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Wortegem-Petegem (Municipality, Province of East Flanders, Belgium)

Last modified: 2013-06-23 by ivan sache
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[Flag of Wortegem-Petegem]

Municipal flag of Wortegem-Petegem - Image by Filip van Laenen, 22 October 2001

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Presentation of Wortegem-Petegem and its villages

The municipality of Wortegem-Petegem (6,085 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 4,196 ha) is located between Oudenaarde and Kortrijk. The municipality of Wortegem-Petegem is made since 1970 of the former municipalities of Wortegem, Petegem-aan-de-Schelde, Elsegem, Moregem and Ooike (a part of which had been incorporated to Oudenaarde in 1970).

Wortegem was known in the 10th century as Wattringim. The name of the village is related to the Anglo-Saxon word wroet, in Middle Dutch wrat / wort, meaning "bulge", "wart", or "pimple", and would therefore mean "a place with small hills". Part of the domain of Oudenaarde until the end of the 17th century, Wortegem belonged to the Spiere family, Barons of Mooreghem.

Petegem, mentioned for the first time in 864 in a charter granted by Charles the Bald and therefore one of the oldest Flemish villages, was Petta's lineage's estate. There is another village named Petegem near Deinze. Count of Flanders Gwijde van Dampierre built there a castle, while his wife founded the Beaulieu abbey, dedicated to St. Clare. The lords of Petegem were made Barons of Flanders in 1268; the village was later transferred to the lords of Cysoing. Jos Clemmen was made Baron of Petegem by Letters Patented signed on 18 November 1791.

Elsegem, mentioned for the first time in 1281, as Helseghem, was Elsa's lineage's estate. The domain and parish of Elsegem belonged until 1623 to the Aubremont family; Anne d'Aubremont, Dame of Elsegem, married Pierre de Berghes-Saint-Winnoc; in 1718, her grand-son Jan Jozef, Count of Berghes-Saint-Winnoc, sold the domain of Elsegem to Jan Baptist van Ghellinck, Knight of the Holy Roman Empire. The convent of Elsegem, founded by Bernard Van den Bossche, lord of Brakel, was suppressed in 1782 by Emperor Josef II.

Moregem was mentioned for the first time in a chart dated 967, as Moringhem, "the estate in the marshes" (Moringahaim). A Barony, Moregem belonged for long to the Heurne family, and later to the Ongnies family. After having inherited the domain from his nephew Frans van Ongnies, Jeroom Adornes, lord of Nieuwenhove, died unmarried in 1588, so that Moregem was transferred to the Spiere family. The domain was later transferred to the Baillet and Hoobrouck families, the latter keeping it until the French Revolution.
The Burgundian Jean Richardot (1540-1629), lord of Petegem, owned several goods in Moregem. A foxy and opportunistic dipomat, Richardot was member of the Private Council of the Low Countries.

Ooike was mentioned for the first time in 964, as Hoica, "a small pasture". The domain belonged to the Baronaige family and later to the Maerselaar family, from the village of the same name located near Malderen. Frederik vna Maerselaar, lord of Peer, Elewijt, Opdorp, Borre, Herseaux, Ooike, Saint-Aubert and Loxem, and several times Mayor of Brussels between 1623 and 1643, married on 17 April 1619 Margaretha van Baronaige. The Barony of Ooike was later transferred to the della Faille family.

Source: Municipal website

Ivan Sache, 3 January 2008

Municipal flag of Wortegem-Petegem

The municipal flag of Wortegem-Petegem is white with a blue cross and, overall, a white escutcheon charged with three red cinquefoils.
According to Gemeentewapens in België - Vlaanderen en Brussel [w202a], the flag was adopted by the Municipal Council on 25 February 1986, confirmed by the Executive of Flanders on 1 July 1986 and published in the Belgian official gazette on 3 December 1987.
The flag is a banner of the municipal arms.

According to the municipal website, the arms of Wortegem-Petegem, In zilver een kruis van lazuur ; hartschild : in zilver drie vijfbladen van keel, doorboord van het veld ; het schild getopt met een kroon met zeven parels van goud, are indeed the former municipal arms of Moregem, which were granted by Royal Decree on 28 February 1931. They were designed after the municipal seal dated 1694 and showing the arms of the lords of Spiere. Wortegem used the same municipal seal, confirmed by another seal dated 1789.

Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 3 January 2008