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Mantgum (The Netherlands)
Littenseradiel municipality, Fryslân province
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by Jarig Bakker, 6 Sep 2003
adopted 1999; Design: J.C. Terluin and R.J. Broersma.
Mantgum (say: Montgum) is a village in Littenseradiel, it used to be the
seat of the former municipality of Baarderadeel
with (1958) 423 inhabitants; (1974): 470. Here was the "state" (fortified
stately house) of Hoxwier - the single remainder of it is the "zwanejacht"
- the permission to hold swans. In the Middle Ages everybody was allowed
to hold swans. The Burgundian dukes made it their own privilege, and only
people who had prior rights retained the "zwanejacht". As these
had not been written down, special "Zwaneboeken" (swan books) were
written to record swan-holders and the brands used to mark swans. If a
swan preferred to lay eggs on someone else's property it had to be told
to the holder of the "zwanejacht", or else...
In the center of Mantgum is the "Frijbuorren" - free quarter,
possibly connected to an old free place for fugitives.
Mantgum was along the railway Leeuwarden-Sneek, without a railway station;
however the train had to stop there to switch rails. The villagers asked
the Dutch Railways (NS) to have a regular railway station in Mantgum, which
was finally granted in 1972. Since then the NS nearly annually presents
plans to abolish the station in Mantgum, a great rallying event for the
Mantgumers. <OTOH - if you want to know the feel of "in the middle of
nowhere": get out of the train in Mantgum :-)>
Nicknames: "Kaäniten" or "Kajeniten" (Mantgum was
considered a "rich" village, similar to the Biblical Land of Kanaän,
overflowing with milk and honey), "Dweilstikken", (sloppy people)
Mantgum coat of arms: in red a white swan swimming on a white wavy stripe; in
chief a yellow six-pointed star; a blue base with a silver fleur-de-lis
Flag: three wavy horizontal stripes red - white - blue, proportioned
6:1:3; towards the hoist a white swimming swan of 1/2 flag height.
Until 1984 Mantgum was the seat of Baarderadeel. The star in the coat of
refers to that., while the colors blue and red are from the former municipal
arms. The swan reminds of the right of "swannedrift" (the right
to breed swans) of the "state" of Hoxwier. The wavy stripes symbolize the
old Middelzee. The fleur-de-lis is from the arms of the Hoxwier-family,
and also refer to the patron saint of the church: the Virgin Mary.
In the flag the swan is central, with a wavy white bar between the
red and blue colors from the coat of arms.
Design: J.C. Terluin and R.J. Broersma, members of the Fryske Rie foar
Source: Genealogysk Jierboekje 2001.
Encyclopedie van Friesland, 1958.
Baerderadiel, in Geakunde, 1977.
Jarig Bakker, 6 Sep 2003
Mantgum coat of arms
from Wapens en Flaggen fan Littenseradiel, booklet of the municipality.