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Wjelsryp (The Netherlands)
Littenseradiel municipality, Fryslân province
Last modified: 2017-11-11 by andrew weeks
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adopted 1999; design: J.C. Terluin
Wjelsryp village (Welsrijp)
Wjelsryp (Dutch: Welsrijp) is a village in Littenseradiel municipality,
Fryslân province; it used to be in the former municipality of Hennaarderadeel,
with (1958) 485; (1974) 450 inhabitants.
Nickname: Fjurkemigers (people who pee in the fire); Smoarpotten (pots
The location and the territory of Wjelsryp determined the division
of the village-Coat of Arms. A "vairklok" (vairé bell) fills the shield and
the top reaches the top of the shield, while the bellbottom is not straight,
but fills the shieldbottom.
Wjelsryp is in the northern tip of Hennaarderadeel. The silver ring
with the golden star symbolizes the village itself and is the highest possible
position on the shield, like it is the northernmost village of the municipality.
The church of Wjelsryp dates from the 11th century and had a saddleroof.
In 1892 the spire collapsed of old age. After that on the western gable
a small spire was built. In the blue part one discernes the silhouette
of part of the church and spire. The silver flanks are the hamlets of the
village: the Westerein and the Easterein. The colors blue and silver are
derived from the arms of Westergo and Hennaarderadeel.
The blue part is also a reminder of the old bell, cast in 1545. In
1909 the bell was recast. But in the 2nd World War the Germans transported
it to Germany and it never returned. Now there is a new bell in the little
The silver ring with the golden star is derived from the legend connected
with the church. In "De historie gaat door het eigen dorp" by A. Algra,
part VI, p. 36 it goes like this:
Once upon a time there was a wild man in Wjelsryp, who was very much
feared. Even his own wife was afraid of him, because he beat her often.
When was about to return one time she was so afraid that she simulated
a grave illness. The priest was even called, who was about to help her
when the wild man entered the house, and said: "What's going on here?"
He pulled the box with wafers out of the priest's hand and threw it on
the floor. In the darkness the priest was unable to find them again, but
suddenly on each holy wafer was a small illuminating six-pointed star,
so that he could easily collect all.
The punishment for this evil deed was that storms and floods hit the
region around Wjelsryp. The wild man repented his evil deeds and went on
a crusade. And on the place where the wafers were thrown on the ground
a church was built devoted to St. Ursula.
On the dark floor the wafers couldn't be seen. The lighting star illuminated
the rim of the wafer. A wafer is round and white. Gold on silver (yellow
on white) is not allowed in heraldry, so the star had to be on a blue field.
The disk with star symbolizes the foundation of the medieval villagechurch.
In the base of the shield is a golden fleur-de-lis, derived from the arms
of the Galama family. Otto Galesz van Galama, from a very noble family
of southwest Fryslân, owned a lot in the village, and was buried
in the church in 1586. His tombstone is in the churchspire.
The clovers symbolize the agricultural character of the village. There
is mixed farming, but cattle-breeding prevails. Red was chosen to have
a fresh and warm element against the "cold" white and blue colors.
The flag shows the same elements as the Coat of Arms.
Design: J.C. Terluin.
Source: Genealogysk Jierboekje 2000.
Wapens en Flaggen fan Littenseradiel, booklet of the municipality.
Wjelsryp Coat of Arms
from Wapens en Flaggen fan Littenseradiel, booklet of the municipality.
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