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Temse (Municipality, Province of East Flanders, Belgium)


Last modified: 2008-04-26 by ivan sache
Keywords: temse | tamise | key (yellow) | tielrode | lobbes | museum | boeykens (jean) |
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[Flag of Temse]

Municipal flag of Temse - Image by Filip van Laenen, 25 July 2003

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Presentation of Temse and its villages

The municipality of Temse (26,667 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 3,992 ha) is located in the region of Waasland, 30 km south-west of Antwerp, on the left bank of the Scheldt. The municipality of Temse is made since 1976 of the former municipalities of Temse, Elversele, Steendorp and Tielrode.

The name of Temse (Temsica, 941) comes from Gallo-Roman "Tamasiacum" or "Tamisiacum". The suffix -iacum refers to a person name, here Tamisios, a native (non Latin) man. The Indo-European root tam- means "dark". Tamisios probably had dark skin or hair. The name of the town could also refer to a dark sinuous river, as it is the case for the English Thames. Tamise is the French name of both the town of Temse and river Thames.
The name of Eversele (Helversel, 1123; Helvercella, 1187; Helversella, 1206) comes from Germanic "Halifrithsali", "Elfred's house".
Steendorp (lit., "the brick village") became indepdendent in 1881 and was named after the brickyard located there.

Temse is "the Pearl of the Scheldt". A Roman soldier wrote: Tempseca feliciter sita ad ripam Scaldis..., that is "Temse, harmoniously located on the banks of the Scheldt...". The oldest remains of human activity near Temse date back to the Age of Stone (11000 - 9500 BP). Remains from the early Age of Bronze, of the late Age of Iron and of the Gallo-Roman period have been found in the area, too.
Temse is the oldest parish of Waasland, converted to the Christian religion in 772. St. Amelberga built the oldest sanctuary around 770.

Elversele was mentioned for the first time in 1123 and Steendorp, under its first name, Scausele, in 1166. Steendorp became independent in 1881 only, before it was a hamlet depending on Bazel. In 864, Temse was granted by the Count of Flanders to the St. Peter abbey in Ghent. A part of Tielrode was a religious possession of the abbey of Lobbes. The rest of what is now the municipality of Temse belonged to the Count of Flanders. In the XIIIth century, Temse was already a rich community. In 1264, the municipality was granted a weekly market, which was confirmed in 1519 by Charles V and augmented with a annual market. Until 1460, Temse was administrated by a Guardian-Knight on behalf of Blandinus abbey.
In 1491, Roeland Lefèvre, the first hereditary lord of Temse, bought the fortress and the seigniory. His descendants ruled Temse until the French Revolution. The fortress was destroyed in 1793 and a castle in classic style was built, which was eventually destroyed in 1965.

Source: Municipal website

Ivan Sache, 25 January 2003

Municipal flag of Temse

The municipal flag of Temse is vertically divided blue-yellow.
According to the Gemeentewapens in België - Vlaanderen en Brussel,the flag was adopted by the Municipal Council on 7 November 1977, confirmed by Royal Decree on 13 July 1978 and published in the Belgian official gazette on 6 September 1978.
The colours of the flag are taken from the coat of arms.

According to Servais, the arms of Temse, "Azure a key or", were granted by (Dutch) Royal Decree on 13 October 1919 and confirmed by (Belgian) Royal Decree on 30 April 1838. The blue field represents the river Scheldt and fertility. The key recalls the arms of the St. Peter abbey in Ghent, which owned Temse from 864 to 1491; it is shown on the only known historical seal of Temse, dated 1779, while the arms of Temse are shown on a map from the XVIIth century. The yellow colour of the key stands for welfare.

Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 27 November 2007

Former flag of Temse

[Former flag of Temse]

Former flag of Temse, 1971-1978 - Image by Jarig Bakker & Ivan Sache, 15 December 2003

As reported in Vexilla Nostra [vxn] VII (1972), the first flag of Temse was adopted by the Municipal Council on 21 December 1971. The flag is made of thirteen equally wide horizontal stripes alternating red and white and a blue hoist, charged with a yellow key.
The flag, designed by Jean Boeykens, combines the municipal coat of arms with the geographical position of Temse; white and red are the colors of Waasland, the traditional emblem of Waasland being a white turnip on a red field, while the seven red stripes represent the seven municipalities of the canton of Temse. This flag was the first municipal flag officially approved in Belgium.

Jarig Bakker, 15 December 2003

Former municipality of Tielrode

[Flag of Tielrode]

Former flag of Tielrode - Image by Arnaud Leroy, 6 June 2005

Tielrode, mentioned for the first time in 860, is a Germanic toponym ("Tigelrodo") built on tegula, "a tile", and roda, "a cleared wood". A part of Tielrode was a religious possession of the abbey of Lobbes.
According to the Tielrode website, the municipality of Tielrode used a vertically divided green-white flag. These colours, which are also found on the flag of Hamme, belonged to the abbey of Lobbes, former owner of both Hamme and Tielrode. The same flag is used today by the municipality of Lobbes.
According to a syllabus for tourist guides, Temse 1984-1985, green stands for love and charity while white stands for pursuit of well-being.

Ivan Sache & Jan Mertens, 27 November 2007

Museum Heraldiek Benelux

Museum Heraldiek Benelux, located 74, Castle Street in Temse, is opened from April to November on Saturdays, 14:00 to 18:00 and Sundays 10:00 to 12:00 and 14:00 to 18:00, and also upon request. Entrance is free.
The Museum is housed in the ancient textile factory Dacca. The exhibition shows municipal arms from Benelux, family arms, municipal and national flags, weapons, helmet, an armour, representations of order emblems... The Museum has a library specialized in heraldry, vexillology, genealogy and orders. Tours might be organized for groups upon request.

The Museum opened in September 1982, originating in Mr Jean Boeykens' private collection of arms, flags and orders begun in 1955. Preceded by the Stichting (Foundation) Heraldiek Benelux in 1964, the collection was donated to the municipality of Temse in 1985.

Jan Mertens & Ivan Sache, 19 January 2003