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by Mark Sensen, 29 July 1998
From Flag Bulletin, Vol. V No. 4, August 1966, pg. 128.:
An old tradition of misuse of the Netherlands red-white-blue flag has come to an end this year. When in the first days of May every year the fishermen had brought back from the North Sea the fresh salt herring -- "Dutch New Mates" -- for almost two centuries one could buy this sea-banquet in Western Europe at stands and shops decorated and indicated by a little Netherlands flag.
Too often these flags were shown day and night; and of course there was opposition because of the impropriety of using a national symbol for commercial purposes. The Foundation for Vexillology and Heraldry at Muidenberg every year tried to get the stands to stop using the national flag. Finally success has been met.
Beginning in February 1966 the governmental organization for the promotion of fish-selling in the Netherlands has sanctioned a new flag for herring shops and stands. The design is a very good one: a white herring on a red H on a blue-bordered white emblem, all on a field of white with blue stripes at top and bottom. It retains the Dutch national colors and is an attractive promotional feature, but it does not break the flag protocols. So seeing this flag, "Let's have another Mate!"
(KS) [Klaes Sierksma]
Dave Martucci, 13 July 1998