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Koudum (The Netherlands)
Nijefurd municipality, Fryslân province
Last modified: 2014-06-28 by andrew weeks
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by Jarig Bakker, 13 Sep 2003
Design: Hans van Heijningen in Utert aka Otrek.
Koudum is the seat of the municipality of Nijefurd; it used to be the seat
of the former municipality of Hemelumer Oldeferd, with (1958) 1887 inhabitants;
(1974) 2268. The village was built on marshy peat-grounds and a lake made
dry (Haanmeer). There is a "zeevaardershuis" (sailors' home); Here
used to be the "stinsen" (fortified stately houses) of the Galama's,
the Epema's, and the Donia's. Around the village are sand quarries, one
of which is a natural reserve for sand-martins.
Nickname: "Beantsjes" (beans), "Siike ierdappels" (sick
potatoes), "sânrapen" (sand turnips) - beans were often the only
things eaten by the noble Koudumers. Their faces looked sometimes a touch
unhealthy, hence the second name; and apparently later the sandrapes were
added, to make an excellent Koudumer stew.
It is told that the wise men, who founded the village, met in the evening
of a wintery day to discuss the name of the village. The hearth was filled
with "turven" (peatblocks), which after some time became rather
hot. The wise men said "Koud om" (cold around); a servant had to
cover the hot turven with cold ones, which he did; after some time
it became to hot again, so again they cried: "Koud om". This happened
three times, by which time someone noticed that their dog went back a bit
when it was getting too hot. He proposed to put their chairs a bit behind,
and they noticed, that it really helped. And they agreed that Koudom would
be a nice name for their village; it was later changed to Koudum.
However some nitwits claim that "Koudom" really means "stupid as a
I wonder how they could think up such nonsense.
Koudum coat of arms: in red two golden bars; in the right top corner a square
blue canton charged with a golden six-pointed star.
Flag: A blue hoist with a length of 3/5 flag height and a fly of five
equally wide horizontal stripes of red and yellow. The bottom yellow stripe
cuts through the blue hoist; in the blue canton a yellow six-pointed star
of 1/2 flag height.
The arms of Koudum was known already for a long time; in the "Encyclopedie
van Friesland", 1958, it can be found on p. 263, but it was not officially
registered. A coat of arms-like this is used quite frequently; so the Fryske Rie
foar Heraldyk decided, after consultation of the society for village interests
in Koudum, to add a blue square canton with a six-pointed yellow star. That
"leading star" refers to Koudum as administrative center of the municipality
of Hemelumer Olderferd en Noordwolde.
The flag is derived from the arms; the blue hoist symbolizes the lake
the Fluessen; the bottom yellow stripe represents the Galamadammen, an
enclosure bridge/dam in the Fluessen. The star has the same function as
on the arms.
Design of the flag: Hans van Heijningen in Utert.
Source: Genealogysk Jierboekje, 1993.
Encyclopedie van Friesland, 1958.
Groot Schimpnamenboek van Nederland, by Dirk van der Heide, 1998.
Uit Friesland's Volksleven, by Waling Dijkstra, 1896, reprint 1966.
Jarig Bakker, 13 Sep 2003
Koudum coat of arms
by Jarig Bakker, 13 Sep 2003