Last modified: 2009-03-21 by ivan sache
Keywords: sint-lievins-houtem | hautem-saint-lievin |
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Municipal flag of Sint-Lievins-Houtem - Image by Ivan Sache, 6 November 2007
The municipality of Sint-Lievens-Houtem (in French, Hautem-Saint-Liévin; 9,481 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 2,667 ha) is located in the center of East Flanders, 20 km of Ghent. The municipality of Sint-Lievens-Houtem is made since 1976 of the former municipalities of Sint-Lievens-Houtem, Bavegem, Letterhoutem, Vlierzele and Zonnegem, together with the hamlet of Kottem, formerly part of the municipality of Oombergen (which was mostly incorporated to Zottegem in 1976).
St. Lieven (in French, Liévin) wass an Irish monk who evangelized
Flanders in the 7th century. Ordained by St. Augustin of Cantorbery,
Lieven spent a few years in Scotland as a bishop and then came to
Flanders. On the coastal part, today in France, Lieven stayed at
Wissant, Pont-de-Briques and eventually at Merck-Saint-Liévin, near
Fauquemberges, where he helped St. Omer to evangelize the region known
as Morinie. Lieven was beheaded on 12 November 657 after having been
tortured; accordingly, he is represented either with a sword or the
tongs used to pull out his tongue. Lieven was invoked against tooth
ache. After his death, his body was transported to Ghent and he became
the patron saint of the town. His life was, much later, confined with
the life of another missionary who had evangelized Brabant in the 11th-12th centuries. Devotion to the saint developed in the north of France in the 17th-19th centuries.
Like Merck-Saint-Liévin, Sint-Lievens-Houtem was a popular place of pilgrimage.
Source: Annay-sous-Lens municipal website
Peter Paul Rubens painted a particularly "vivid" representation of St. Lieven's martyre, shown in the Belgian Royal Museums of Fine Arts in Brussels.
Ivan Sache, 6 November 2007
The municipal flag of Sint-Lievens-Houtem is horizontally divided in
seven stripes, white-red-white-red-white-red-white. The flag is hoisted on the balcony of the town hall.
According to Gemeentewapens in België - Vlaanderen en Brussel [w2v02a], the flag was adopted by the Municipal Council on 10 October 1980, confirmed by Royal Decree on 16 July 1981 and published in the Belgian official gazette on 3 October 1981.
The seven stripes are taken from the lion fessy, shown in the former arms of Sint-Lievens-Houtem and in the first and fourth quarters of the today's arms of Sint-Lievens-Houtem.
According to Servais [svm55a], the former arms of Sint-Lievens-Houtem, granted by Royal Decree on 20 March 1947, are "Azure a lion fessy argent and gules seven pieces armed langued and crowned gules", the shield being supported by St. Lievens. The lion comes from the arms of the St. Bavo abbey in Ghent.
The today's arms of Sint-Lievens-Houtem are "Quarterly, 1. and 4., Azur a lion fessy argent and gules seven pieces armed langued and crowned gules, 2. Azure a chevron or surrounded by three boar's head argent langued gules and armed of the field, 3. Gules three keys or."
"Gules three keys or" are the former arms of Letterhoutem, granted by Royal Decree on 15 Janaury 1948, and incorporated currently to the flag and arms of Sint-Martens-Latem.
Source: "Land van Rode" Heemkundig Genootschap website
Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 29 December 2008