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Finsterwolde (The Netherlands)

Reiderland municipality, Groningen province

Last modified: 2018-12-15 by rob raeside
Keywords: finsterwolde |
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[Finsterwolde flag]  image by Jarig Bakker, 17 Jul 2003
Adopted 17 Jul 1961

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Finsterwolde former municipality

Finsterwolde is a former municipality, since 1 Jan 1992 part of Reiderland in east Groningen province in the Netherlands. This area is part of the Dollard-area; the Dollard is a large inlet on the border of the Netherlands and Germany, and scene of a constant battle between sea and man. When in the 17th-19th century the marshy area of southeast Groningen was exploited many labourers from elsewhere were imported to do the peat-digging. After that process was finished the labourers were no longer needed, and many were resettled f.i. in Finsterwolde, where they could find jobs as farm-hands. However there were not enough jobs, and the payment was rather low. This led in the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century to a social movement, which connected to the Dutch Communist movement. The most notable leader was Fré Meijs, who with his charisma dominated Finsterwolde for decades in the second part of last century. 80 - 90 % of the population voted CPN (Communistische Partij Nederland), and after the Soviet Union was dissolved and the CPN merged into the GroenLinks
(Green) party the Finsterwolders first voted VCN (Vereninging van Communisten in Nederland, the new communist party), and after that was wiped away they went en masse over to the PvdA (Dutch Labour party).
It can still be regarded as one of the last Stalinist bulwarks in the world.

The flag of Finsterwolde: seven horizontal stripes of white, black, white, red, white, black and white, whose width relate 1:1:1:2:1:1:1; towards the hoist a blue triangle, whose top reaches till halfway the flag, with a yellow lion.
This flag was adopted on 17 Jul 1961 by municipal decision; in the triangle is the image of the municipal coat of arms. The triangular form was chosen as a symbol for the threat of the water pointing at the heart of the community. The red stripe reminds of the progressive social tendency in the municipality. The black stripes symbolize the agricultural character, while the white stripes have been added for esthetical reasons.
Source: Sierksma's Nederlands Vlaggenboek, 1962 [sie62]
I have used the lion from the coat of arms in the Koffie Hag album.
Jarig Bakker, 17 Jul 2003

Finsterwolde Coat of arms

[Finsterwolde Coat of Arms]  image from the Koffie Hag-Album "Nederlandsche Gemeentewapens".

Granted 8 Mar 1870.