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Yerseke (The Netherlands)

Reimerswaal municipality, Zeeland province

Last modified: 2018-12-15 by rob raeside
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[Yerseke flagproposal] by Jarig Bakker, 19 Oct 2004
proposal; design: Ir. A.J. Beenhakker c.1970 See also:

Yerseke former municipality

The status of this flag is uncertain. It was designed by Ir. A.J. Beenhakker, and published by Anton Jansen in "Vlaggen", #71, 1991 - courtesy of Mr. Hans van Heijningen.
Yerseke, in Reimerswaal municipality, Zeeland province, probably never had a flag (just a burgee).
Ir. Beenhakker did design a flag: nine equally high horizontal stripes of white and black, with a white canton charged with a red St. James shell.
The black stripes represent the nine ermine's tails from the municipal arms - however 9 black stripes would have been too busy, so four black and five white stripes have been chosen.
The canton with the shell for the oyster- and mussel cultivation. This shell was chosen because it is more characteristic in form than an oyster or a mussel.
Jarig Bakker, 19 Oct 2004

With 11 scallops in canton, the flag could have suited the Breton Association of Seafood Producers. The bay of St. Brieuc, in northern Brittany, is one of the hospots of scallop fishing, which is extremely regulated, allowed only a few weeks per year to a limited number of ships and watched by helicopters.
A few years ago, the famous strawberry producers of Plougastel-Daoulas, near Brest, issued a car sticker showing the Breton flag with strawberries instead of ermine spots, but I am not aware of any real flag of that ilk.
Ivan Sache, 24 Oct 2004

The city of Yerseke (c. 6,000 inhabitants) is a component of the municipality of Reimerswaal, in the province of Zeeland. It was incorporated into Reimerswaal in 1970. Yerseke is a fishing port located on the southern shore of the Eastern Schelde (Oosterschelde), one of the large arms of the estuary of the river Schelde. Yerseke is the Dutch capital city of mussels and
oysters. The city has one of his ports dedicated to the mosselkotters (mussel cutters), the boats used for mussel fishing. Yerseke has the only mussel auction room in Europe and a museum dedicated to the history of mussel, oyster, shell and sea shell fishing in Zeeland. Yerseke also rears lobsters and musselbeer.

The Eastern Schelde is protected from see flood by the Eastern Schelde Dam (Oosterscheldedam), part of the Delta Plan, inaugurated in 1986. Originally, the Eastern Schelde should have been completely locked, which would have suppressed tides and therefore mussel and oyster rearing in the Eastern Schelde. The dam was modified to allow water tidal circulation:
it is made of 65 40-m high pillars supporting 62 steel floodgates.
The floodgates remain open and can be lowered within one hour in case of storm warning. The tidal amplitude is reduced by only 15 %, which allows traditional fishing and rearing activities to exist in the Eastern Schelde. The tourist center Delta Expo was opened on two artificial islands near the dam. It is possible to visit the pillars and the underground parts of the dam, as well as do a boat trip around the dam (with seals expected but rarely spotted). This visit is probably one of the most impressive tourist attractions in the Netherlands.

The Delta Plan was the consequence of the flood which devastated Zeeland and southern Zuid-Holand during the night of 31 January to 1 February 1953, killing 1,865, putting another 500,000 homeless and flooding 260,000 ha of land. On 19 November 1421, St. Elisabeth's Day, a flood devastated the delta of the Schelde and reached the city of Dordrecht, submerging 65 villages and killing 10,000 people.
Ivan Sache, 24 Jul 2004

Watersportvereniging Yerseke

[WV Yerseke burgee] by Ivan Sache, 24 Jul 2004

The burgee of the WVY (Watersportvereniging Yerseke) is horizontally divided blue-red-blue with the yellow letters WVY placed in the red stripe.
Source: WVY website.
Ivan Sache, 24 Jul 2004

Yerseke Coat of Arms

[Yerseke Coat of Arms] by Jarig Bakker, 27 Jul 2004, after image in the Koffie Hag-Album

On our Reimerswaal page: we show the flags of Reimerswaal and the former municipalities incorporated into it, except Yerseke. It is not said wether Yerseke had not adopted a flag before the merging or we lack information on this flag. However, Yerseke has a municipal coat of arms:
Argent nine ermines 5 + 4 a chief gules a barrulet (?) argent.
Elements of this coat of arms might have been used in a flag, if any.
Clicking on the [Yerseke] button in the menu on the left of the WVY-homepage loads a new frame with the municipal coat of arms shown in the bottom. The page also shows a statue representing a fisher bearing a basket. A similar statue, featuring women, can be seen in Cancale, one of the French capital cities of oysters. Cancale shows the oysters on its coat of arms and flag:
Ivan Sache, 24 Jul 2004

I have searched my books for anything Yerseke-flag like:
a. Old atlases: Yerseke was not a harbor-village; it was slightly inland, and usually the "Verdronken Land van Remmerswaal" is depicted too, making Yerseke an even more inland-village. Perhaps there were fishing ships in the village.
b. In the 1950's Klaes Sierksma researched all Netherlands municipalities about flags, and he didn't find an Yerseke flag.
c. 1975 Hans van Heijningen wrote letters to all municipalities about flag usage; however Yerseke had in 1970 merged with several other municipalities into Reimerswaal, and HvH did not get info on the Yerseke flag (wether it existed or not).
d. In the 1990's DerkWillem Visser did the same, and his research resulted in the book/CD "Gemeentevlaggen en wapens Koninkrijk der Nederlanden", last updated in 2001 (the CD that is). Visser reports no flag for Yerseke; it is suspected that Visser reported more flags than there were in actual use, not less.
e. The muscle activities started only in c. 1870; fishing was restricted to shell-fish: oysters, lobster, mussels, and shrimps. I have seen shrimp-cutters from Yerseke in the harbour of Dokkumer Nieuwe Zijlen some 50 years ago. Only distinctive mark: YE painted in white on the bow (Dokkumer Nieuwe Zijlen had OD for OostDongeradeel). Jaume Ollé's renderings of the flagbook of Steenbergen (written c. 1860) shows no Yerseke flag. However the YC-burgee has the feel of a Zeemanscollege-flag - but AFAIK there was no Zeemanscollege in Yerseke.
Zeeland fishing-ships, like a lot of Holland ones used flags especially for herring-busses (haringbuizen): red with (for example)  a black D (for Delfshaven). A BRB horizontal triband doesn't fit into that category.
AFAIK Yerseke never had a flag - as the Zeeuwen say: "Ons Zeeuwen bent sunig!" (= Zeeuwen don't buy butter when they can get margarine cheap!)

The Coat of Arms was granted 31 Jul 1817 by the High Council of Nobility, without a description.
Van der Laars in the Koffie Hag-Album writes:
"In zilver negen hermelijnstaartjes en een schildhoofd van rood, beladen met een golvende dwarsbalk van zilver" =
Silver 9 muschetons a red chief with a wavy fess argent.
Explanation: the ermine's tails are from the arms of the de Vrieze family from Oostende (Belgium), which also owned Hoedekenskerke, now in Borsele municipality; the wavy bar is symbolizing the canal between two polders.
Source: Ralf Hartemink's site.
Jarig Bakker, 27 Jul 2004

Yerseke: that this fisher's village has no flag cannot be ascribed to thrift of the Zeeuwen. Fishers didn't need their own flags. Most Dutch places with flags were cities with voting rights in the States General, or Provincial States. The Yerseke coat of arms is derived from the family De Vrieze van Oostende. That was a family from Goes, and Oostende was a manor on Zuid-Beveland. No relation whatsoever with Oostende in Belgium.
Jeroen van Leeuwen, 24 Apr 2005