The island of Tiengemeten is in the municipality of Korendijk, Zuid-Holland
Province. A "gemet" was an area of c. 1/2 hectare, about 0,425789589
bunder - probably the same as the Frisian "pûnsmiet" (0,3674363358816
hectare), which was 240 square "roede" (rod), and until Napoleon fixed
it at the number above nearly every village had its own size.
Although originally only the size of 10 "gemeten" = 5 hectare, the
island measures now 1000 hectares, virtually uninhabited, and in future
destined to be a nature reserve.
Until 1984 the island was divided between the old municipalities of
Goudswaard and Zuid-Beijerland.
In the flood-catastrophe of 1953 the island was nearly swept away by
the sea; shortly after a proposal for a Coat of Arms was designed - only in 1988
it became final:
"Chequy of four rows of three squares; on the toprow dexter the coat of arms
of the municipality of Zuid-Beijerland; the center quare silver, and dexter
the coat of arms of the municipality of Goudswaard; the second, third and fourth
rows alternating silver and green squares; over the bottom three rows a
golden wheat-ear of ten grains".
The ten green and silver squares symbolize the original 10 "gemeten".
The coats of arms of Goudswaard and Zuid-Beijerland were included as a reference
to the fact that the municipal boundary was right across the island. The
wheat-ear symbolizes the main product: wheat, produced on ten farms on
The original design of 1953 did not include the wheat-ear.
In 1988 a flag was designed as well: in the center the coat of arms between
two narrow vertical yellow stripes and two broad blue vertical stripes.
The narrow yellow stripes represent the quais which should prevent
any furure flooding; the blue stripes symbolize the Haringvliet and the
"Vuile Gat" or "Hitserse Gat"; the Haringvliet separates Tiengemeten from
the island of Overflakkee, and the "Vuile Gat" (dirty hole) separates it
from the Hoeksche Waard / Beijerland.
Tiengemeten is probably the only area in the Netherlands where one
doesn't need a driver's license (the roads are not public) or a license-plate.
When writing to Tiengemeten make sure that you know to which municpality
your correnspondent belonged: Tiengemeten 7 (Zuid-Beijerland) - postal
code 3284 BE - is a different address than Tiengemeten 7 (Goudswaard) -
postal code 3267 LE. In 1992 34 people lived on the island.
Source: "Vlaggen", magazine edited by Anton Jansen, no. 79 (1992).
Jarig Bakker, 17 Dec 2003