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Linkebeek (Municipality, Province of Flemish Brabant, Belgium)

Last modified: 2017-04-16 by ivan sache
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[Flag of Linkebeek]

Municipal flag of Linkebeek - Image by Arnaud Leroy, 25 June 2006

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Presentation of Linkebeek

The municipality of Linkebeek (4,710 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 450 ha; municipal websiteBrussels. The town is located in Flemish Brabant but some 80% of its inhabitants are French-speakers. The official language in the municipality is Dutch but there are "linguistical facilities" for the French-speakers.

Linkebeek is named after the brook (in Dutch, beek) of the same name. Some toponymists claim that Linkebeek means "the left (in Dutch, links) brook" but most believe that the meaning of linke is similar to the meaning of the golf links; Linkebeek would therefore be "a brook with grassy banks". The brook has its source in the Artists' Valley, known in Dutch as Wijnbrondal, a short form of Dal van de Sinter Weyenborre, that is "the Valley of St. Guido Source". Among the famous artists who stayed in Linkebeek are the American actress Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993) and the Belgian moviemaker André Delvaux (1926-2002). Linkebeek is nicknamed the Little Brabantian Switzerland.

The town of Linkebeek is located in the western part of the old forest of Soignes (in Dutch, Zoniên), a place which was already settled in the Neolithic. In 1110, Count of Leuven Geoffrey the Bearded founded there an oratory dedicated to St. Sebastian, the patron saint of bowmen. The oratory became a popular place of pilgrimage against epidemic diseases. It was visited in 1469 by Duke of Burgundy Charles the Bold, who founded the St. Sebastian's Brotherhood, ruled by the abbey of Forest. The duke was so pleased by the consequences of his pilgrimage that he offerred a visitor's book to the bortherhood. Emperor Charles V enjoyed hunting on the neighbouring forests and owned a hunting lodge in Linkebeek.
Around 1650, Albert van de Winckele, Councillor of Brabant, purchased the Brotherhood and therefore Linkebeek; the newly founded domain of Linkebeek was merged with Sint-Genesius-Rode and Alsemberg. A small manor was built; Marie-Barbe de Man was the last Dame of the domain.

Ivan Sache & Jan Mertens, 25 June 2006

Flag of Linkebeek

The flag of Linkebeek is diagonally divided white-red with a Moor's head in the upper right corner. The Moor has red lips and a red headband.
According to Gemeentewapens in België - Vlaanderen en Brussel [w2v02], the flag was imposed by a Decree adopted on 16 February 1993 by the Executive of Flanders and published on 25 May 1993 in the Belgian official gazette.
The colours of the flag come from the municipal arms, as well as the Moor's head.

According to the municipal website, the municipal arms of Linkebeek were granted by Royal Decree on 6 November 1956, as follows:

Considering that it is established by authentic documents that the municipal councillors of Linkebeek used regularly before 1795 specific arms ... We have allowed and allow the municipality of Linkebeek by the present Letters Patented to bear these arms as described and drawn: "Argent a chevron gules three Moor's heads wreathed gules".

The arms are indeed based on a seal of the Dame de Man found on a document dated 1777, preserved in the archives of the abbey of Sept Fontaines. The origin of the arms is not known: an ancestor of the Man lineage could have fought the Turks or the Sarracens during the Crusades, or the Man could descend from a Spanish family bearing Moor's heads in its arms.
The Moor's head is also shown on the municipal flag of Lennik, based on the arms of another member of the Man family.

Arnaud Leroy, Pascal Vagnat, Jan Mertens & Ivan Sache, 30 August 2011

Other reported flag of Linkebeek

[Flag of Linkebeek]

Other reported flag of Linkebeek - Image by Arnaud Leroy, 25 June 2006

La Tribune de Bruxelles shows for Linkebeek a simpler flag, horizontally divided white-red. It might be the former unofficial flag used by the municipality, no longer in use today.

Jan Mertens & Ivan Sache, 30 August 2001