Drachtstercompagnie (Frisian: De Kompenije) is a village in Smallingerland
municipality, Fryslân province. Population: (1958) 1240; 1974) 971.
It is a long village, founded after 1743 along canals connected to the
Drachtster Compagnonsvaart (a big canal). A "Compagnie" was in the
16th and 117th century a company, entitled to the exploitation of marshy
soils. Several hamlets and villages still have that name, like Oudehornster
C., Hoornsterzwaagster C., Jubbegaaster C., and the Drachtstercompagnie.
In southeast Fryslân the digging of the Drachtster Compagnonsvaart
in 1641 was crucial in the peat-exploitation.
Coat of arms: per bend sinister of blue and silver; b. again per bend sinister
of silver and blue; the silver charged with three lying red blocks placed
1:1:1; a canton wavy per bend sinister per fess of red and gold, in the
form of two addossed cloverleaves countercharged, issuing from the from
Flag: blue with a white diagonal with a width of 1/2 flag height, starting
in the hoist bottom and reaching into 2/3 of flag length; the diagonal charged
with three lying blocks; each block of 1/6 flag height and 1/4 flag length,
the top- and bottom-block at 1/12 of flag top and -bottom and at a distance
of 1/6 flag height; in the canton a wavy diagonal division of red and yellow
with two addossed cloverleaves countercharged, issuing form the diagonal.
Drachtstercompagnie is a colony on the peat moor, at right angles to
the cross-canal wards were dug; the oldest are in ENE-WSW direction.
The peat grounds were dug in the 17th-19th century according to fixed
plans. That plan was designed by the owners, united in the "Compagnie".
In the coat of arms and flag the wards are symbolized by the white diagonals in
blue. Three peat-blocks have been placed on it to represent peat-digging.
This was the so-called "lange turf", (long peat block), which was
brown. Because brown is hardly used in heraldry, so the nearest color (red)
was chosen for the blocks. At the same time red is the color of the heather
on the peat moor.
After the peat digging the top layer was mixed with the bottom layer
(sand and lime), from which fertile soil was gained for agricultural purposes.
The co-operation of the "Compagnons" and the later farmers in
co-operative enterprises is symbolized by the canton of red and
gold/yellow. The clover is in Frisian heraldry the symbol of meadows
and cattle-breeding. The gold represents sandy soil and the red the heather
in the old days.
The flag is a copy of the arms and explains itself.
Source: Genealogysk Jierboekje 2002.
Encyclopedie van Friesland, 1958.
Jarig Bakker, 21 Sep 2003