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Verquigneul (Former municipality, Pas-de-Calais, France)

Last modified: 2004-10-02 by
Keywords: pas-de-calais | verquigneul | bethune | crescent (black) | ermine (black) | gonfanon |
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[Flag of Verquigneul]by Arnaud Leroy

Source: local


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Presentation of Verquigneul

Verquigneul is a city of 1,600 inhabitants located in the southern outskirts of Béthune. Verquigneul is located inside the triangle Béthune - Bruay-en-Artois - Noeux-les-Mines, the heart of the former Black Country (Pays noir), the coal-mining district. However, the colours of the flag and arms have nothing to do with coal. In 1990, Verquigneul was incorporated into the municipality of Béthune.

The village was mentioned for the first time as Werkeniul in 1144 in a bull by Pope Lucius II (1144-1145), who confirmed the rights of the St. Bertin's Abbey on several churches in the north of France, including Werkeniul. The first lord of Verquigneul was Robert, son of Baudoin and Adelize. In 1147, he was allowed to build an "altar" in another place than the old chapel.
The family of Verquigneul definitively left the village in the XIVth century and was succeded by the families Le Vasseur de Verquigneul and Preud'homme d'Ailly. Florence de Verquigneul (b. 1559) reformed the Benedictine abbeys in the north of France; she founded in Douai the Abbey Paix-Notre-Dame in 1604, in Arras the Abbey Paix-de-Jésus in 1613, and in Béthune the Abbey Paix-du-Saint-Esprit in 1624.
A lady from the Verquigneul family once married her servant. To show their reprobation, the inhabitants of Verquigneul invented a card game called le mariage de Verquigneul, in which the queen and the jack were associated. In French, the same word valet is used both for "servant" and "jack".

Source: Website of the Verquigneul nursery school

Ivan Sache, 25 August 2002


Description of the flag of Verquigneul

The flag of Verquigneul is horizontally divided white-black with the municipal coat of arms placed i nthe middle of the flag.

On 2 April 1980, the Municipal Council of Verquigneul decided to adopt as the municipal arms the arms of the ancient family of Verquigneul. These arms symbolized the fight of a Christian knight, represented by the ermine spots, against the Muslims, represented by the dark crescent, during the Crusades. The municipal flag was most probably inspired by a historical gonfanon, horizontally divided white-black with three long tails and the Verquigneul coat of arms placed in the middle

Source: Website of the Verquigneul nursery school

Ivan Sache, 25 August 2002


Historical gonfanon of Verquigneul

[Historical gonfanon of Verquigneul]by Ivan Sache & Arnaud Leroy

The municipal flag was most probably inspired by a historical gonfanon, horizontally divided white-black with three long tails and the Verquigneul coat of arms placed in the middle, also shown on the aforementioned website.

Ivan Sache, 25 August 2002

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