Updated: Jan 23
Photo Credit: Siebe Swart
The excavation of the canal that was originally named 'Hoofddiep van Winneweer' was commissioned by the city of Groningen in the year 1647. This created the origins of the settlement that later became Kiel-Windeweer. Today the canal is called 'Kieldiep'. It was initially intended for the transportation of extracted peat from the so called 'peat- colonies' to the city.
Kiel-Windeweer is situated in a rural environment in the midst of large meadows and agricultural lands. The Kieldiep is still the most important and defining element of the village. When I came to live in Kiel-Windeweer as a child, my teammates at the football club said; "You are only a true Kielster when you have also been inside the Kieldiep..." This canal is what connects the whole village.
It connects the Kielsters with eachother, and it connects the community with the rest of the world. Without the Kieldiep there is no Kiel-Windeweer. That is why I choose this canal to base the design for the village flag on.
Vexillology is the study of the history, symbolism and usage of flags. Flags are made to be flown and need to be identifiable from a large distance when battered about in high winds or when hanging limp in calm.
The elements in the design for a flag should be so simple that they can be drawn from memory with a box of crayons. Just unique enough to be memorable, but simple enough to be recreated by anyone; From a small child, to a skilled illustrator. Most flag designs do not have more than three colours. This is not a hard and fast rule, but it is generally a good practice to use only a few colors. There is a standard color set that almost all flags use, and should be followed in the vast majority of designs. Texts, coats of arms, or seals are not common on flag designs. A flag is a thing in itself. Designs for coats of arms or seals are often visually complex with far more elements than belong in a flag. Text especially does not belong on a flag as it cannot be read easily at a distance or in small sizes, and requires that the viewer should be able to read that particular language.
Design for Kiel-Windeweer
Kiel-Windeweer is a so called ribbon developed village. ('Lintdorp' in Dutch). The design for the flag of Kiel-Windeweer depicts a Pure Green field with three ribbons: The Royal Blue ribbon stands for the water in the canal, and the two Deep yellow ribbons symbolize both civilized sides of the canal. The three ribbons united in the fields form Kiel-Windeweer. The three ribbons meet in a 'vanishing point' in the upper corner of the flag. This suggests a feeling of prespective and symbolizes the endless views over the fields which can be seen from inside the village.
Photo Credit: Anita Lammersma
Because of the open fields there can be a lot of wind in Kiel-Windeweer. It does not matter from which direction the wind blows, because the design can be mirrored; On one side of the flag the 'vanishing point' is visible in the top left corner. And on the other side of the flag is the "vanishing point" in the upper right corner. The reading direction of the viewer determines whether the person sees the canal approaching towards the viewer from afar, or whether the canal extends away from the viewer's point of view towards the distance.
Reading direction: Left to right: The canal seems to come out of the distance towards the viewer.
Reading direction: Left to right: The canal seems to stretch from the viewers point of view towards the far distance.
Emotional value and symbolism of a color is largely related to personal experience and culture. Circumstances determine the valuation. The colors on the Kiel-Windeweer flag symbolize the meaning that is traditionally assigned to the specific color within the Netherlands. The colors of the flag consist of green fields with one blue and two yellow ribbons that come together in a vanishing point.
Green is the color of nature. Green relaxes the nervous system and suppresses hunger. Green can lower blood pressure and has a calming effect. That is why green is also associated with healing, health and balance. Green is the color of fresh products, fertility, spring and new life. It is a positive color with associations such as harmony, balance, renewal, trust, safety and prosperity. The color is used in the Kiel-Windeweer flag because such associations fit the character of the region and because the village is surrounded by (mostly) green fields. Green is also the color of the city of Groningen to which Kiel-Windeweer historically owes its existence. "Pure green" is specifically the shade chosen for the flag. Pure green because purity is associated with authenticity, clarity, accuracy, precision and immorality. Because Kiel-Windeweer is regarded as a particularly well-preserved example of a typical Veenkolonial ribbon village (still pure), pure green is appropriate.
Blue traditionally stands for the sky and the water. It is the favorite color of many people and is associated with peace and tranquility. It is a color that symbolizes intelligence and the mind. Blue is seen as the color of trust, clear communication and reliability. Kiel-Windeweer is in fact a product of the human intellect. Intellect, clear communication and reliability have always been necessary for the creation and continued existence of Kiel-Windeweer; Once necessary to construct the Kieliep, and nowadays necessary for the quality of life and daily life in Kiel-Windeweer. Intellect, communication and reliability will also be necessary in the future to take care of the circumstances that apply then. The blue represents the water of the Kieliep. Water symbolizes everything that flows: Emotions that flow through people, thoughts, imagination, subconsciousness, communication and intuition. Water stands for life itself. It washes and cleans. Water is important for health both internally and externally. The Greeks and Romans already wrote about the healing powers of water. 'Royal blue' in Dutch is called 'Night blue'. Night blue is specifically the shade chosen for the flag because the day and the night are associated with life and death.
Yellow is the color of the sun. It is a cheerful and striking color that stimulates the brain, thoughtprocesses and the nervous system. Yellow is associated with feelings of happiness, warmth, joy, energy, spring, summer and pleasure in life. This color is cheerful and positive. Yellow gives focus. Because of the stimulating influence on the brain the color symbolizes knowledge, wisdom and maturity, but also creativity and fantasy. The color is used in the flag because such associations apply to the two cultivated sides along the Kieliep. The yellow (just like the green) fits well with the colors of the landscape in the region. Both civilized sides along the canal once started with two towpaths (later sandy roads) along the Kieldiep. "Rapeseed yellow" is the Dutch word for 'Deep Yellow'. Rapeseed yellow is specifically the shade used for the flag, because flowering rapeseed is associated by many with the beauty of the Gronningerlands.
'Flags of all nations' standards:
0, 139, 41
34, 45, 90
246, 182, 0
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