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Schilde (Municipality, Province of Antwerp, Belgium)

Last modified: 2011-11-12 by ivan sache
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[Flag of Schilde]

Municipal flag of Schilde - Image by Filip van Laenen, 3 October 2001

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Presentation of Schilde

The municipality of Schilde (19,537 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 3,599 ha) is located east of Antwerp. The municipality of Schilde is made since 1976 of the former municipalities of Schilde and s'-Gravenwezel.

Schilde was mentioned for the first time in 1145 in a document introducing Radbout van Craeynem, the son of Lambert, heer van Scille (lord of Schilde). The name of the town was probably derived from scint-lo, "the place planted with trees located near the Schijn". In the 12th century, Zeger van Craeynem transferred a part of his possessions in Schilde to the abbey of Affligem.
The van de Werve family became lord of Schilde in the late 14th century; except for two short periods in the 17th-18th centuries, the family kept Schilde until the French Revolution. Baron Gaston van de Werve (1867-1923), appointed Governor of the Province of Antwerp in 1912, was sacked by the Germans in 1914 and confined to his hotel as an hostage. Reinstated after the war, he significantly contributed to the rebuilding of Antwerp and presided the organizing committee of the 1920 Olympic Games.
After the death of the Baron's widow in 1951, the castle and domain of Schilde were sold by lots, allowing the development of the town. Population increased from 4,000 in 1950 to more than 10,000 in 1976. Schilde is today one of the richest municipalities in the neighborhood of Antwerp.

's-Gravenwezel, originally known as Wesele, "the wood near the fields", was renamed in the 14th century when two lords, Janne and Woutere, bearing the title of Count (in Dutch, graaf), settled there. Like in Schilde, those lords were close relatives of the Duke of Brabant but their influence decreased and the domain was transferred to noble families from Antwerp.
In the beginning of the 19th century, 's-Gravenwezel belonged to the Gills (later Gills de Plichy) family, Mayors of the town until 1929. In the 1950s, the same process took place as in Schilde and the "invasion" started.
Founded in 1850 by the Brotherhood of the Christian Schools of the Sacred Heart of Mary, the pensionat van 's-Gravenwezel was famous and taught young girls from all over Kempen. It evolved to a modern institute.

Source: Municipal website

Ivan Sache, 3 November 2007

Municipal flag of Schilde

The municipal flag of Schilde is quartered black-yellow-white-red.
According to Gemeentewapens in België - Vlaanderen en Brussel [w2v02a], the flag was adopted by the Municipal Council on 30 October 1980, confirmed by Royal Decree on 16 September 1981 and published in the Belgian official gazette on 6 October 1981 and, again, on 4 January 1995.
The colours of the flag are taken from the municipal arms.

The arms of Schilde, as shown in Van evers en heiligen. Wapens en vlaggen van de gemeenten in de provincie Antwerpen [pbd98] are "Quarterly, 1. and 4. Or a boar sable armed argent, 2. and 3. Sable three chevrons argent, overall an erscutcheon gules a chevron argent cantonned with three roses of the same".
The shield shows the former arms of Schilde, granted by Royal Decree on 12 October 1876, and unofficially used by the municipal council since the 18th century. These are the arms of the van de Werve family. The escutcheon shows the former arms of 's-Gravewezel.

One of the oldest Belgian lineages and, most probably, the oldest non-extincted lineage from Antwerp, the van de Werve emerged in the 18th century; in 1225, the Municipal Councillor of Antwerp Willelmus de Littore signed as Willelmus de Werve and used a seal with three chevrons. The lineage can be traced with certainty back to Jean van de Werve, mentioned as a Municipal Councillor in Antwerp in 1299. Members of the lineage played a significant part in the history of Antwerp, some 50 of them having been Municipal Councillors and another 20 Mayors. The today's lineage is divided into three branches, all stemming from Louis van de Werve (1791-1850) and his wife Jeanne Gills (1792-1866): van de Werve from Vorselaer (senior branch), van de Werve from Schilde and van de Werve from Immerseel (junior branch). All the members of the van de Werve lineage formed an association in 1970.
The arms of the Van de Werve family are currently used by the municipality of Vorselaar, whose flag is a banner of the municipal arms.

Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 3 November 2007