Netherlands Antilles, flag of

Netherlands Antilles, flag of

▪ Flag History

      Netherlands territorial flag consisting of three equal horizontal stripes of white, blue, and white; a central red vertical stripe over the white stripe but under the blue one; and, centred in the blue stripe, five white five-pointed stars. The flag's width-to-length ratio is 2 to 3.

      In 1954 the six Dutch dependencies of the West Indies—Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, Saint Martin (Sint Maarten), and Sint Eustatius—were established as the territory of the Netherlands Antilles, gaining the right to self-government in all affairs except defense and foreign policy. The islands of this new entity had been solely under the Netherlands national flag (Netherlands, flag of The) since the 17th century and thus had no traditional local flags. The first flag of the Netherlands Antilles was decreed by Queen Juliana of The Netherlands on December 15, 1959, which marked the fifth anniversary of the law giving autonomy to the territory.

      The red, white, and blue of the flag are the colours of the Netherlands national flag, which continues to fly over the islands. The white stars refer to the constituent islands. Originally six in number, they were reduced to five in 1986 when Aruba separated from the Netherlands Antilles. The stars were also rearranged at that time to correspond roughly to the geographical positions of the islands.

Whitney Smith
 

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Universalium. 2010.

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