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Berlare (Municipality, Province of East Flanders, Belgium)

Last modified: 2007-10-20 by ivan sache
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[Flag of Berlare]

Municipal flag of Berlare - Image by Filip van Laenen , 14 October 2001

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Presentation of Berlare

The municipality of Berlare (14,270 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 3,793 ha) is located between Ghent and Dendermonde. The municipality of Berlare is made since 1976 of the former municipalities of Berlare (7,876 inh.; 1;773 ha), Overmere (4,504 inh.; 1,372 ha) and Uitbergen (1,980 inh.; 648 ha). Lake Donk (Donkmeer), located in Overmere and Uitbergen, is the biggest lake in Flanders (86 ha). It was a former place of peat extraction from the XVIIth to the XXth century.

In 2007, Karel De Gucht (VLD, Vlaamse Liberalen en Democraten) was elected Mayor of Berlare. De Gucht, born in Overmere in 1954, was President of the VLD, 1999-2004, and was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs in the second Verhofstadt government, 22 July 2004.
Berlare is the birth village of the cyclist Fred De Bruyne (Alfred Debruyne, 1930-1994). His career was quite short (1954-1961) but very successful. De Bruyne won three times Liège-Bastogne-Liège (1956, 1958, 1959), Milan-San Remo (1956), and the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix the same year (1957). He also won six stages of the Tour de France, three in 1954 and three in 1956.

Overmere is the village where the Peasants' War (Boerenkrijg) started on 12 October 1798.

Ivan Sache, 21 May 2007

Municipal flag of Berlare

The municipal flag of Berlare is horizontally divided white-red-white.
According to Gemeentewapens in België - Vlaanderen en Brussel, the flag was adopted by the Municipal Council on 11 May 1981, confirmed by Royal Decree on 2 February 1982 and published in the Belgian official gazette on 21 April 1982 and, again, on 4 January 1995.
The three stripes represent the three villages forming the municipality. White and red are the colours the most represented in the municipal arms and the colours of the flag of the Boerenkrijg, who was white with a red cross.

The municipal arms of Berlare are given on the municipal website as:
Doorsneden 1. in zilver een Sint Martinus met bedelaar, alles van natuurlijke kleur 2. gedeeld a. in sabel zes schelpen van zilver 3, 2 en 1 geplaatst b. in lazuur een leeuw van goud, geklauwd en getongd van keel, met over alles heen een schuinbalk van keel, beladen met drie breedarmige kruisjes van zilver, in de richting van de schuinbalk geplaatst (Per fess; first, argent a St. Martin with the beggar proper; second, per pale; a, sable six scallops argent placed 3, 2 and 1; b, azur a lion or armed and langued gules overall a bend gules three crosslets argent).
These arms are a merging of the arms of the former three municipalities:
- Berlare (Royal Decree, 4 November 1854): "Argent a St. Martin proper". St. Martin was already the patron and protector of Berlare in the XVth century.
- Overmere (1819, confirmed by Royal Decree, 30 November 1838); "Azure a lion or armed and langued gules overall a bend gules three crosslets argent". These arms belonged to Jan of Massemen, lord of Overmere in the XIVth century and son of Margareta of Nevele, who had inherited the domain from her father Willem of Nevele, lord of Utberghe, in 1312.
- Uitbergen (Royal Decree, 16 September 1898): "Sable six scallops argent placed 3, 2 and 1." Willem of Uytberghe, magistrate at the Court of Ghent, bore in 1310 "Argent three scallops sable. Boudewijn Borluut married Catharina of Uytberghe and bore arms with a quarter "Sable five scallops argent."
The Gelre Armorial shows "Azure a lion or" for Gerard of Rasseghem, lord of Massemen (Die He. v. Massemyn, #950, folio 81r), whereas the Lalaing Armorial shows "Azure a lion or armed and lampassed gules" for Massemen (Rassegem) (Massemine, #156, folio 80r).

Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 21 May 2007

Nievdonckse Watersport Vereniging

Nievdonckse Watersport Vereniging (NWV, New Donk Watersport Association, niev being the dialectal form of new) was founded in 1994 by members of a local sailing club eager to explore the new Donk articifial lake, a former peat production area now used for recreation; the first trials were made in 1983.

The burgee of NWV is blue with a broad lying Y form outlined in yellow, with a disk in the "middle" of the Y containing blue stylized wavelets.

Source: NWV website

Ivan Sache, 23 February 2007