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Zeeland Province (The Netherlands)

Zeeland Provincie (Nederland)

Last modified: 2007-12-29 by
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[Provincial flag of Zeeland] image by Mark Sensen, 4 May 1999


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Zeeland Province

A rather technical discussion on the Zeeland flag (mainly on the CoA) can be found on
<http://www.zeeland.nl/paginas/bestuurorganisatie/bestuur/divextra/luctoretemergoc.html>

Sierksma's 'Nederlands vlaggenboek', 1962, has this: 'Zeeland's flag was adopted 14 January 1949. It deviates from the Dutch vexillological practice of not placing coats of arms on flags, but even historically this is justified. Old flagbooks and -charts show very often a red-white-blue Zeeland flag (with equally wide stripes, or with a wider white stripe, f.i. zna99, p. 19 and <nl-ze17x.gif>) within the white stripe the complete coat of arms of Zeeland, often with below it two crossed laurel branches. Quite often the shield without crown and laurel branches can be found. Only two flag-sources, from 1667 (the Neapolitan manuscript) and a manuscript originating from Zeeland in the second half of the 18th century, deleted the coat of arms. In those days Zeeland used the red-white-blue flag; only in one case orange-white-blue. In the designing of the new flag it was considered that red-white-blue was not very specific for Zeeland, so one looked into a different direction. A design of a member of the Zeeland 'Gedeputeerde Staten', jhr. Mr. T. A. J. W. Schorer was finally chosen. Note that the motto on the coat of arms ('luctor et emergo' - I wrestle and emerge - a motto, which was adopted after Zeeland fought itself free from Spain with the help of the English, 1585), while the number of stripes is one more than
on the coat of arms. This was done at the insistence of Mr. Schorer on esthetical grounds: 't is better visible with a dark stripe on top and at the bottom! The flag gained immediate popularity in Zeeland and became nationally known after the flood-catastrophe of February 1951. 

<It crossed my mind that gifts from all over the world were sent the alleviate the misery of the victims - and that Zeeland in gratitude sent flags, which might account for a Zeeland flag in Tasmania>

Jarig Bakker 13 March 2000

Zeeland coat of arms

Zeeland CoA International Civic Arms : http://www.ngw.nl/

"Per fess wavy; I or, a demi lion, issuing from the dividing line gules, armed and langued azure; II barry wavy of six azure ans argent. The shield is crested by a coronet of four pearls between five leaves or. Supporters: two lions rampant gules, armed and langued azure. On a white ribbon the motto LUCTOR ET EMERGO in black lettering."

The arms of the province of Zeeland (or (Old) Zealand) are the lion of Holland struggling on a sea. The counts of Holland and the Vlaanderen (Flanders) jointly governed the group of islands between their homelands. The counts of Holland tried in the 12-13th century to get their stronghold in the area. They finally succeeded in 1299. They, however, did not adapt arms as Counts of Zeeland. The arms were developed in the 15-16th centuries.


1938 Parade flag

Parade flag zeeland image by Jarig Bakker, 26 January 2001

In 1938 Queen Wilhelmina had reigned the Netherlands for 40 years. On that occasion a lot of municipalities paraded in front of HM with their flags, which consisted of the provincial flag with the municipal coat of arms in the canton (or something...). Those municipal flags can only be considered as 'curiosities', while the status of the provincial flags is not quite clear.

Jarig Bakker, 26 January 2001


Historical flag

[Historical flag of Zeeland] image by Mark Sensen, 30 March 1998

Red over white over blue. On the white stripe, a shield surmounted by a crown and encircled by a garland of leaves - the shield extends into the other stripes slightly. On the shield, a red demi-lion on a yellow background, rising out of a blue base.
(Source: Dutch atlas made by Delisle in 1739)

James Dignan, 14 November 1996


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