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Moorslede (Municipality, Province of West Flanders, Belgium)

Last modified: 2019-07-30 by ivan sache
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[Flag of Moorslede]by Ivan Sache

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Presentation of Moorslede

The municipality of Moorslede (10,697 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 3,534 ha) is located 15 km north-east of Ieper. The municipality of Moorslede is made since 1976 of the former municipalities of Moorslede and Dadizele.

Moorslede was called Morcelede in 1085. The second part of the name is possibly hlitha, "slope", and the first part moort, "loose earth","grit" (J. de Vries, Woordenboek der Noord- en Zuid-Nederlandse Plaatsnamen, 1962).
Moorslede is the birth place of the Jesuit missionary Constant Lievens (1856-1893). Lievens studied in the Primary Seminary in Roeselare under the guidance of the priest and writer Hugo Verriest. In 1876, he graduated second behind the poet Albrecht Rodenbach. On 22 October 1880, he left the Jesuit college of Drongen for Ostend, where he boarded "for ever" to India. Ordained priest in Calcutta in 1883, Lievens was appointed in 1888 the leader of the missionary community of Chota Nâgpur, a tribal area of central India (today split between the states of Bihar, Orissa and Jharkand). He studied there the Munda language and supported the Mundas and other tribes spoliated by the British colonial government, forcing the court to recognize the Munda law when dealing with land property rights. As a reward, the Mundas massively converted to Catholicism. Suffering from tuberculosis, he went back to Belgium and died in Leuven. Moorslede honours his child with an equestrian statue placed on the village square and the Constant Lievens Museum.
The World Championship in Cyclism took place in Moorslede in 1950. The winner was the Belgian Alberic "Briek" Schotte (1919-2004), already World Champion in Valkenburg in 1948, and also winner of the Tour of Flanders (1942, 1948), Paris-Tours (1946, 1947), Paris-Brussels (1946, 1952), Ghent-Wevelgem (1950, 1955) and several other races. Schotte was nicknamed De laatste der Flandriens, the Last of the Flandrians. The Flandrians were those Flemish racers who fought merciless on the nasty roads and hills of Flanders.

Dadizele used to be Dadingisila, "the estate of Dado's lineage.
Dadizele has been an important place of pilgrimage since the XIVth century. The current sanctuary there is the basilica Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception (Onze-Lieve-Vrouw van de Onbevlekte Ontvangenis).
Dadizele is the birth place of three famous racing cyclists:
- Cyrille van Hauwaert (1883-1974), professional 1907-1915, won the first stage of the Tour de France 1909 (Paris-Roubaix), the one-day road races Bordeaux-Paris (1907 & 1909), Milan-San Remo (1908), Paris-Roubaix (1908) and Paris-Menen (1910), as well as the championship of Belgium (1909)
- Julien Vervaecke (1899-1940), won the 15th stage of Tour de France 1929 (Grenoble-Évian) and the 16th stage in 1927 (Nice-Briançon), Paris-Brussels (1929) and Paris-Roubaix (1930)
- Félicien Vervaecke (1907-1986) won the 10th stage of Tour de France 1937 (Digne-Nice) and the 21st stage in 1938 (Laon-Saint-Quentin). He was best climber in Tour de France 1935 and 1937.


Ivan Sache & Jarig Bakker, 2 September 2007

Municipal flag of Moorslede

The flag of Moorslede is white with a blue cross.
According to Gemeentewapens in België - Vlaanderen en Brussel, the flag was adopted by the Municipal Council on 21 February 1995, confirmed by the Executive of Flanders on 4 April 1995 and published in the Belgian official gazette on 15 July 1995.
This flag superseded the former flag, similar but square, adopted by the Municipal Council on 20 September 1977, confirmed by Royal Decree on 21 June 1978 and published in the Belgian official gazette on 25 August 1978.
The flag is a banner of the municipal arms, the crown and flag-bearing supporters being excluded.

The greater municipal arms of Moortsel shows the blue cross shield crowned and supported by two lions holding the square banners of the arms of Moortsel (dexter) and of Dadizele (sinister). They are based on a municipal seal dated 1715 and showing the canting arms of the Croix (in French, cross) family, lords of Moorslede and Dadizele since 1693. The arms "Argent a cross azure" are used by the French municipalities of Croix and Marcq-en-Barœul, the latter using a square banner of the arms as its municipal flag.
There are, at least, two representations of the arms of Moorslede. The International Civic Heraldry website shows the arms with rectangular flags with a "thin" cross (say 1/5th of the flag height), while the Dadizele website shows them with a square flag and a "thick cross" (1/3rd of the flag side). Similarly, the width of the cross differs in the main shield. The design of the Dadizele lozenges also differ. Since there was a former square flag, we can imagine (without the least evidence) that the design of the arms was also changed from the square flags pattern to the rectangular flags pattern.

Ivan Sache, 2 September 2007