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by Jarig Bakker, 16 May 2003
Wildervank used to be a separate municipality in Groningen province,
until it was incorporated in Veendam (and a small part in the new municipality
of Stadskanaal) in 1969. It shares its origin
with Veendam: Adriaan Geerts Wildervanck (1605-62) founded both settlements
in 1647. A monument in front of the old municipal building in Wildervank
reminds of him. His original name was Adriaan Geerts Paap, but he was also
known as A. G. Wildvang. His wife, Margaretha Hardenberg, was once sleeping
in the heather, when she was attacked by a viper. She promised to build
on that spot a church, whereupon the viper fell on the ground and disappeared.
There the church of Wildervank was built. This story is painted on the
coat of arms of Veendam, while the Wildervank arms just have
a big heap of "turven", blocks of peat, the main product of the marshes,
known as "Veenkoloniën". Although they were separate settlements,
nearly all settlements were built in one very long stretch along the channels,
the main being the Stadskanaal (Stad = city, in this case Groningen, the
main town of the Northern Netherlands. No wonder that at present Veendam and Wildervank form one long community.
Jarig Bakker, 30 Apr 2003
The flag of Wildervank is described by Sierksma, in Nederlands Vlaggenboek,
1962 [sie62] as follows:
"Three stripes of red and white, proportioned 1:4:1, with a canton of red, white and blue, with a yellow letter "W" in the fly".
This was not in use anymore in 1962, and the municipality didn't have an official flag. A flag like this was used by the "Zeemanscollege" De Harmonie, and documented in Steenbergen c. 1870. H. J. Top, Geschiedenis der Groninger Veenkoloniën, 1893, mentions this flag too, and notes, that it was rather old.
More can be read in:
Vexilla Nostra jrg. 4 - nr. 10- pag.23
" 19- nr. 133- pag. 73
" 23- nr. 158 - pag. 89
(Courtesy of Mr. Hans van Heijningen)
Jarig Bakker, 30 Apr 2003
Collegie "De Harmonie " (College "The Harmony"), established 1840 in Wildervank. Leen Smit pictures number 30. In 1871 it was still in existence, but by 1979 it had disappeared.
Flag: White with a Dutch canton, red border along the flywise edges, yellow coloured "W" and black number. The vlag is pictured with a rather dark yellow colour, without which the W would hardly be visible. The ratio used is ca. 1:10:1. The canton is draw ca. 2/5th of the height. 1/3rd of the width. This makes the red stripe in the canton wider than the edge. A painting in "Veenkoloniale Zeevaart" shows the stripes as wide as the edge. This reduces the canton in height, and allows the W to be placed partially under the canton.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 6 Dec 2001