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Polderboards (The Netherlands)


Last modified: 2004-05-22 by
Keywords: polderboard |
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Other polderboards, arranged by province: See also:

Polderboards (Waterschappen) - Introduction

Polderboards are responsible for water-management in s certain area. When the Netherlands emerged from the sea there were conficting interests as to who was responsible for dike-maintenance; local lords couldn't care less about the dike of their neighbours, since they were mostly their enemies. In the 12-14th centuries continuous dikes around all of the Netherlands were built (let's say from Duinkerken till Emden), and agreements were made among the "dijkgraven" (dike-counts) for maintenance. The necessity for this was well known because of the great flooding disaster in the Middle Ages. When great floods threatened the country "dijkgraven" were entitled to force every landowner to protect the dikes. Later this power was given to organisations, named "waterschappen" (polderboards), with local name-variations (heemraadschap, hoogheemraadschap, etcetera).

During the ages the attention shifted from dike-protection to canal-digging, and the provision of sweet water. (when I was young we drank from a dug well, where frogs and salamanders and other creeping crawlies swam in, only in 1949 we got water from the tap). Now the polderboards, though separate entities, are one huge organisation, with in the future the awkward task of providing us with ample sweet water for our yakusa's, swimming-pools and cuppa's.

In 1969 Mr. A.J. Beenhakker presented 28 flags of polderboards during a meeting of European Flagfriends in Temse, Belgium. His article is not available anymore. On the 6th congress of the ICV in 1975, organized by the Stichting voor Banistiek en Heraldiek, on the IJsselmeer, the "Hoogheemraadschap" Waterland in Monnickendam greeted the 150 participants with 30 masted "polderboardflags". Although these flags are seldom seen they are always used on "schouwboten" (inspection-ships).
Jarig Bakker, 2 Dec 2003

De Runde polderboard

[De Runde polderboard] by Jarig Bakker, 2 Dec 2003

Dutch name: Waterschap De Runde; seat Emmer Compascuum, in SE Drenthe province.
Flag: wavy of horizontal stripes white - black - white - red - white - black - white, proportioned 30:2:6:5:6:3:30.
The Runde is one of the lesser known mighty rivers of Drenthe. On Ralf Hartemink's site one can read that black is representing the peat-digging (and possibly the exploitation of oil in Schoonebeek), while the Runde is colored red by iron-deposits.
Source Vexilla Nostra #122, Sep-Oct 1982.
text: Kl. Sierksma; image: H. van Heijningen.
Jarig Bakker, 2 Dec 2003