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Aalsmeer (The Netherlands)
Last modified: 2011-03-26 by andrew weeks
Keywords: aalsmeer | raspberry | eel |
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Aalsmeer in Noordholland is rather famous because of its flower-auctions,
from where tulips and hyacinths are sent all over the world in no time,
because of the close vicinity of Schiphol Airport.
It had (1 Jan 1999) 22.540 inhabitants on 21.88 ha., and consisted
of Aalsmeer (seat), Kalslagen, Kudelstaart, Oosteinde, and Vrouwentroost.
Ever since its foundation Aalsmeer had to struggle with the "waterwolf",
mainly the big Haarlemmermeer; after that inland lake had been made into
a "polder", Aalsmeer could develop into the thriving community it
This struggle is more or less symbolized in the municipal arms: a red
lion on a blue field, holding an eal. The eal (Dutch: aal) makes
the Coat of Arms canting, but the slippery nature of that fish symbolizes also the
often apparent fruitless struggle against the water. The lion is of course
the Holland lion. The Coat of Arms was granted 26 June 1816.
The flag was adopted on 7 April 1976, and is described by Sierksma's
Nederlands Vlaggenboek [sie62):
"Three equally wide horizontal stripes of red, green, and black.
This flag is not official, but is used widely. It is a rather old flag,
as can be gathered from the explanation of the colors. These are related
to the cultivation of raspberries, a very popular product in Aalsmeer in
the 19th century, but now discontinued. Red symbolizes the raspberry itself,
the green its leaves and plant, and black to roots and earth.
There is no connection between flag and Coat of Arms."
Jarig Bakker, 7 May 2003
Flag with Arms
image by Ivan Sache, 17 May 2009
On 15 May 2009, "Witte Weekblad" reports the production of a new flag
for the next town's festival, combining the colours of the flag and the
lion of the coat of arms. As shown on a
photo, the new flag is indeed the traditional flag of Alsmeer, horizontally
divided red-green-black with the municipal coat of arms.
This image was produced using the elements from the FOTW website (the
source of the coat of arms is dead)
According to the "Heraldry
of the World" website, the colour of the eel is ill-defined. The official
description says "proper", which is open to all kinds of interpretation.
My trousers are used to catch eels.
Ivan Sache, 17 May 2009
Aalsmeer Coat of Arms
image from this website.
(link doesn't work any more, ed.)