A red, white & blue outfit for King’s Day

Sunnies: Cerjo, Skirt: H&M, Top: Yes or No (new), Shoes and Bag: super old, but still great!

“Orange is the happiest color.”― Frank Sinatra

It’s King’s Day in Holland on the 27th of April. Last year I choose to wear a flamboyant floral skirt in honour of the Argentinian roots of Queen Maxima. This year I have decided to tune in with the colours of the Dutch flag: red, white and blue.

There is something remarkable about the colour choice for the Dutch flag. It is red, white & blue and not orange, white & blue, although orange is very much associated with the Dutch. Well, the red has won its place in the Dutch flag, but the orange has not been totally lost and that is because of the Dutch polder model.

What is polder modelling, how did the Dutch solve the “loss” of orange in their flag and what exactly do I love about my red, white & blue outfit? Keep on reading to find it all out.

Fun & Flirty

When you are a regular reader, you will have seen this swirl skirt before. It’s one of my favourites. It’s light, comfortable, feminine, wrinkle-free and good to combine with many of my tops. To quote Jodie from jtouchofsyle: “This skirt is fun & flirty.”

I have worn it on a hot summer day (in Metz), a mild summer day (in Füssen), a sunny autumn day (at home) and now on a warm spring day as well. So I can conclude it’s a very versatile skirt, perfect for travelling, for a day at home and for teaching and that in nearly every season.

As a teacher of both French and English and with my Dutch roots, I just love the colour scheme of red, white & blue, the colours of all three national flags.

The Dutch play a bit with their colour scheme, adding some orange to their flag now and then.

Polder modelling

They do so thanks to the polder modelling the Dutch master so well. Holland is known for being quite liberal in many ways. The Dutch often compromise in decisions to keep all parties involved satisfied. They even have got a special word for this consensus decision making: polder model.

Wearing my flamboyant floral skirt in the Dutch polders

Polders consist of land reclaimed from the sea, which is roughly one third (!) of The Netherlands. This requires constant pumping of water (hence the many windmills) and thorough maintenance of the dykes that protect the polders against the sea. It meant cooperation between different societies living in the same polder from as early as the Middle Ages and that’s how the Dutch learned to set aside differences for a greater purpose.

A windmill in Zeeland, a province far below sea level!

Despite their polder modelling, the Dutch have had heated arguments about the colour of their flag. For some it should be orange-white-blue, while others preferred red-white-blue. Both combinations were alternately into fashion between the 14th and 20th century. In 1937 they were totally fed up with the discussion and Queen Wilhelmina signed one of the shortest royal decrees ever: “The colours of the flag of the Dutch Kingdom are red, white and blue.” It’s not really clear why they preferred the red, nor is it clear why red, white and blue were chosen to begin with (for the French their choice for these 3 colours was perfectly clear – see this previous blogpost).

What to do with the missing orange?

Maybe you are surprised by the choice for red over orange, since many people associate the colour orange with the Dutch. You are absolutely right. Whenever there is an international sports event, sports(wo)men and supporters show up in orange outfits. It’s the family name of the Dutch Royal Family and, maybe an even more convincing argument, it’s far more original than red-white-blue (I am sure my American, British and French readers get my point).

The Dutch being Dutch, they quickly found a consensus to compensate those missing the orange in the national flag. On the birthdays of Dutch Royals, a long, small, orange pennon is added to the red-white-blue flag. Polder model at its best I’d say.

How about you? When are you polder modelling in your life?

Thank you for reading, have a fabulous week and enjoy King’s Day when you’re Dutch or in Holland on the 27th!







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  1. What a good story! I never wear red blue and white together…. because of the flag. Crazy right as you prove that it looks fantastic together. It’s going to be a chilly and rainy day tomorrow, such a shame. I wish you a wonderful weekend,perhaps you follow what is going on in Kingsway on the television?

    1. How funny that you avoid the flag Nancy. That’s so very Dutch. In Switzerland, people are very proud of their flag. On the first of August (the Swiss National Day), many people wear red T-shirts with the white Swiss cross on it. Flags are even more present than they normally are. A different country, a different culture.

      Wishing you a wonderful weekend too. I always loved Queen’s Day (never been in Holland for King’s Day so far).
      Love, Lieske

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