We compare interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) observations of tidal flexure on Antarctic and Greenland glaciers with a finite-element model simulation of tidal flexure on an elastic plate of ice. The results show that the elastic-plate model is able to reproduce with good fidelity the pattern of tidal flexure observed with InSAR. In the case of David Glacier, Antarctica, the model provides independent confirmation of its grounding-line position and unusual pattern of tidal flexure. A detailed analysis of temporal changes in tidal flexing on Petermann Gletscher, Greenland, and Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica, however, reveals that Young’s elastic modulus of ice, E, employed in the simulations to match observations, needs to vary between 0.8 and 3.5 GPa. This time dependence of E is attributed to visco-plastic effects, not to a migration of the grounding line with tide, or measurement errors.