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Ostwald (Municipality, Bas-Rhin, France)

Last modified: 2021-04-10 by ivan sache
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Flag of Ostwald, current and former versions - Images by Olivier Touzeau, 9 October 2020

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Presentation of Ostwald

The municipality of Ostwald (12,588 inhabitants in 2018; 711 ha) is adjacent to Strasbourg south-west side.

The ancient name of Ostwald, Wickersheim, is first attested on a map of Emperor Charles the Fat in 884. In the time of the Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa, within the realm of the Holy Roman Empire, the Hohenstaufen built a castle by the Ill River. In 1285, the town, acquired by the Zorn family of Strasbourg, took the name of Illwickersheim, also sometimes called Sankt Ostwald after the name of the parish.
The plague of 1348 and mercenary raids in 1365 and 1376 decimated the population. In 1418 the town of Strasbourg gained control of Illwickersheim; at the same time it acquired Illkirch-Graffenstaden.
The act of annexation of Alsace to the kingdom of France took place in Illkirch in 1681, after which Illwickersheim experienced a period of peace and prosperity, with the introduction of potato farming, which resulted in an increase in the town's area and population. A new name under the influence of Irish missionaries was Oswald, in honor of Oswald of Northumbria.

During the 19th century, population doubled from 657 to 1806 to 1,290 in 1895. Ostwald became independent while it developed industry around the Société Alsacienne de Constructions Mécaniques (S.A.C.M.), agriculture and services, such as the Colonie agricole, the name of a youth internment center.
In 1912 a quarry opened, creating many jobs, while the commune of Ostwald developed and augmented its infrastructure. The Second World War caused a recession and a bombing on 25 September 1944 reduced its population.
During the postwar period the population grew up to 3,200 in 1946. In 1954 the Société de Construction d'Ostwald (S.C.O.) constructed tenements. The urban development of the 1960s and 1970s caused expansion to new neighborhoods with a rapid population growth.

Olivier Touzeau, 8 October 2020

Flag of Ostwald

The flag of Ostwald (photo, photo), first spotted in 2014, is white the municipal coat of arms, "Azure three spearheads or", and the name of the municipality in blue below it, surrounded by thin blue, photo), used at least since 2008, was white with the municipal coat of arms represented with a brighter blue field.

The arms of Ostwald, then known as Illwickersheim, as featured on the Armorial Général (image).
In 1990, the arms of Ostwald were used by a list competing for the municipal elections. On 25 September 1990, the State Council turned down the appeal tabled by opponents, stressing that the arms of local collectivities, as opposed to personal arms and arms of states and international organization, are not protected and can be used freely.

Olivier Touzeau & Ivan Sache, 10 October 2020