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Coudekerque-Branche (Municipality, Nord, France)

Nieuw-Koudekerke, Nieu-Coudekercque

Last modified: 2013-03-23 by ivan sache
Keywords: nord | coudekerque-branche | nieuw-koudekerke | nieu-coudekercque | porcupine | hedgehog | crown (yellow) |
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[Flag of Coudekerque-Branche]

Flag of Coudekerque-Branche - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 19 January 2013

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Presentation of Coudekerque-Branche

The municipality of Coudekerque-Branche (Dutch, Nieuw-Koudekerke; local Flemish written form, Nieu-Coudekercke; 25,000 inhabitants, 902 ha) is located a few kilometers south of Dunkirk.
The village of Coudekerque has been existing at least since 1067 (as Koudkerque - the cold church). Following the battle of the Dunes (1658), the territory of Coudekerque was divided into two parts, the northern part being allocated to England and incorporated to the Magistrate of Dunkirk, while the southern part was allocated to Spain and incorporated to the châtellenie of Bergues. The center of the village, in the southern part, remained known as Coudekerque, or Coudekerque-Village, whereas the northern branch was called Branche-de-Coudekerque.
The municipality of Coudekerque-Branche was established by the Royal Decree of 14 December 1789 (the very same Decree that called the gathering of the States General!). In 1790, the population of the municipality was 1,200. Coudekerque-Branche was divided into four sections limited by canals:
- section A, between the sea and the canal of Veurne, which formed the municipality of Rosedael in 1860;
- section B, between the canal of Veurne and the canal of the Moëres, which formed the boroughs of Grand and Petit Steendam;
- section C, between the canal of the Moëres and the canal of Bergues;
- section D, between the canal of Bergues and the canal of Bourbourg.

The industrialization of Coudekerque-Branche started in the 19th century in the western part of the municipality, because of the canals and the railway (1848) which facilitated access to the port of Dunkirk. The Dickson mill was opened in 1837, followed by the Mahieu sugar house, the Lavergne oil factory, the Clère & Boilet refinery, the Pieters brickyard, breweries, and the Weill mill. During the interbellum, the town enlarged to the east, with the warehouses of the Coopérateurs de la Flandre et de l'Artois (1922). New boroughs were built by the real estate company Le Foyer Flamand, which was a subsidiary of the Weill mill.
Like any reputable town in Flanders, Coudekerque-Branche has a giant, called Joséphine Peule, or la Peule, representing a mill worker. On 16 June 1996, la Peule was married to Celten the Roadie, the giant of the Belgian town of Poelkapelle.

Source: Municipal website

Ivan Sache, 2 April 2004

Flag of Coudekerque-Branche

The flag of Coudekerque-Branche (photo, 18 January 2012) is white with the town's logo (image), made of a hedgehog with green leaves on his back and the town's name and mottos "Notre avenir à tous" (Our Shared Future).

Olivier Touzeau, 19 January 2013

Former flags of Coudekerque-Branche

[Flag of Coudekerque-Branche]

Former flag of Coudekerque-Branche, 2004 - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 2 April 2004

The flag of Coudekerque-Branche reported in 2004 was red with a white crowned hedgehog, borrowed form the municipal arms.

The municipal coat of arms is "Sable a porcupine argent crowned or".
The municipal arms were adopted in 1937 and reused the medieval arms of the lords of Coudekerque or Coudecapeele. Although the blazon says "porcupine", the animal is indeed a hedgehog, as proved by the name of local sport teams and associations.

Olivier Touzeau & Ivan Sache, 2 April 2004

[Flag of Coudekerque-Branche]

Former flag of Coudekerque-Branche, 1997 - Image by Jaume Ollé, 19 January 2013

A similar flag, with a green field and a black crowned hedgehog, was reported in 2007.

Jaume Ollé, 19 January 2013