The flag of the Netherlands represents its history, symbols, and tradition.
But do you know what these meanings are? To understand a little more about Dutch culture, nothing better than learning about the most significant symbol of any country, its flag.
Just like many other Dutch symbols, the Netherlands flag has a rich meaning and represents peace, above all.
So today’s article will be about the Dutch flag, its weight in the history of the country, and the most important symbols of the Netherlands.
What is the flag of the Netherlands like?
The rectangular flag of the Netherlands has the same colors as the French flag. The only difference is that on the Dutch flag, the stripes are horizontal, while on the French one, they are vertical.
But the flag of the Netherlands is red, white, and blue, from top to bottom.
Netherlands flag: The story behind the flag
Adopted on February 19, 1937, the flag of the Netherlands has had other versions. And to understand the meaning of their colors, let’s take a trip back to the 16th-century when most Dutch provinces were under the Duke of Burgundy.
In 1568, the Dutch provinces finally rose in revolt against the Spanish. They were led by William Prince of Orange.
And for that reason, the flag representing the Dutch state was called Prince’s Flag.
Prince’s flag was similar to the one we know today, but instead of a red stripe, the first flag of the Netherlands had an orange one.
Later in 1596, the orange was replaced by the red because orange was more likely to fade out at the time.
Some also say that, in fact, the colors of the flag have changed because it would be challenging to distinguish between red and orange, especially on the high seas.
The new flag was named Statenvlag (English: States’ Flag).
Read next: Where to stay in Amsterdam – by a local
Meaning of the Dutch flag’s colors
William of Orange chose a livery in the colors orange, white, and blue to represent the arms of the ancestral territory of the House of Orange.
And although the orange stripe was replaced long ago, the Dutch still use it proudly in soccer matches, King’s Day, and festivals.
As said, the Netherlands flag has three horizontal bands of equal size in color. In top-down, red (bright vermilion), white (bright white), and blue (blue cobalt). The ratio is 2:3 (height/width).
Considered one of the Dutch maximum symbols, it is the oldest tricolor flag in the world in use.
The Netherlands flag: Exact colors
|Scheme||Cobalt blue||White||Vermilion red|
According to the Dutch government
Fun fact about the flag of the Netherlands
A nice fun fact about the Netherlands, or better put, about the Dutch flag, is that it has very similar colors to the Luxembourg flag.
In fact, they do have the same colors, but in different shades, as the Luxembourg flag has light shades of red and blue.
So double-check the colors before saying the flag is Dutch or not.
Read next: One perfect day in Amsterdam
Flags of the Dutch provinces
Flags of current countries in the Kingdom of the Netherlands
The flag of the Netherlands is naturally the ultimate symbol of the country. Still, many other symbols represent Dutch culture.
We’ll talk about the most famous Dutch symbols below.
The Netherlands is the world’s largest producer of tulips. In total, the Dutch produce 4.2 billion tulip bulbs, of which only half are exported.
In the early 13th-century Dutch farmers, fishermen, factory workers, and others wore wooden clogs to protect their feet.
Nowadays, only farmers use it for the same reason, but the wooden clogs still remain as a Dutch symbol.
Many Dutch provinces have a lion on their flag. The shield of the National Soccer Federation of the Netherlands (KNVB) also has one.
That’s because the lion is part of the Dutch coat of arms, which is a beautiful representation of the country.
The Netherlands is the windmill country because these structures were widely used in the country for all kinds of work, from grinding corn to pumping water and creating electricity.
You can visit a few windmills on a day trip from Amsterdam.
It’s not a surprise the bicycle is one of the symbols of the Netherlands since the growing population of 17 million people owns nothing less than 22.5 million bicycles.
Final words on the flag of the Netherlands
The Dutch have many beautiful symbols to represent their country that are part of Dutch culture and history.
Obviously, the Dutch flag is the most important of them.