LOTUS

At the heart of symbolism

Netherlands and Luxembourg flags

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Summary

Dutch flag Luxembourg flag

The drawing of the flags

The tricolour national flags are the most numerous in the world (for more details, see the colours of the Olympic flag). And the easiest way to arrange them consists in placing them side by side on three horizontal or vertical stripes of the same size. The following tables provide a list of European flags associated with each of these arrangements and their relative dimensions (width/length ratio):

European tricolour flags with equal horizontal stripes:

Flags
Ratio
  • 1/2
  • 2/3
  • 3/5
  • 1/2
  • 7/11
  • 3/5
  • 2/3
  • 2/3
  • 3/5
  • 2/3
  • 1/2
  • 2/3
  • 1/2

European tricolour flags with equal vertical stripes:

Flags
Ratio
  • 2/3
  • 13/15
  • 2/3
  • 1/2
  • 2/3
  • 1/2
  • 2/3

It follows that the flags with horizontal stripes significantly outweigh those with vertical ones; they could have been used as a model for number of flags in Europe and elsewhere. In fact, the Dutch flag seems to have been the first European tricolour flag and the greatest maritime, commercial, financial and artistic nation of the XVIIth century must have influenced the drawing of the emblem of other nations. All the more so since that its format is the most widespread among the mentioned tricolour flags. This influence could also have been extended to colours.

The colours of the flags

Red represents courage and strength on Earth and symbolizes the temporal power in this world. Besides, it corresponds to the “uppermost” colour of the rainbow and the highest rank in the terrestrial order. This role was traditionally assigned to the King responsible for maintaining order and justice, peace and harmony in the Kingdom.

Blue generally represents one of the “lowest” colours of the rainbow. It is associated with the producers and craftsmen, the representatives of the economic class in general.

The Dutch blue overseas characterizes the huge maritime expanse beyond a land open to the world; the Luxembourg sky blue is linked to the sky covering the continental land.

White symbolizes the visible light which contains all manifested colours in the spectrum of the rainbow, in particular the two extreme colours, red and blue. It symbolizes the spiritual authority guiding the King in his task and producers in their work. That is why, white, symbolizing the will of Heaven on Earth, stands in the middle of the flag.

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