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Zwijndrecht (Municipality, Province of Antwerp, Belgium)

Last modified: 2009-03-21 by ivan sache
Keywords: zwijndrecht | stars: 2 (white) | olive branch | atletica 84 |
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[Flag of Zwijndrecht]

Municipal flag of Zwijndrecht - Image by Jarig Bakker, 5 October 2001

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Presentation of Zwijndrecht

The municipality of Zwijndrecht (18,352 inhabitants on 1 January 2007; 1,782 ha) forms a tiny spot on the western flank of the huge municipality of Antwerp. The municipality of Zwijndrecht is made since 1976 of the former municipalities of Zwijndrecht and Burcht.
The former municipalities of Zwijndrecht and Burcht, geographically part of Waasland, were transferred on 31 March 1923 from the Province of East Flanders to the Province of Antwerp; beforehand, the border between the two provinces was the river Scheldt, and Zwijndrecht is today the only municipality in the Province of Antwerp located on the left bank of the Scheldt.

Zwijndrecht got its name from the Germanic words swini and drifti, both meaning "a creek", while Burcht got its name from the Germanic word burgipja, "a birch". The two villages were merged into a single domain in 1281, which was split in 1667 by Jacomo Antonio Carenna between his two sons. Located very close to Antwerp, the two villages were often damaged during the war events that took place there. There is another town called Zwijndrecht in the Netherlands, located near Rotterdam.

Source: Municipal website

Ivan Sache, 6 January 2008

Municipal flag of Zwijndrecht

The municipal flag of Zwijndrecht is vertically divided green-white-blue, with a white star in the green and blue stripes and a green branch in the white stripe.
According to Gemeentewapens in België - Vlaanderen en Brussel [w2v02a], the flag was adopted by the Municipal Council on 25 May 1980, confirmed by Royal Decree on 2 April 1981 and published in the Belgian official gazette on 8 May 1981 and, again, on 4 January 1995.
The flag is a banner of the municipal arms.

According to the municipal website, the design of arms for the new municipality of Zwijndrecht was not an easy task. Combining the colours and elements of the former arms of Zwijndrecht and Burcht (representing St. Machutus and St. Martin standing, respectively) was not successful, so that brand new arms were adopted, designed after the arms of Jacomo Antonio Carenna, the last lord of the two villages.

Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 6 January 2008

Atletica '84 sports club

The athletics club "Atletica '84" (AT' 84) is based at Burcht. Founded in 1984 and member of the Antwerp Union of Amateur Clubs, the club joined the Flemish Athletic League in 1994. The club has more than 400 active members, including the last Olympic champion in high jump, Tia Hellebaut (who announced on 5 December 2008 her retirement from competition).

The flag of AT' 84 is horizontally divided purple-black-grey blue (1:2:1). The central, black stripe is charged with the club emblem in white and the club name (ATLETICA 84), in grey blue. The club emblem, as shown on the frontpage of the club website, represents a runner holding a torch.
The club flag seems to be used in several club's official events, as shown on the photo galleries of the club website. For instance, all the teams that competed in the interclub competitions in 2008 brought the flag with them:
- Youth (Herenthals, 8 May 2008);
- Women (Maldegem, 10 May 2008);
- Men (Kessel-Lo, 11 May 2008).
On 26 August 2008, "Gouden Tia" (Golden Tia), back from Beijing with another Olympian from AT' 84, the decathlete Hans Van Alphen, was welcomed at Zaventem Airport by club members, who also brought the flag.

Ivan Sache, 8 December 2008