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The darkest page of Dutch history happened during WW2; the flag became a negative symbol.

Reader comment on item: Why I Stand with Geert Wilders
in response to reader comment: proof "In the NL there still are dangerous downsides in not being politically correct and being patriotic"

Submitted by Charles (Netherlands), Jan 28, 2010 at 06:16

Myth, you will not believe this, but it is forbidden to wave the Dutch flag other than on special days. Somewhere along the line this has been regulated. Also, in schools, it is forbidden for students tot wear the dutch flag on bags or clothing because it could be interpreted as harbouring 'nationalist-feelings'. This rule applies to other nationalities too b.t.w.; in Dutch society, there has been a clamp-down on any patriotic expression fearing a 'revival of Dutch Nationalism'. Nationalism is seen in this country as suspect. Of course, many youth find ways around all this.

To understand this somewhat schizophrenic attitude in Dutch society, one must understand the role which the NL played during the nazi occupation. Collaboration with the Nazis was wide spread in the NL (you will find a somewhat milder explanation in the official history books ofcourse) and this country has a painful past regarding the annihilation of the Jewish community, which was the most succesful of all European countries, reaching almost 100% of the total Jewish community. It is staggering I know, but it is completely true. SS-bosses were very content with the Dutch compliance and results; this is all well documented btw). In other European countries nazi-resistance was much better and harsher organized. Dutch Nationalism was wide spread in the NL before the war and many Dutch were ambivalent if not friendly toward the new German state rising to power in the thirties. Hitler's book and the nazi-ideologie was well read. During the war many Dutch citizens looked the other way when the Jews were put on transport to the east. This must be the darkest page of this nation by far and explains its post-war attitude towards immigration and foreigners. It became a political mantra. Anybody thinking otherwise was politically and socially crucified.

This truly has put a very heavy burden on post-war NL, and resulted in a radical swing away from any nationalistic schools of thought. In the 60's and 70's, under the influence of the progressive left and the cultural revolution which swept through many western countries it almost went overboard in the NL. The Dutch became (led by strongly ideological motivated politicians mostly on the left) so anti-nationalistic that the only time Dutch flags were unfurled were during international sportsactivities, Queens-Day and Liberation Day.

All in all, it's only of recent years (somewhere around the millenium) and especially when Pim Fortuyn came through, that it became allright again to say one was proud to be Dutch, proud of our history, proud of our country and proud of our flag, This could not be said in the years before, for fear of being called an imperialistic pig, a fascist, a racist, or, in the very least, 'suspect' etc.

This is the psychological cramp or spasm this country has undergone many years.

And still, no flags are allowed on schools, hospitals and other Gov't buildings other then on specific holidays. We still have a long way to go...

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