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Essen (Municipality, Province of Antwerp, Belgium)

Last modified: 2013-06-23 by ivan sache
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[Flag of Essen]

Municipal flag of Essen - Image by Jarig Bakker, 27 September 2001,coat of arms from the Heraldry of the World website

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Presentation of Essen

The municipality of Essen (17,143 inhabitants on 1 July 2007; 4,748 ha) is located north of Antwerp, on the border with the Netherlands, close to the Dutch town of Roosendaal.

Essen was mentioned first as Esschen (from es, "an ashtree") in 1148. The border has always played a major part in the village's history. Essen originally belonged to the Lordship of Nispen (now in North-Brabant, The Netherlands). In 1138 it was, together with Kalmthout and Huijbergen, donated to the Abbey of Tongerlo. However Essen remained oriented on Nispen; until 1805 Essen and Nispen formed one parish. In 1854 the railway Antwerpen-Roosendaal was taken into use, on which Essen was an important station/border crossing. Especially between the two world wars Essen flourished by it. Later Roosendaal took over that role. Now Essen is a posh commuter municipality, where few people remember feuds about border delineation, border corrections, smuggling and other funny happenings. The ever growing population is spread over the old village center, the borough Essen-Hoek, and the hamlets Horendonk and Wildert.

The inhabitants of Essen are nicknamed blazen, (pig's) "bladders"; when the Essenaren went to Wuustwezel in order to draw for the army, they carried pig's bladders, with which they beat their competitors from other municipalities on the heads and faces, so that they guaranteed merry intervillage fights.


  • Gids voor Vlaanderen, 1995
  • Eigen Aard, 2nd ed., 1946

Ivan Sache & Jarig Bakker, 1 July 2007

Municipal flag of Essen

The flag of Essen is vertically divided blue-yellow with the shield of the municipal arms in canton.
According to Gemeentewapens in België - Vlaanderen en Brussel [w2v02], the flag was adopted by the Municipal Council on 8 November 1995, confirmed by the Executive of Flanders on 25 June 1996 and published in the Belgian official gazette on 31 August 1996.
The colours of the flag are the main colours of the municipal arms, which, according to Servais [svm55a], were originally granted by Royal Decree on 9 December 1841.

Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 1 July 2007