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Retranchement (The Netherlands)

Sluis municipality, Zeeland province

Last modified: 2018-12-15 by rob raeside
Keywords: retranchement |
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[Retranchement flag] by Jarig Bakker, 19 Oct 2004, after image sent by Jurrien Kruidhof.
adopted c. 1999; design: unknown

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Retranchement village

The inhabitants of Retranchement (aka Truzementenaren) in Sluis-Aardenburg municipality, Zeeland province, are happy to be able to wapper their own villageflag on festive occasions. Until 1970 it was a separate municipality with its own coat of arms, but the municipal council never adopted a flag. Mr. R. de Vrieze endeavored to change that.
He said: "In the summertime I observed many flags of the former municipalities of Sluis and Aardenburg, but none in Retranchement, though it was a separate municipality till 1970."
De Vrieze went to the Hoge Raad van Adel in The Hague, to have a look in the archives, where someone had a deep dive and resurfaced with the Retranchement arms.
Blazon: Argent a bend azure; in chief sinister a capital R noir.
The blue diagonal stripe probably represents the Schelde river. The Retranchement arms look like the arms of the former municipalities of Groede, Cadzand, Schoondijke, Zuidzande and Sint Kruis.
De Vrieze asked the Hoge Raad van Adel for permission to make a flag out of the old arms, which was granted. A flagmaker produced several flags based on the blazon, and the Truzementenaren were so enthusiastic, that Mr. de Vrieze took orders. The nylon flags are wappering on several flagpoles before houses, pubs and beachpavillions. According to de Vrieze a dozen flags have been made, and next year all of Retranchement will be covered by them.
Source: "Provinciale Zeeuwse Courant" of 29 Oct 1999, sent by Stefan Lambregts.
Note: the blue stripe probably symbolizes the Zwin, the old river connecting Brugge with the sea - and not the Schelde.
Retranchement was a municipality with 500 inhabitants on the Belgian border, north of Sluis in western Zeeuws-Vlaanderen. The name means: entrenchment; it was laid out by Prince Maurits van Orange after his expedition in Vlaanderen in 1604, and extended in 1644 and 1684. Many remains are left, like the Nassauschans and several bastions.
Nickname: "Mensenbranders" (burners of men): Long ago, when the Zwin was still connected with the sea, a ship sailed to Retranchement, with men infected with the plague. To prevent the plague spreading over the land it was decided to burn the ship with its complete crew.

Retranchement Coat of Arms

[Retranchement Coat of Arms] by Jarig Bakker, 19 Oct 2004, after image in the Koffie Hag Album

Retranchement flagproposal

[Retranchement flagproposal] by Jarig Bakker, 19 Oct 2004
prposal only; design: Ir. A.J. Beenhakker, c.1970

Mr Hans van Heijningen dug into his archive and found several articles in Anton Jansen's magazine "Vlaggen" (#73, 1991), in which many designs were published, produced by Ir. A.J. Beenhakker in Middelburg.
Ir. Beenhakker made a design for Retranchement: a blue diagonal stripe from hoist-top to fly-bottom bordered white on an orange field.
Retranchement lies in the area known as "Vrije van Brugge" (Freedom of Brugge, Belgium), and in the flag the slanting blue stripe on white from the municipal arms has been used. The orange field symbolizes that the fortress of Retranchement was laid out by Prince Maurits of Orange.It is not known whether the municipal council ever considered this proposal..
Jarig Bakker, 19 Oct 2004