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The Dutch and the Color Orange

How Orange is Linked to the Netherlands

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The first time I saw the Dutch national soccer team playing in the World Cup, I wondered -- as many people do -- "What's the deal with all the fans wearing orange?" The colors of the Dutch flag are red, white and blue -- there's no orange at all. So what's the Netherlands' relationship (make that borderline obsession) with the color orange?

The answer: Orange is the color of the Dutch Royal Family. The lineage of the current dynasty -- the House of Oranje-Nassau -- dates back to Willem van Oranje (William of Orange). But while the color orange has royal roots in the Netherlands, today it symbolizes a broader pride in the country and in being Dutch.

Perhaps the biggest display of orange national pride occurs on Koninginnedag ("Queen's Day"), the April 30 holiday commemorating the birthday the country's (former) Queen. You'll be hard-pressed to find a Dutch person who's not sporting the color on this day.

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