Netherlands Flag

What does the flag of the Netherlands look like? The Netherlands' flag is three vermilion red, white, and cobalt blue horizontal bands. The Dutch flag was adopted as the national flag and ensign in 1575. The flag used to be orange-white-blue instead of red-white-blue, but these recent colors were standardized in 1949.

Meaning of the Flag

The flag of the Netherlands has a basic horizontal tri-band design. The significance of the flag lies within the colors chosen. The colors used in the flag of the Netherlands are based on the coat of arms of Prince William of Orange, who was a leading fighter in the freedom for the Dutch. The main difference is that the red band was originally orange in color. However, the orange dye originally used was quite unstable and would eventually turn red, leading the nation to change the official color to red.

Colors of the Flag

The flag of the Netherlands features a tri-band design. The top stripe of the flag is red, the middle is white, and the bottom stripe is blue. These colors are a variant of the orange, white and blue Prinsenvlag – Prince’s Flag – used throughout the Dutch Republic in the 17th century. The flag is representative of the role of William I or Orange who fought for the nation’s independence from Spain.

History of the Flag

One of the first flags used by this nation was the Cross of Burgundy Flag, which was used by provinces united under the Duke of Burgundy. This flag was used at the end of the 15th century. It wasn’t until 1572 when Prince’s Flag was used. The flag was very similar to the one used today with the exception of the orange color used for the top band. It was after 1630 when the Statenvlag was adopted, which was similar to the previous flag with the exception of changing the orange band to red.

During the 18th century, the flag of the Batavian Republic went into use. This flag featured bands of red, white and blue with an emblem featuring a maiden and a lion in the upper left corner. After the nation regained independence in 1813, a new flag was put into use. It was very similar to the Statenvlag with the exception of changes to the shades used. The new flag was officially adopted as the national flag on February 19, 1937.

Flag Facts

This flag is nearly identical to the national flag of Luxembourg with the exception of a darker blue stripe and a shorter design.

It is rare to find flags of the Netherlands flying at public residences outside of national holidays.

On certain birthdays of members of the Royal House, an orange pennant is added to the flag.

Countries in the Kingdom of the Netherlands have their own national flags.

NameFlag of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
ColorsRed, White, Blue
Designed By


Three equal vertical columns, with red on top, white in the center, and blue on bottom

Netherlands Flag Images

Netherlands Flag Icons

Netherlands Flag SVG

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