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Hove (Municipality, Province of Antwerp, Belgium)

Last modified: 2017-03-11 by ivan sache
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[Flag of Hove]

Flag of Hove - Image by Arnaud Leroy, 24 June 2006

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Presentation of Hove

The municipality of Hove (8,298 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 589 ha 69 a 58 ca; municipal website) is located in the southern outskirts of Antwerp, east of Edegem.

In his dictionary of the Belgian municipalities published in 1939, E. de Seyn writes that Hove Sint-Laureins, or more simply Hove, is one of the oldest settlements in the region of Antwerp. In 1270, Hove was already known as a village and parish formed by separation from Kontich, but there is no document giving the exact year of the separation. The separation of parishes from Kontich started in 1149. Dr. De Laet claims that Hove was formed in 1200 but gives no evidence for that, whereas Dr. Pims shows a deed dated 1233, mentioning the parish of Hove and the borders of the village and the parish.

Hove was originally part of the Duchy of Brabant. Duke Henry III died on 5 December 1355; his three sons were already dead and his elder daughter Johanna inherited the duchy along with her husband Wenceslas. Count of Flanders Louis van Male, also married with a daughter of the duke, claimed the dowry of his wife; he also claimed the domain of Mechelen. After unsuccessful discussion, the Count invaded the duchy and the Flemish fleet assaulted Antwerp for the first time in history. Antwerp, Brussels and Mechelen fell into the hands of the Count of Flanders. After an unsuccessfull expedition launched by the Duke of Brabant, the two parties asked the mediation of William, Duke of Holland and Hainaut. According to his decision given on 4 June 1357 in Ath, Antwerp and the surrounding villages should be transferred to Flanders, providing the Count and the Countess pay an annuity of 10,000 guilders. A mixed commission with eight members prescribed the rights of the different rulers on the villages included in the agreement. Antwerp and fifteen villages should be transferred to Flanders, including eight villages from the Waterland (the former Antwerp polders) and seven villages from the Land van Rijen: Hove, Boechout, Schilde, Deurne, Wilrijk, Wijnegem and Berchem. The transfer was officialized on 18 March 1358 and the annuity was paid two days later. The niece of the Duke of Brabant, the Countess of Kleef, also known as the Dame of Mechelen, kept some rights in some villages, including Hove; her rights were bequeathed to the powerful lords of Mechelen, the Berthout. Justice was exerted by the Bailiff of Antwerp; Bailiff Rogier van Wommen appointed in 1361 Mayors in Hove, Deurne and in the Waterland. In 1405, Hove was returned to Brabant.

The inhabitants of Hove (Hovenaars) were given at the end of the 16th century the nickname of "Cardinalists" since they took the party of Granvelle. Cardinal de Granvelle was the main councillor of Margarethe van Parma, who ruled the Low Countries in the name of King of Spain Philip II. The hate of Granvelle for the families of Orange and Egmond caused the split of the country into two opposed parties, the Cardinalists and the Anti-Cardinalists.
The second nickname of the Hovenaars is Keescoppen, according to a popular rhyme:

Dye van Hoof zen geschoren,
's Hebbe 'ne keescop van 'nen thoren.
Dye van Meurtsel sen soo ryck,
's Hebben nen thoren met nen blyck.
Dey van Eeghem sen soo fel,
's Hebben 'n klok en een bel.
Those of Hove are shorn,
have a tower flat like a cheese.
Those of Mortsel are rich,
have a high-reaching tower.
Those of Edegem want to be heard,
have a bell and a handbell.

It seems that after the Thirty Years' War, Hove's church had a flat roof instead of a spire.
[ C. Van Aelst, De Hovenaar, 7 November 1972; De Margraaf local association]

Ivan Sache & Jan Mertens, 24 June 2006

Municipal flag of Hove

The municipal flag of Hove is yellow with a red bend.
According to Gemeentewapens in België - Vlaanderen en Brussel [w2v02], the flag and arms, adopted on 14 November 1988 by the Municipal Council, are prescribed by a Decree adoptedon 9 May 1989 by the Executive of Flanders and published on 8 November 1989 in the Belgian official gazette.
The flag has apparently nothing to do with the very complicated municipal arms (quartered with an escutcheon).

The local Sint-Laureins church has a beautiful old banner depicting the saint - and his hotbed - and had a procession banner restored some years ago.

Arnaud Leroy, Pascal Vagnat, Jan Mertens & Ivan Sache, 24 June 2006