Orange, orange, orange

The national colour of the Netherlands is orange, preferably a very bright and intense orange. That brings me to the question: why is the national colour orange? It is not even in the flag. Yes, that is true. The Netherlands have a flag with the three colours red, white and blue, but no orange. The reasons for that are to be found in the past. The colour orange used to be in our national flag. Between the end of the sixteenth century and the end of the seventeenth century, our national flag contained the colours orange, white and blue. The flag even had a name and was called ´Oranje Blanje Bleu´ which comes from the French orange-blanche-bleu. This colour combination did not last long. Within a century the colours switched to red, white and blue. There are several theories for this change. One of them is that the orange-white-blue combination would not be bright enough to be recognized from a long distance (that could cause serious problems, especially at sea). Since that time the flag is red-white-blue and since 1937 these colours are the official ones. Orange is also related to our royal family, the House of Orange-Nassau. One of the ancestors of our royal family was William of Orange and that is where the name comes from.

Nowadays, orange is always the colour of national Dutch sport teams, especially our national soccer team. The soccer team is just called ´Oranje´ most of the time and every Dutchman knows that this refers to the soccer team and not the colour. The outfits they wear are always orange, sometimes mixed with blue, white or black. Dutch fans also wear orange outfits. Therefore, they are always easy recognizable in a stadium and on the streets. At the national Dutch holiday, ´Koninginnedag´ (Queen´s Day), a lot of people wear orange clothes too. On that day (April 30) we celebrate the queen and we just party. Due to commercialization you can buy literally everything in orange these days, ranging from t-shirts, hats and flags to wigs and other fun things. This phenomenon is called ´Oranjegekte´ (Orange craze) or ´Oranjekoorts´ (Orange fever). On Queen´s Day and during large international sport events, such as a Soccer World Championship, even cakes with orange icing, orange chips and orange sweets are available.

[Nederlands]

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