The Netherlands, like any country, has its own national flag. You probably recognise the Dutch flag (a horizontal tricolour of red, white and blue), but how much do you know about its significance and history?
History & Evolution of the Dutch flag
The flag of the Netherlands evolved from the original "Prince’s Flag." The initial orange, white and blue design was created in the wake of the Prince of Orange’s martial success in 1572. However, the Dutch flag was adapted to the current tricolour version when it was realised that this would be more easily visible at sea.
The flag of the Netherlands is the world’s oldest tricolour - beating France, Italy and Ireland, among others.
Modern usage of the Dutch flag
Today, the Dutch flag is still employed at important national events. For instance, it frequently appears during formal political events and is ubiquitous during royal events. The flag of the Netherlands also features heavily at sports events - particularly football matches and prestigious international competitions such as the Olympics. And during the annual King’s Day (formerly Queen’s Day) celebrations in the Netherlands, the national flag seems to be planted on every house, street and face in the country.
Flags of countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Although the Dutch Empire is long gone, some foreign countries remain under the official rule of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Below are the flags of Aruba, Sint Maarten and Curaçao.
Dutch municipal flags
But other Dutch municipal flags are less famous - such as Maastricht’s flag with a simple white star against a red background.