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Kaprijke (Municipality, Province of East Flanders, Belgium)

Last modified: 2007-12-22 by ivan sache
Keywords: kaprijke | hood (red) | hood (blue) |
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[Flag of Kaprijke]

Municipal flag of Kaprijke - Image by Arnaud Leroy, 13 January 2006

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Presentation of Kaprijke

The municipality of Kaprijke (6,171 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 3,371 ha) is located in the heart of Meetjesland, the rural region located between Ghent and Bruges. The municipality of Kaprijke is made since 1976 of the former municipalities of Kaprijke and Lembeke.

Kaprijke was known in the Gallo-Roman times as Capriacum, Caprius' estate. The area was abandoned in the Vth century because of the German invasions and remained uninhabited until the XIIth century. In 1240, Countess of Flanders Johanna of Constantinople granted municipal rights in order to resettle the area and grow it. The oldest known town hall (schepenhuis) dates back to 1425 and was then located close to the church. The first modern town hall was built in 1663, burnt down 30 years later by the French, rebuilt and burnt again in a blaze in 1881. The monument was rebuilt, revamped again in 1932 and listed as an historical monument. Until 1970, its basement was used as a pub.
The emblematic places of Kaprijke, the Plein and the Dries, recall that the village was once involved in clothmaking. The village square was then three times bigger than today, with drying frames for cloth, wells providing water for the fulling of cloth and workshops for the weavers. In the XIXth century, the southern part of the square was partially transformed into a building area; the northern part of the square is the biggest village square in East Flanders. The Dries is today the wide Voorstraat, still showing the small passageways between the houses heading to the pastures. Clothmaking ended during the Religious Wars in the XVIth century.
The apple variety known as groeningen was bred in Kaprijke at the end of the Middle Ages. At that time, these small apples were highly estimated and considered as sweetmeats. Since then, the inhabitants of Kaprijke are nicknamed groeningen.
Lembeke has the same history as Kaprijke, but it seems the place was never inhabited before the XIIth century.

Source: Municipal website

Kaprijke is the birth village of the playwright Hippoliet Jan van Peene (1811-1864), one of the founding members of the theater circle Broedermin en Taalgroei. He wrote some 60 popular comedies, dramas and musicals in the style of the French theater of the time. In spite of his faultive style and language, he was very famous and the most important playwright in Flanders at his time. He also wrote the words of the popular song De Vlaemsche leeuw (The Flemish lion, 1845), today the official anthem of Flanders. Van Peene's complete works (Volledige werken) have been edited in 1880-1882 by J. van Artevelde (33 volumes!).

Source: Digital library of Dutch-speaking literature

Ivan Sache, 13 January 2006

Municipal flag of Kaprijke

The municipal flag of Kaprijke is vertically divided red-blue with a blue hood in the red stripe and a red hood in the blue stripe.
According to the Gemeentewapens in België - Vlaanderen en Brussel, the flag was adopted by the Municipal Council on 10 June 1980, confirmed by the Executive of Flanders on 14 June 1988 and published in the Belgian official gazette on 16 September 1988.
The flag is based on the municipal arms.

According to Servais, the arms of Kaprijke were granted by Royal Decree on 25 May 1838 as "Gules an escutcheon or a lion sable armed and langued gules (Flanders) eight hoods argent placed 3, 2 and 3". On these arms known since 1557, the hoods are canting (from kaproen or kap, "a hood"), although there is no direct relationship between kap and Kaprijke.

Arnaud Leroy, Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 6 November 2005