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Temse (Municipality, Province of East Flanders, Belgium)

Tamise

Last modified: 2004-06-19 by
Keywords: temse | tamise | key (yellow) | tielrode | museum |
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[Flag of Temse]by Filip van Laenen


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Presentation of the municipality of Temse

The current municipality of Temse was formed in 1977 by the merging of the former municipalities of Temse, Steendorp, Tielrode and Elversele.

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 was probably someone with dark skin or hair.
The name of the city could also refer to a dark sinuous river, as it is the case for the English Thames. Note that Tamise is the French name of both Temse and the river Thames.
Tielrode is a Germanic toponym (Tigelrodo) built on tegula (tile) and ropa (a wood with uprooted trees).
The name of Eversele (Helversel, 1123; Helvercella, 1187; Helversella, 1206) comes from Germanic Halifrith sali, Elfred's house.
Steendorp (brick village) became indepdendent in 1881 and was named after the brickyard located there.

Temse is "the pearl on 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 Stone Age (11000 - 9500 BP). Remains from the upper Bronze Age, the lower Iron Age and the Gallo-Roman period have been found in the area, too.

Temse is the oldest parish of the country of Waas, and was converted to Christianity in 772. St. Amelberga built the oldest sanctuary around 770.
Tielrode was mentioned for the first time in 860, Elversele in 1123 and Steendorp, under its first name Scausele, in 1166. Steendorp was independent in 1881 only, before it was a hamlet depending on Bazel. In 864, Temse was given by the Count of Flanders to the St. Peter's 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


Description of the flag of Temse

The merging of the municipalities in 1977 had for consequence that Temse needed to choose a new flag and a new coat of arms. For the new flag, the colours of the main city of the municipality were selected. The new flag of Temse is therefore vertically divided blue-yellow, blue and yellow being the colours of the coat of arms of Temse.

The flag was adopted on 13 July 1987.

Source: Municipal website

Ivan Sache, 25 January 2003


Coat of arms of Temse

[Arms of Temse]by Ivan Sache

The merging of the municipalities in 1977 had for consequence that Temse needed to choose a new flag and a new coat of arms. For the arms, it was decided to use the ancient arms of Temse:

Azure, a key or in pale

These arms were granted by Royal Decree [of the King of the Netherlands, since it was before the independance of Belgium] of 13 October 1919. The blue field represents the river Scheldt and fertility. The key recalls the arms of the St. Peter's abbey in Ghent, which owned Temse from 864 to 1491. The yellow colour of the key stands for welfare.

Source: Municipal website

Ivan Sache, 25 January 2003


Former flag of Temse

[Former flag of Temse]by Jarig Bakker & Ivan Sache

The first flag of Temse was adopted 21 Dec 1971 by municipal resolution. The flag is made of thirteen equally wide horizontal stripes of red and white and a blue hoist, charged with a yellow key, bit up and pointing towards the hoist.

The design by Jean Boeykens combines the city coat of arms with the geographical position of Temse: white-red are the colors of Waasland (the traditional emblem of Waasland, roughly the northeast corner of East Flanders, is a white turnip on a red field), while the 7 red stripes represent the 7 municipalities of the canton of Temse. It was the first municipal flag officially designed in Belgium.

Source: Vexilla Nostra [vxn] VII (1972)

Jarig Bakker, 15 December 2003


Flag of the former municipality of Tielrode

[Flag of Tielrode]by Ivan Sache

The municipality of Temse incorporated in 1977 the former municipality of Tielrode, which had a vertically divided green-white flag. On the website <http://www.onsstreven.be/infotext23.html>, it is said there that those colours, which are also found on the flag of Hamme, belonged to the abbey of Lobbes, former owner of both Hamme and Tielrode. According to a syllabus for tourist guides, Temse 1984-1985, 347 pages, b/w ills (including a sketch of the flag on p. 150), green stands for love and charity and white for pursuit of well-being.

Jan Mertens, 19 January 2003


Museum Heraldiek Benelux

The Museum Heraldiek Benelux is located 74, Castle Street in Temse. It 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 .

The Museum opened in September 1982, originating in Mr Jean Boeykens's 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

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