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Provinces and municipalities of the Netherlands

Nederlandse provincies en gemeenten

Last modified: 2011-06-03 by andrew weeks
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Municipal standards of 1938

During the jubilee of Queen Wilhelmina in 1938, when she was reigning 40 years, each municipality had a standard, which had the following pattern: a square flag with the colours of the provincial arms (except Friesland and Noord-Brabant), in the canton (one quarter of the flag) the arms of the municipality. The colours of the provinces were:
  • Drenthe: horizontal yellow, white, red and blue
  • Friesland: the Frisian flag
  • Gelderland: yellow over blue
  • Groningen: vertical red, white, green, white, blue
  • Limburg: horizontal red, white, black, yellow and blue
  • Noord-Brabant: chequy red and white (already used in 1935 when the capital 's-Hertogenbosch existed 750 years)
  • Noord-Holland: horizontal red, yellow, blue (the same as Overijssel)
  • Overijssel: horizontal red, yellow, blue (the same as Noord-Holland)
  • Utrecht: horizontal red, white and yellow
  • Zeeland: horizontal yellow, red, blue and white
  • Zuid-Holland: horizontal red and yellow
I don't know if the colonies also had flags. (Note that Flevoland didn't exist back than).
In some municipalities the flag was forgotten, and when they found many years later they thought it was a historical flag of the city (like in Stramproy).
Mark Sensen, 31 August 1997

Provincial flags at Memorial Day

The 4th of May, the day before Liberation Day celebrating the surrender of the German forces on 5 May 1945, is in the Netherlands Memorial Day. The national commemoration is always at the National Monument on the Dam in Amsterdam (in front of the Palace on the Dam). Behind the monument in a half circle the flags of the provinces and the overseas territories are flying half mast, from left to right:
13) Netherlands Antilles, 11) Overijssel, 9) Utrecht, 7) Limburg, 5) Flevoland, 3) Friesland, 1) Gelderland, 2) North Holland, 4) Zeeland, 6) South Holland, 8) Drenthe, 10) Groningen, 12) North Brabant, 14) Aruba.
Behind these flag the national flag of the Netherlands is flying half mast. At 20.00 hour there are 2 minutes silence, after which the flags are hoisted to the top, while the national anthem (the Wilhelmus) is played.

I don't know why, but the order of the provincial flags is different from the normal formal order (also used in the constitution until the early 1900s) according their former status:
the duchies: 1) North Brabant, 2) Limburg, 3) Gelderland; the counties: 4) South Holland, 5) North Holland, 6) Zeeland; the bishopric 7) Utrecht; the lordship 8) Friesland; 9) Overijssel; the confederation ('oversticht', dependency of the bishopric Utrecht) 10) Groningen; the 'landschap' (landscape?) 11) Drenthe; 12) Flevoland:. land won from the former sea
Mark Sensen, 04 May 1999