Should you be in the Netherlands on King’s Day you’ll notice flags out in force in the Dutch streets, hanging from flag poles attached to the houses. We don’t have a flag holder on our house, nor do we own a Dutch flag to hang even if we did… but I did stumble upon “general flag instructions in Zoetermeer” on the internet and was quite surprised by the rules around flag flying around here.
Firstly, there are moments for ‘general flagging’ (where you and I can wave away) and there are times for “restricted flagging” (only on state building and the like). Here are the dates when General Joe Public may proudly fly the Dutch flag from their houses:
27 April – King’s Day
4 May – Remembrance day (with time restrictions and flag must be flown at half mast)
5 May – Liberation Day
Last Saturday in June – Veteran’s Day
15 August – official end of World War 2
3rd Tuesday in September (only in The Hague) – Opening of Parliament
So there you have it. General Joe Public may not hoist the flag for any royal birthdays – you’ll only see flags out on state buildings and the like for these occasions. They are also not officially permitted to raise a flag for sporting events, though you often see orange flags flying during a major football tournament.
But wait, there’s more. On King’s Day you may also raise your orange wimpel with the Dutch flag. For non-Dutch speakers – a wimpel is a bit of material shaped like a long neck tie. It’s the only annual use you’ll ever get out of your orange wimpel so make the most of it.
And that’s not all of it… if the said flag flying day should fall on a Sunday or a Christian holiday then the date for official flag raising may change…..so you need to check before you get your ladder out, or hang precariously out a window to reach the flag holder.
And there are also rules about the size and colours of the flag, how it should be raised and how the flags should sit should there be two together. Really. And you thought the Dutch rolled out of bed on any given King’s Day and just ‘put their flag up”. Now you know differently!
Welcome to our Olympics for Kids series! The Olympics are a wonderful opportunity to teach kids about the world and explore cultures together. Today, you can find more geography and flag posts about various countries thanks to our participating bloggers: All about Chile – Multicultural Kid BlogsFrance: Places Where the Olympics Took Place – La Cité des VentsSouth Africa’s Flag: A Symbol of Unity and Progress – Globe Trottin’ KidsBrazilian Flag Infographic – the piri-piri lexiconFlying the Dutch Flag – Expat Life with a Double Buggy Don’t forget that you can also download our Summer Games Unit activity pack to learn more about the world and have fun during the Olympics.