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Westhoek (Netherlands)

Het Bildt municipality, Fryslân province

Last modified: 2018-12-15 by rob raeside
Keywords: westhoek |
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[Westhoek villageflag] by Jarig Bakker, 19 Aug 2003
adopted c. 2000; design: R.J. Broersma

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Westhoek village

Westhoek is a village in the municipality of Het Bildt, Fryslân province. It is in the western corner (the meaning of "Westhoek") of the municipality and got quite recently village-status (it is not on my old maps)
Westhoek Coat of Arms: divided: a. divided again of silver and green, in chief right two red sheep, walking on the dividing line after each other, the second sheep in the center of the shield. b. per fess gold and blue in the form of a wave rolling to the left.
The nursery rime on which this is based:
"'n Golf en 'n dyk met skapen
is 't Westhoekster wapen."
(a wave and a dike with sheep is the arms of Westhoek)
Flag: three stripes white - blue - yellow proportioned 9:4:3, the dividing line two times wavy below, a big wave on top, and in the canton a red ram's head.
For some time the villagers of Westhoek wanted their own Coat of Arms, like other villages in Het Bildt.  The ideas of the villagers were transformed into a design for a Coat of Arms by Mr. Gesing from Westhoek.  At the same time the nursery rime was quoted, because it was thought, that that was needed for the grant of the Coat of Arms. This had been the same with the other villages from Het Bildt. The Fryske Rie foar Heraldyk was quite charmed with the rime, and acepted it. It is to be remembered that the rime was based on an old Coat of Arms and not the other way around, as it had been with the other villages. The colors are derived from the municipal flag of Het Bildt.
The dike with sheep is characteristic for the environment of the village. The color red was chosen in order not to sin against the heraldic rule: never a metal on a metal or a color on a color - white sheep were out of the question! Brown is no heraldic color, and red came closest to it. Moreover all colors of the Bildtse flag could thus be used. The sheep have been placed in the (heraldic) right corner, to point at the "west" of Westhoek.
A Frisian heraldic characteritic is to read a coat of arms as a geographical map, north on top, west (heraldic) right.
The wave has a double meaning: first the sea behind the dike, and second the reminder of the "Golf van Onrust" (wave of unrest), a monument that reminds of the labor movement at the end of the 19th century.
The wave has been put over the gold (yellow), to prevent a heraldic clash. Gold is also for the "Gouden Hoep" (golden hoop), as the dike around Fryslân is called, and as it was used in Coats of Arms of old polderboards (e.g. the Bildtpollen). The whole Coat of Arms represents thus the local situation: sea, the dike with grass and sheep.
The flag has been derived from the Coat of Arms, but now in the "Westhoek" a ram's head. Here as a replacement for the sheep and a reference to the labor movement. The whole picture forms a playful and fresh image, a flag which is well liked in the environment of the village.
Design Coat of Arms: R.J.Broersma, after an idea of J. Gesing.
Design flag: R.J.Broersma.
Source: Genealogysk Jierboekje 2001.
Jarig Bakker, 19 Aug 2003

You write that design and rhyme were the responsability of Mr. Gesing - however I, Sijtske Leeuwen, invented the rhyme and would like to have that written down!
Sijtske Leeuwen, 30 Jun 2008

Westhoek Coat of Arms

[Westhoek Coat of Arms] by Jarig Bakker, 18 Aug 2003