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Flag of the Netherlands (Holland)

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The Flag of the Netherlands

The flag of the Netherlands stands out from the rest of the world's flags as the oldest national tricolor that is still in use. Its long history dates back to 1572, during the earliest days of the Dutch Revolt when a Netherlands flag became necessary to distinguish Dutch forces on the battlefield.

The flag of the Netherlands (Holland) is a horizontal tricolour of red, white, and blue. Introduced in 1572, it is one of the first tricolours and the oldest tricolour still in use today. Since 1937, the flag has officially been the national flag of the Netherlands and of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

  • Capital of the Netherlands: Amsterdam
  • Area of the Netherlands: 33,883 sq. km
  • Languages used in the Netherlands: Dutch (official), Frisian (official)
  • Religions in the Netherlands: Roman Catholic, Dutch Reformed, Calvinist, Muslim

Origins of The Netherlands Flag

The Netherlands flag was originally that of the Prince of Nassau, consisting of three horizontal bands of orange, white, and blue. The first people to fly the flag were privateers who answered to the Prince of Orange, who those privateers respected as their leader. The Dutch won their war of independence, and that flag remained as the Netherlands flag until the a revolution transformed the Kingdom of the Netherlands into the Batavian Republic. The new republic adopted a new flag to distance itself from the old monarchy. The new flag was a red, white, and blue tricolor like the modern flag, but it also had a picture of a woman bearing symbols of liberty in the red band.

From Napoleon to the Modern Day

Napoleon eventually replaced the native Dutch government with a monarchy under his brother, Louis, who generally respected the wishes of the Dutch people. He removed the maiden from the Batavian Republic's flag to create a new Netherlands flag which is still used today. Napoleon removed him from power only a few years later, and during that time the Netherlands were part of France and used France's imperial flag. The Netherlands regained their independence shortly thereafter, and used both the Prince's Flag, representing the royal house of Orange-Nassau, and Louis' flag, representing the nation as a whole. That only changed in 1937, when the Dutch queen decreed that the flag of the Netherlands would be the red, white, and blue tricolor that is still in use today.