Blazon: Party per fess gules and argent, in chief a half length portrait of a man wearing a coat sable with a white collar, in base cross pattee sable.
Opfikon is situated right to the northeast of the city of Zurich in the Glatt Valley, near Zurich Airport, and thus lies within the greater Zurich area. As it belongs to the region known as the Zurichois Lowlands (Zürcher Unterland), the landscape is rather flat. The lowest point lies 420.4 m above sea level at the border to the neighboring commune of Rümlang, the highest one in the Hard forest, 481 m above sea level. 37% of the municipal territory is covered by settlement area, 17% by wood, 27% by farming ground, 17.6% by transport infrastructures and 1.2% by waters.
The present municipality traces back to two settlements, one of which is Opfikon itself, situated right from the river Glatt, whereas on the other side of it lies Oberhusen. Glattbrugg, as its name (‚bridge over the Glatt’) suggests, originally was not a settlement, but a passage of some importance. However, the name was later also used for a smithy and a mill that were built near the bridge at the left-hand riverbank, and round which eventually developed another settlement.
When the whole political order was changed during the Helvetic Republic (1798-1803), Opfikon became part of the municipality of Kloten, that pertained to the district of Bassersdorf. Oberhusen, lying on the other side of the Glatt, fell to the commune of Seebach belonging to the district of Regensdorf.
After Napoleon's Act of Mediation (19th February 1803) the administration of the canton of Zurich was rearranged again, and Opfikon and Oberhusen were united into a commune named Opfikon, which appertained now to the likewise new-formed district of Bülach. In the course of the Restoration after the end of the Napoleonic era, the commune of Opfikon, consisting of the two civil communities Opfikon and Oberhusen (with Glattbrugg) established in 1815, became part of the chief district (Oberamt) of Embrach, that in 1831, as a result of the new-established cantonal constitution, changed its capital to Bülach. In 1918 the two civil communities were merged in the already existing political commune of Opfikon.
Due to the growing importance of the former hamlet Glattbrugg, the name Oberhusen is the longer the less used, and the municipality as a whole is now often called Opfikon-Glattbrugg to draw a distinction to Opfikon proper as a part of it.
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The President of the municipality is Walter Fehr (Gemeindeverein ‚Municipal Association’)
Adecco S.A., the world's largest employment agency, is headquartered in Glattbrugg.
Opfikon is formed with the place name suffix -(i)kon/-(i)ken, that is widely spread in the area of the cantons of Zurich, Argovia and Lucerne and that has been merged from the suffix -ing- ‚followers of the mentioned one’ and the word hof ‚landed estate’ in the dative plural form, used as a locative. This origin is yet more obvious at the congenerous place names ending in -(i)kofen, frequent in the cantons of Berne, Solothurn, and also in Thurgovia; place names of this formation are dated to the 7th/8th century. The first part of the name traces back to an anthroponym *Opfo, that, however, as such is not on record and is regarded either as a short form of a name like Otfried or something similar or as a formation from a supposed stem *upp-, forming names in west Germanic, which would have developed to OHG *opf-/upf-.
The oldest ensured evidence of the name (Obtinchofa) dates back to the middle of the 12th century; the attribution of an earlier record Ubinchova in a document from the year 744 is doubtful.