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by Jarig Bakker, 17 Oct 2004
adopted 24 Sep 2004; design: unknown
...The villagers celebrated for three days the opening of the village
center, that it was moved from Wymbritseradiel to Sneek 10 years ago, and
that it was exactly 550 years ago that the small lock between the watercourses
of the Lege Geaën and the Sneekermeer (the Offingawiersterzijl) drifted
away in 1464 by heavy flooding. A small island on which several pigs and
sheep were grazing, floated in the gap, in which it got stuck. That was
on Friday-night before St. Catharine's.
Last night (24 Sep) a village flag and coat of arms was presented, The top half of the flag is blue, the bottom green. Halfway is a red bar representing the "Grienedyk" (green dike), the elevation on the bar is the stuck lock. The flag was made by Annie Sjoerdsma, while the arms were painted by Sieb Boschma. In the arms are the four symbols of the village: a clover, a spire (of the St. Nicholaschurch, built in 1355), a sailing boat and a cow's head.
The village belonged to the Sneker "vijfga" (five neighbourhoods), hence the five-pointed star in the arms (like in Scharnegoutum). The cross represents the nunnery "Groendijk", the clover the agricultural environment, and the blue color the Snekermeer (lake); the green bar is for the "Grienedyk" (Hemdijk).
Note: Only in 1984 it was discovered that the oldest elements of the
church dated from 1355, making that the oldest structure in the municipality
of Sneek.The tale of the drifting lock has been written by Worp van Thabor
(? - 1538) in "Kroniek van Friesland".
Jarig Bakker, 30 Sep 2004
The description of the arms is NOT my design; they must have started
some designery themselves (the clover is in my design, as well as the reference
to the green dike. I sent my design to the village, and they adopted another
flag and arms without notifying me. I learned about this by the article
in the Friesch Dagblad.
R.J. Broersma, member of the Fryske Rie foar Heraldyk, 30 Sep 2004
webpage are flag and Coat of Arms of this pretty village.
Jarig Bakker, 17 Oct 2004
Offingawier probably never had a coat of arms. In the village newspaper
"Wier Nijs" (true news) of last spring people were called upon to
think about that. Two designs were sent, from which some elements have
been used for the definitive version.
Description of the divisions:
The coat of arms consists of a shield horizontally parted by a red stripe. The top half is blue, the color of water.
Water is at the same time a friend and a foe. A friend because fishermen and skippers earn their daily bread, and a foe when a ship gets on the lee shore, when it is stormy and pieces of land are swept away.
The bottom part is green, the color of grass, meadows, the soil on which Offingawier is built: a safe place!
The red ribbon symbolizes the "Grienedyk" (green dike) with a lock in the center. The "Grienedyk" was built to thwart threats from outside, especially the water. At the same time the lock is an opening with possibilities in the future.
The shield contains four images, each representing a piece of village life:
The church of Offingawier was devoted to St. Nicholas. The crozier points at that. Shipping was in olden days necessary for transport; it brought work and welfare. St. Nicholas was the patron saint of shipping. The church has for a long time united the Offingawierster believers.
The ship is a "skûtsje" (an old transport ship) in a simplified form. It represents the old skippers and the new forms of watersport.
The cow represents agriculture.
The clover symbolizes landownership on clay soil.
Source: this webpage.
Jarig Bakker, 17 Oct 2004