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Alkmaar (The Netherlands)
Last modified: 2003-05-17 by
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Municipal flagThe city of Alkmaar is c. 50 km north of Amsterdam, with c. 100.000 inhabitants on 3075 hectares. It is unknown when the settlement was founded, but it is said that it was already old when it received city-rights in 1254. Its fort with its impressive tower (which is depicted on CoA and flag) were used by the Hollanders in their fight against the Frisians of Westfriesland. In 1573 it was besieged by the Spaniards, who were ultimately repelled, hence the Dutch expression "In Alkmaar begint de victorie" - in Alkmaar begins victory.
At present it is a modern town with an interesting historic center, where tourists enjoy the "Kaasmarkt", with touristically authenticated cheese-carriers.
The flag was inaugurated on 27 Aug 1920; the colors are derived from the CoA.
Jarig Bakker, 19 June 2001
Alkmaar CoA image from the municipal website.
The arms date from Medieval times, probably from the time the city rights were granted, in 1254. The motto is used since the 17th century and, together with the laurel wreath, refers to the liberation of Alkmaar from the Spanish troops in the late 16th century. The liberation was the turning point in the 80-years war of liberation of the Netherlands (1568-1648).
All seals of Alkmaar from the 13th to the 17th century show a castle. The motto was often used, but when the arms were granted in 1816 the motto accidentally was omitted.
Ralf Hartemink, 1 January 1997