Dutch Schools Ban the Dutch Flag

A Dutch newspaper article explains that many Dutch schools are forbidding the display of the Dutch flag. The Independence Institute's Dutch expert has produced an English translation of the article:

Ban on National Flag is Widespread.

More schools prove to have banned the national flag.

At the Groene Hart Lycee [an elite high school] in the city of Alphen-on-the-Rhine, the three colors that are the Dutch flag have been looked upon as evil for the past year. No symbols that identify specific groups are considered acceptable and any student may be permanently expelled for coming to school with flags on their clothing, shoes or briefcases. Earlier this week readers reacted with fury to another school in IJsselstein, this school forbids any display of flags because this would provoke students of other nationalities.

An angry man reported yesterday that he gets all kinds of verbal abuse from foreigners and leftist intellectuals for driving a dark blue defense department vehicle with a red-white and blue sticker on the back. "I get to hear that I'm a Nationalist and a Fascist. Perhaps they could compose a list of what the Dutch are actually still allowed to do?" he asks sarcastically.

Green Heart High school itself says the regulations and bans are necessary because of the hardened climate in the schools. Not only flags are outlawed, but the wearing of Lonsdale clothes, or shoes with red or white laces, or leather bomber jackets, all of these could, according to the school board, result in discrimination and bad behavior among students. A spokesperson for the school explains: "Sometimes the fat's in the fire all at once and then we must react quickly--this way we show we can weather the problem as well as prevent it." According to the school the students make fewer complaints than the parents. The parents feel the kids are robbed of their own identity. "Everything happens at school after serious discussion only and ban is a big word," say the administrators at the school. The National Bureau of Race Discrimination understands what the schools are trying to do, but they think it makes little sense to ban anything preventively.

The flag of the Netherlands is composed of red, white, and blue stripes, and its roots stretch back to the Dutch war of independence against Spain in the 16th century. At the time, the Dutch Calvinists believed that freedom from Spain's awful dictatatorship and the Spanish Inquisition was worth the fight. The independent Netherlands soon became the first nation in Europe to allow genuine freedom of religion.

If the Dutch cannot even defend their right to display their own flag, it seems questionable whether Dutch liberty and independence will survive the 21st century.