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KLM (The Netherlands)

Royal Dutch Airlines, Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij

Last modified: 2003-05-02 by
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[KLM flag] by Mark Sensen, 6 Jan 2003

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Royal Dutch Airlines

I wonder if you could help me with some research. Do you know which flag was flown by KLM airlines (Holland) on their aircraft immediately prior to WW2? A photo of the aircraft can be found at this webpage. Not a good photo but I hope you can point me in the right direction. Looks like the normal Dutch flag but what is in the middle?
Howard Armitage, 4 Jan 2003

The flag of KLM (Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij, Royal Dutch Airlines) was not red-white-blue, but orange-white-blue, with the logo in black in the center of the white stripe. This logo consisted of the letters KLM in a hexagon, two wings and a crown, and was designed by architect Dirk Roosenburg in 1919, the year the KLM was founded. I have seen this flag on photos from the 1930s and from the years just after WWII.
In 1949/1950 a new logo was adopted (in which the old logo remains as a detail), which evolved with changes in 1959, 1962-'63 and 1971 to the one in use today. I have never seen flags with one of these logos.
Source (logos, not the flag): Drs. G.I. Smit, R.C.J. Wunderink, Mr. I Hoogland, "KLM in beeld; 75 vormgeving en promotie", 1994.
Mark Sensen, 6 Jan 2003