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Tiengemeten (The Netherlands)

Korendijk municipality, Zuid-Holland province

Last modified: 2018-12-15 by rob raeside
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[Tiengemeten flag] image by Jarig Bakker, 17 Dec 2003
adopted 1988 See also:

Tiengemeten island

The island of Tiengemeten is in the municipality of Korendijk, Zuid-Holland Province. A "gemet" was an area of c. 1/2 hectare, about 0,425789589 bunder - probably the same as the Frisian "pûnsmiet" (0,3674363358816 hectare), which was 240 square "roede" (rod), and until Napoleon fixed it at the number above nearly every village had its own size.
Although originally only the size of 10 "gemeten" = 5 hectare, the island measures now 1000 hectares, virtually uninhabited, and in future destined to be a nature reserve.
Until 1984 the island was divided between the old municipalities of Goudswaard and Zuid-Beijerland.
In the flood-catastrophe of 1953 the island was nearly swept away by the sea; shortly after a proposal for a Coat of Arms was designed - only in 1988 it became final:
"Chequy of four rows of three squares; on the toprow dexter the coat of arms of the municipality of Zuid-Beijerland; the center quare silver, and dexter the coat of arms of the municipality of Goudswaard; the second, third and fourth rows alternating silver and green squares; over the bottom three rows a golden wheat-ear of ten grains".
The ten green and silver squares symbolize the original 10 "gemeten". The coats of arms of Goudswaard and Zuid-Beijerland were included as a reference to the fact that the municipal boundary was right across the island. The wheat-ear symbolizes the main product: wheat, produced on ten farms on the island.
The original design of 1953 did not include the wheat-ear.
In 1988 a flag was designed as well: in the center the coat of arms between two narrow vertical yellow stripes and two broad blue vertical stripes.
The narrow yellow stripes represent the quais which should prevent any furure flooding; the blue stripes symbolize the Haringvliet and the "Vuile Gat" or "Hitserse Gat"; the Haringvliet separates Tiengemeten from the island of Overflakkee, and the "Vuile Gat" (dirty hole) separates it from the Hoeksche Waard / Beijerland.
Tiengemeten is probably the only area in the Netherlands where one doesn't need a driver's license (the roads are not public) or a license-plate. When writing to Tiengemeten make sure that you know to which municpality your correnspondent belonged: Tiengemeten 7 (Zuid-Beijerland) - postal code 3284 BE - is a different address than Tiengemeten 7 (Goudswaard) - postal code 3267 LE. In 1992 34 people lived on the island.
Source: "Vlaggen", magazine edited by Anton Jansen, no. 79 (1992).
Jarig Bakker, 17 Dec 2003