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Bredene (Municipality, Province of West Flanders, Belgium)

Last modified: 2019-07-30 by ivan sache
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[Flag of Bredene]

Municipal flag of Bredene - Image by Filip van Laenen, 4 November 2001

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Presentation of Bredene

The municipality of Bredene (locally known as Breninge; 15,343 inhabitants on 1 July 2007; 1,308 ha) is located on the North Sea, between Ostend and De Haan. Bredene is mostly known as a sea resort, with a 4-km dune bar without a sea dyke (the only one of that kind in Belgium), a naturist beach (the only one of that kind in Belgium) and some 30 camping sites.

The "D'Heye" dunes (named after the Dutch word heide, "heather", "moor"), located on the border of Bredene and De Haan, are a complex of fossile dunes dating back to the Roman period. The dunes have not been flooded by the sea since their formation, and they especially escaped the big floods of the IIIrd and VIIth century. Remains of human activity (fishers, hunters, looters, shepherds) have been found from all periods later than the IIIrd century. In the beginning of the XVIth century, the monks of the St. John's Hospital in Bruges built the farm Jacobinessenof, which was later burnt down. At that time, the only possible agricultural activity was sheep breeding. A big sheepfold was built in the XVIIIth century and sheep flocks grazed the dunes until 1850. Afterwards, the moor was invaded by colonizing plants such as rushes and shrubs such as brooms.

Sources: Municipal website

Ivan Sache, 28 May 2007

Municipal flag of Bredene

The municipal flag of Bredene is horizontally divided white-black-red (2:1:2).
According to Gemeentewapens in België - Vlaanderen en Brussel, the flag was adopted by the Municipal Council on 14 October 1985, confirmed by the Executive of Flanders on 10 March 1997 and published in the Belgian official gazette on 3 December 1987.
The colours of the flag are taken from the arms.

The arms of Bredene were granted by Royal Decree on 19 April 1847; as shown by Servais, they are white with a red cross and two finches, a red one in the upper left corner and a black one in the lower right corner. The finches (in Dutch, vink) are canting for the domain of Vinck domain, which was a part of the Vrije van Brugge (lit. the Free [domain] of Bruges), a large territory surrounding Bruges but not belonging to the town. Vinckx belonged to the Knight Templars, therefore the cross.
The villages that belonged to Vincx all used similar arms, differing by the finches; they were already shown on the map of the Vrije van Brugge made by Pieter Pourbus in 1562.
The arms of Nieuwmunster (incorporated to the municipality of Zuienkerke in 1976) were granted by Royal Decree on 18 April 1847. They show two black finches placed like on the arms of Bredene.
The arms of Klemskerke (incorporated to the municipality of De Haan in 1976) were granted by Royal Decree on 18 April 1847. They show the red cross but no finch at all.
The arms of Vlissegem (incorporated to the municipality of De Haan in 1976) were granted by Royal Decree on 27 June 1846. They show a black finch in each corner of the shield. The old arms of Vlissegem are shown in the point of the current coat of arms of the municipality of De Haan.

Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 28 May 2007