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Beetsterzwaag (The Netherlands)
Opsterland municipality, Fryslân province
Last modified: 2014-10-04 by andrew weeks
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by Jarig Bakker, 14 Sep 2003
design: Mr. Jelle Terluin.
Beetsterzwaag (Frisian: Beetstersweach or De Sweach) is the seat of the
municipality of Opsterland, Fryslân province. Population (1958):
1468; (1974): 2759. It is Fryslân's answer to Palm Springs, Versailles,
and such posh places. Near Beetsterzwaag is the great hotel Lauswold with
the only golf links in Fryslân (but you have to prove that an ancestor
of yours was fighting in Damiate when we clobbered the Saracenes during
one of the Crusades). For the rest it is a little sleepy place, where my
uncle and now my cousin was guarding the lush forests.
Nickname: "Bôllen" (loafs), "Bôllefretters"
(breadeaters), "Boltsjekappers" (roll-cutters) - all symbolizing
that they could eat
bread, a privilege in the 19th century for the well-to-do (poor people
had to do with "brea" (rye-bread).
Beetsterzwaag coat of arms: per chevron 1. in blue a golden, red lined ancient
crown of seven points, with below two golden clovers; II. in gold a green
tree on a green base, and at the height of the stem with two red acorns.
Flag: a hoist of blue and yellow; on blue a yellow red lined ancient
crown of seven points, and below it a yellow clover; a fly of yellow and
In 1975 Beetsterzwaag got its coat of arms and flag. Originally the name of
the village was "Bextersuach" (say: Beeksterzwaag) - the beek (brook)
was the "Ouddiep", also named Koningsdiep, which was one of the
"royal streams", open for everybody. The color of the top of the coat of arms is
blue, symbolizing that water, and the crown is of the K(on)ing, who granted
that privilege to all.
A "zwaag" is a meadow, and the clovers symbolize meadows.
The chevron refers to the position of the village on a low sand ridge.
The tree symbolizes the law administered here (first in Beets, laterr
in Beetsterzwaag), while the acorns refer to the forests around Beetsterzwaag.
Design: J.C. Terluin (living in Beetsterzwaag)
Source: Genealogysk Jierboekje 1976.
De Woudklank (local newspaper) 9 Jul 1998.
Encyclopedie van Friesland, 1958.
Groot Schimpnamenboek van Nederland, by Dirk van der Heide, 1998.
Jarig Bakker, 14 Sep 2003
Beetsterzwaag coat of arms
from De Woudklank (local newspaper) 9 Jul 1998.