The new Dutch flag is problematic

So the Dutch flags in these games keep getting more and more interesting. I understand why they wanted to change the previous one (the double tricolor which was barely used), but personally I’m not really entertained by new choice.

To start, nowadays, it’s a very controversial flag associated with the extreme and far right as it was used by the collaborators during WWII and by neonazi-like sympathizers ever since.

Furthermore, it was the tricolor featuring red instead of orange which has a much longer history in the area. It was only changed to orange for a couple of decades after being switched back – either due to political conflicts or issues concerning dyes. Back then the version with orange was used as a sign in support of William of Orange and his dynasty – where we come back to the previous remark, as, in the 20th century, the flag featuring orange instead of red was officially rejected by Queen Wilhelmina because of the far-right use.

And well, honestly, visually it just doesn’t work. Perhaps it was a the devs effort to distinguish it from the Russian flag – but since the Dutch tricolor with red actually was one of the first in history – being an influence to both the later French and Russian ones, it would only be fitting to properly honour it.

Personally, I would really appreciate a changed flag – either to the proper tricolor (with either a light or dark variation of blue), or back to the one from vanilla, which might be more of a niche – but at least it would actually be an interesting way to distinguish the Dutch flag from the others in game without being visually appalling and extreme right at the same time.


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Uh, I am prettt sure this all isnt correct. Why do you think people still put orange above the flag when its the birthday of the monarch?

The red top flag was not used as you said, the orange flag was almost imeadiatly the first flag the Dutch used, the red one became official in 1935, and was used before because the Orange faded slowly into red over time making it easier to just adopt a red flag.

For historical sake the red tricolor flag would be inhistorical af.

Touchier, that’s all a very simplistic take on the history of the flag(s).

  1. Yes, the current flag is indeed as young as 1935. However, its biggest change from previous flags actually concerns the blue shade becoming lighter, not orange being shifted to red. A red shade was already long in place by that time. The last official usage of a orange-topped flag was already abolished halfway through the 17th century.

  2. Your explanation of the dyes (orange fading to red) is only a historical guess, not a historical fact. Other guesses include the fact that the dye was too expensive, that the orange shade wasn’t recognisable at sea, or that it was a mere matter of political infighting between pro-Orange and anti-Orange factions. The exact reason for the shift is contested. What is sure however is that a red version has been as long around as the orange one, and that the country and various institutions shifted regularly between the two (often coinciding with their like or dislike of the Orange dynasty).

  3. As a continuation of point 2. The history is more complex than just one official flag or one official institution who has the power to determine it. Throughout history, both versions have been used by various parties – but all-in-all, the red version has seen much more usage throughout history than the orange one – as stated before, this one being abolished midway through the 17th century, after which it was only reintroduced by the extreme right.

  4. Your example that they put orange ON-TOP of the flag already kinda works against itself as the extra banner is placed alongside the flag – it’s not replacing the flag. Yes, orange is considered a national colour, thanks to the Orange dynasty, but it is NOT a part of the flag.

  5. The ironic thing of it all is that the red version actually has a bigger historical impact as it was the first flag in western history to prominently feature these three colors. A staple which went on to influence many, many other modern-day flags, including several that actually feature in the game as we speak (Russia, the US, South-Africa).

Point is: the orange tricolor lived alongside the red one all its life, while at the same time the red one went on to define a lot of the country’s history, whereas the orange one became a symbol for the extreme right. Neither pick would be, in your words, inhistorical – the orange one is simply more problematic, has a lesser historical value, and, on top of that, has visual problems as well.

Get out of here with your politically correct ■■■■■■■■. The fact that a handful of neo-nazi retards hijacked a beautiful flag is COMPLETELY irrelevant to the time period that this game covers.

This is overwhelmingly wrong. The flag was never voluntarily changed - it was forcibly replaced by the invading French, who, as you may know, had an unfortunate and misguided thing against monarchies. The tumultuous period after the liberation from the French saw The Netherlands install a monarchy again, but the French-installed red-white-blue flag remained. Her Majesty Queen Wilhelmina officially installed the red-white-blue flag as the official flag in 1937 due to its prolonged use and as a reaction to the use of the Prinsenvlag by the NSB. As said earlier, the use of the flag by the NSB is completely irrelevant to the period of the game. It should be obvious to all that the NSB and nazi losers were completely annihilated and have no relevance whatsoever. Who cares what some racist assholes do in their spare time? Do you think tiki torches are racist too because they were used by American racists?

For me, the Prinsenvlag symbolizes The Netherlands, Independence, Freedom, and the Monarchy. I cannot stress enough how important the existence of the Dutch monarchy is to me and to the Dutch people. Monarchy is God’s sacred mission to grace and dignify the earth. To give ordinary people an ideal to strive towards, an example of nobility and duty to raise them in their wretched lives. Monarchy is a calling from God.

This game has already been modernized enough, for the better or worse. We must respect King Willem-Alexander Claus George Ferdinand, Prince of Orange and keep this beautiful flag in the game! God bless The Netherlands and God bless all you beautiful people!


I’m gonna download the 1st mod which reverts all flag changes to legacy ones.

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@Mr Bram

For one, let me start by saying that I respect your personal point of view, beliefs and convictions – it would be kind however if the favor would be returned by leaving out useless statements in which you’ state you’d rather see my post deleted, or where you are derogatory towards my own points of view.

Second, It is kinda ironic though that, despite your reverence for the Dutch royal house, you’re actually sidelining their own decree that doesn’t recognize the Prinsenvlag to begin with.

Third, leaving the irony aside. There’s no need for this discussion to derail into a pro-or-anti-monarchy debate – or anything on racism. This is about a game, and arguments to use a flag or not. Since this is a present day game, I would deem it wise to take into account modern-day issues with national symbols – like a flag that’s been reapproriated by the extreme right.

Fourth, actually going back to the historical part of this discussion. Saying that the red version was solely enforced by the French is short sided for two reasons: 1. It fails to acknowledge that red versions of the tricolor had already been around for just as long as the orange one (red-white-blue has been a recurring color pattern way before the revolution even). And 2. By placing all the responsibility for the change on the French as external force, the retoric fails to acknowledge that there were many Dutch factions and parties as well that supported this move and even invited them to come in in the first place. ‘Blaming the French’ is a biased framing of history. Point to prove: if it was JUST a flag enforced by the French, and the Prinsenvlag was an actual revered symbol of the Orange dynasty; then why was did the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which restored the dynasty, still feature a red flag again?

As I’m repeating in my last post. There’s a historical case to be made for both flags, red or orange, but since the orange one has a much shorter history and has become a symbol of the extreme right – I deem it wise to either revert the change they made for the DE or come with a new flag alltogether.

As both flags were used shall we put which one is better to a vote among the members of this forum? Orange vs Red?

P.S. what about blue, does nobody care about this shade!?

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There is nothing wrong with the flag, enjoy the game and stop bitching about non issues.


Oh my god man. It’s incredible how you care more that some small group of people use a flag than using the correct flag for the correct time of the game.

What some group use the flag TODAY DOES NOT MATTER. Stop being paranoid with political things, this is a game for the love of god.


Since a lot of people are complaining about flag changes, I suggest someone release a flag change mod. It’s a bit annoying seeing all these complaints.

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What’s sad is instead of a discussion of what is the correct flag for the time the civ is represented on AoE 3 we get people that are part of a political group trying to censor a flag because another political group is using it.

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@Jordan, no need to get personal or all sensitive about it. You have no idea of my political alignments nor are there any reasons to start assuming them.

All I’m doing is exactly that: starting a historical discussion on the flag, presenting a wide range of historical arguments as well, modern history arguments included; something I believe should be considered in a game that’s, you know, quite modern. I’d be happy to hear your views on the historical arguments too :slight_smile:

And in the end; I hope we can all learn to agree to disagree sometimes.

@Darkfzo, would such cosmetic mods be multiplayer friendly? In such a case, I’d be a fan ^^

I know its a bit off topic but this discussion reminded me of this image:

Ever since I saw this as a meme I think of the modern Dutch flag as a French one turned around. Perhaps it has nothing to do with history or the arguments presented here but I personally like the orange more even if its only because its more unique color on national flags. Plus I love the fact Dutch national teams play in orange nowadays.

I know its not serious and non imformed point of view but I just find the pillows a nice way to look at the things.


It’s actually quite simple, both flags were used until 1796, though often the red-white-blue flag was more common. In 1796 that flag became the official flag, and it has remained ever since. This was confirmed in 1937.

Red-white-blue was used in the flags of the VOC and the WIC. It would make a little bit more sense than the orange-white-blue flag, but that one is fine as well.

The current political use of the flag is basically irrelevant. The flag of the German Empire (1871-1919) is now also considered politically incorrect in Germany, but if you would make a game taking place in 1900, of course you would use that flag.

So I would say red-white-blue would be better, but orange-white-blue is fine as well.


I read some further on the Prinsen flag and it seems to be correct as you stated, that it became out of official use around 1630 although still being used by quite a few.

I would say the actual old one used in Vanilla is the best one to use in my opinion.

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The comparison with the German flag does make quite some sense, and give me a slightly altered perspective. Thanks for the insight :slight_smile:

Still, it’s still a weird ‘fix’ compared to the old game – The legacy flag in that sense had much less issues. So if a single tricolor would be too easily confused with Russia the double one should certainly do the trick again (and be easily implemented)

Your political alignments does not matter, the main problem is: your entire argument of what the flag IS BEING USED TODAY are irrelevant and should not be considered when choosing what flag an empire used in the past.

Got it? What political groups that you don’t like should not be an argument of what flag an empire of the game should use.

Want to use an historical argument? go for it. Want to use an argument of what an arbitrary political groups today use it? no, just stop.

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I think I don’t need you telling me what I can and can’t do, thank you very much :slight_smile:

If you believe modern day realities shouldn’t influence a modern day consumer history-based video game, that’s your rightful opinion to have – just as much as it’s mine rightful opinion to have that I believe that modern-day issues can be taken into account whenever that’s relevant.

Why? Because history, in its very sense, is not just about the past, but how we, today, look back at it. Perspectives change, and by that, things that we decide to highlight and glorify as well. Should things be removed or censored? Absolutely not. But things can be taken down from their pedestal in case we think they don’t deserve it anymore. And thus I present my opinions on why I believe, including other historical arguments, why the Dutch could use a flag change.

It’s your civil right to disagree with me and have you’re own opinion. But there’s no need to take on a condescending tone, telling me what I can or can’t do.

And again, I have also been going for a historical debate across this entire post throughout getting a lot of interactions there as well. In case you have other input there or went through the various inputs from other users as well; I’d love to hear it. (Since you know, I’d hope you’re not just here to bash others are you?)