,410 in 1850, 4,051 in 1900, 7,527 in 1945 and 10,875 in 1976.

Source: Municipal website

Ivan Sache, 26 August 2007

Municipal flag of Liedekerke

The municipal flag of Liedekerke is horizontally divided yellow-red-blue.
According to Gemeentewapens in België - Vlaanderen en Brussel, the flag was adopted by the Municipal Council on 29 December 1980, confirmed by Royal Decree on 25 June 1981 and published in the Belgian official gazette on 3 October 1981 and, again, on 4 January 1995.
The colours of the flag come from the municipal arms.

The municipal website states that the municipal flag shall be hoisted over the town hall on official days and also on special instances such as marriages, fairs and meetings of the municipal council. The municipal arms can be used only by the municipality; their use for advertizing or political purpose is strictly prohibited, as well as their use by individuals. The municipal seal shows the municipal arms; all letters and documents released by the municipal administration shall be stamped with the municipal seal.

The municipal arms were granted by Royal Decree on 15 October 1951, as In keel drie leeuwen van goud, geklauwd en getongd van lazuur, "Gules three lions or armed and langued azure". They were the arms of the lords of Gavere, also lords of Liedekerke from the XIIth century to the middle of the XVth century. The oldest use of these arms as the municipal seal in Liedekerke dates from 1326; a similar seal was still in use in 1660.

The website of the modern Liedekerke family gives a detailed history of the lineage, with coat of arms.
The oldest known lords of Gavere were all named Rasse; one of the oldest Flemish charts lists Razo, maybe one of them. For 300 years, the head of the lineage would be named Rasse.
Rasse IV (1062-1096) was lord of Gavere and Baron of Flanders; he bore the first known arms of Gavere, "Or a double tressure vert with fleurs-de-lis of the same". The lions of Gavere appeared only in the early XIIIth century. Rasse IV went on the Crusade with the Count of Flanders and Godefroid de Bouillon but never came back.
Rasse V (1088-1149), lord of Gavere and Baron of Flanders, married Ide of Ghent-Aalst, co-heir of the domain of Liedekerke. He was appointed "bottler" of Count Charles the Good around 1127. The "bottler" was originally the manager of the wine cellars of the Count, but the office became progressively hereditary and more administrative; the "bottler" could sign some charts on the Count's behalf, attend the Council and fix the limits of the uncultivated pieces of lands to be sold or transferred. Rasse V was involved in the political struggles of the time; after the murder of Charles the Good, he took the party of Thierry of Alsace against William of Normandy, supported by King of France Louis XI. After the death of William, Thierry became Count of Flanders and appointed Rasse in his council. The stormy life of Rasse V ended during a meeting between Hainaut and Flanders supposed to solve border quarrels and that ended into a riot.
Rasse VI (1112-1150), lord of Gavere and Baron of Flanders, married the famous Eve of Chièvres in 1138 and became Peer of Hainaut. He spent most of his life in the castle of Chièvres, whose only remaining tower is nicknamed "Gavere tower". Being Baron of Flanders and Peer of Hainaut, Rasse VI had to obey two suzereigns who were in permanent war. He took the party of Flanders and died during the siege of Rocourt.
Rasse VII (1139-1190), lord of Gavere and Chièvres, Baron of Flanders, Baron and Peer of Hainaut, married in 1161 Mathilde of Liedekerke and became lord of Liedekerke. His seal, used on several charts he signed on behalf of the Count of Flanders, is one of the oldest in Flanders. A fiercy warlord, Rasse VII fought against Count of Hainaut Baudouin IV, aliied with his son Baudouin V against Brabant and Limburg, and eventually supported the Count of Flanders against King of France Philippe-Auguste and the Count of Hainaut.
Rasse VIII (1162-1218) was captured in 1214 during the battle of Bouvines, won by Philippe-Auguste against the Emperor of Germany and the Count of Flanders. His elder son was killed during the battle.
Rasse IX (1185-1241) survived Bouvines. In 1226, he was member of the embassy sent by Countess Jeanne of Flanders to pay the ransom of her husband, Count Ferrand of Portugal. Around 1220, Rasse IX decided to adopt new arms as a tribute to his elder son killed in Bouvines. This is the origin of the three lions still shown on the municipal arms of Chièvres and Liedekerke.
After Rasse IX's death, his nephew Rasse, son of the killed brother, became lord of Gavere and Chièvres and the root of the later lords of Gavere.
Rasse X (1209-1291), lord of Liedekerke, joined the Crusade led by Saint Louis in 1248, together with his brothers Arnoud and Jean. They fought under the banner of the Virgin in the siege of Mansurah and promised to build a chapel if the Virgin helped them. The Virgin appeared riding a white mule, the brothers were saved, came back home and built the Onze Lieve Vrouw ter Muylen (Our Lady with the Mule) chapel in Liedekerke, still the place of a pilgrimage. Aged 77, Rasse X inherited from her mother the town of Breda and the surrounding 50,000 ha.
Rasse XI (1241-1306) fought in the battle of Woeringen together with the Duke of Brabant and his two sons Rasse and Philippe. The modern lineage of Liedekerke stems from Rasse of Liedekerke, aka Rasse I of Herzele (1275-1339), the seventh son of Rasse XI. Charles-Antoine of Liedekerke (1659-1696) was made Count of Liedekerke by Empress Maria-Theresia; the title and the arms were confirmed by King of the Netherlands William in 1816.

Source: Liedekerke family website

Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 26 August 2007