The Prince's Flag ( nl, Prinsenvlag) is a
Dutch flag
Dutch flag
, first used in the Dutch Revolt during the late 16th century. The Prince's Flag is based on the Flag of Prince William of Orange-Nassau, hence the name. The colours are orange, white and
blue Blue is one of the three primary color, primary colours of pigments in painting and traditional colour theory, as well as in the RGB color model, RGB colour model. It lies between Violet (color), violet and green on the optical spectrum, spectr ...
. On the basis of the French names of these colours, ''orange-blanc-bleu'', the flag is also referred to by the Dutch rhymes ''oranje-blanje-bleu'' and ''ranje-blanje-bleu''.


The colours orange, white and blue (Dutch: ''Oranje, Wit, Blauw'' or ''Oranje, Blanje, Bleu'', from French ''Orange, Blanche, Bleu'') are associated with William Prince of Orange (1533–1584). William is reported to have used these colours as early as 1577, as part of his procession entering
Ghent Ghent ( ; nl, Gent}, ; french: Gand, ; traditional English: Gaunt) is a city and a municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of self-government or jur ...

. Jacob Duym also reports that in the
siege of Leiden The siege of Leiden occurred during the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo–Spanish War in 1573 and 1574, when the Spanish under Francisco de Valdez attempted to capture the rebellious city of Leiden Leiden (, ; in English language, English ...
in 1574, the Dutch officers wore orange-white-blue brassards. From this, Rey (1837) concludes that the combination of orange-white-blue was certainly used by the Prince of Orange in the 1570s. The first reference to a naval flag in these colours dates to 1587, when the Admiralty of Zeeland ordered these flags to fly on their warships.Jean Rey, ''Histoire du drapeau, des couleurs et des insignes de la Monarchie française'' vol. 2, 1837
p. 515f
The naval flag was used by the '' Watergeuzen'' (''Gueux de mer'', "Sea Beggars"), the pro-Dutch privateers during the Dutch Revolt. According to de Waard (1900), the Dutch navy between 1588 and 1630 always displayed the Prince's Flag, and after 1663 always the red-white-blue ''Statenvlag''. The latter was introduced gradually during the 1630s to 1650s, and named "States' Flag" in 1664. During the 17th century the Prince's Flag was hoisted on the Castle of Good Hope and saluted by incoming ships. The orange-white-blue flag formed the basis for the Flag of South Africa (1928–1994), South African flag of 1928. It is also the basis for the flags of flag of New York City, New York City and Albany, New York. After the republican Patriottentijd, Patriots, aided by the French, seized control over the Netherlands in 1795, the Prince's Flag was forbidden and the red-white-blue flag became the only official flag, to the content of the French, analogous as they were to Flag of France, their own tricolour, chosen just a few months earlier. In the following period of the Kingdom of Holland, there was also no place for Orange and the Bonapartism, Bonapartist King Louis Bonaparte, Louis I chose red. In 1813, when the French were expelled and the Netherlands regained its independence, the Prince of Orange returned to the country from England. The Prince's Flag saw a short revival; in order to demonstrate the attachment of the people to the House of Orange, both this flag and the red-white-blue flag fluttered on the roofs. In the same year, for the first time, the red-white-blue flag was flown with an orange Pennon, pennant, which has remained the custom in the Netherlands. Whether the Prince's Flag or the red-white-blue flag should be the national flag was left undecided, although the Prince of Orange, later King William I of the Netherlands, William I, preferred the latter. In the 1930s, the supporters of the National Socialist Movement in the Netherlands (NSB) chose the orange-white-blue and the Prince's Flag as their symbol. Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, Queen Wilhelmina in 1937 signed a Royal Decree that the colors red, white and blue are set as the official colors of the
Dutch flag
Dutch flag


The Prince's flag was raised from the old Matthias church tower in Warmond in 2013 as part of the celebrations of the 200th anniversary of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The flag is also used as a symbol of the Greater Netherlands and Dutch Pan-nationalism, pan-nationalist movements. It is frequently used by extreme right-wing groups such as the Dutch Peoples-Union, Dutch People's Union (NVU) and ''Voorpost'', as well as the (now defunct) Nationalist People's Movement (NVB). In 2011, two members of parliament for the Party for Freedom, Party for Freedom (PVV) had the Prince's flag hanging in their offices in the parliament's building. When this was received with scrutiny, the flags were removed. Former Dutch MP Wim Kortenoeven said he was perturbed by the negative connotations the flag carries as he believes the flag was "hijacked" by the National Socialist Movement in the Netherlands, NSB. At a PVV protest on 21 September 2013 in The Hague, several attendants were carrying Prince's flags. When Geert Wilders was speaking in House of Representatives (Netherlands), House of Representatives the same week, Alexander Pechtold referred to the flags as 'NSB-flags', to which Wilders called Pechtold a sad, measly, hypocritical little man. In protest of Pechtold's remark, at least five members of the House of Representatives, Martin Bosma, Reinette Klever, Machiel de Graaf, Harm Beertema and Barry Madlener wore a Prince's flag lapel pin.


The Prince's Flag served as the basis for the Flag of South Africa (1928–1994), flag of the Union of South Africa. This flag was adopted in 1928 and was inspired by the former Dutch flag. In the white part of the flag are the flags of (left to right) the United Kingdom, the Orange Free State and South African Republic, Transvaal, representing the Union of South Africa, Union's British colonial and republican predecessor states. In 1994, the flag was replaced by the post-apartheid flag of South Africa. As a consequence of its beginnings as the Dutch colony of New Netherland, several places in New York State and New Jersey use variants of the Prinsenvlag as their official flags. These places include New York City, Jersey City, the Bronx, Albany, New York, Albany, and Nassau County, New York, Nassau County. File:Flag of South Africa 1928-1994.svg, Flag of South Africa (1928–1994) File:Flag_of_New_York_City.svg, Flag of New York City File:Flag_of_Albany,_New_York.svg, Flag of Albany, New York File:Flag_of_The_Bronx.svg, Flag of the Bronx File:Flag of Jersey City, New Jersey.gif, Flag of Jersey City, New Jersey File:Brielse Geus.svg, Naval jack Brielse Geus File:Prinsenvlag7.svg, Variant on the Prince's flag File:Hu flag 1.png, Flag of Hofstra University

See also

* Statenvlag


{{Dutch flags Dutch Republic Historical flags Flags of the Netherlands