Netherlands Maiden


Netherlands Maiden
Batavische Rep Gösch.png

The Dutch Maiden is a national personification of the Netherlands.

From the renaissance period onwards, Dutch cities symbolised themselves with effigies of a stedenmaagd, or town maiden. An example is found in the 16th century Groothoofdspoort in Dordrecht, where the Dordrecht Maiden is seated in the symbolical Garden of Holland. During the Dutch Revolt, maidens representing the Dutch provinces, or a single maiden representing the Netherlands, became a recurrent theme on allegorical cartoons. By ordinance of 25 May 1694, the States-General introduced a uniform coin design in the Netherlands, showing a Maiden leaning on a bible placed on an altar, holding a lance with the Cap of Liberty.[1][2]

The short-lived Batavian Republic, created in the Netherlands under the auspices of France, adopted the Dutch Maiden as its main symbol. The Maiden was depicted on the upper left corner of the Batavian Republic's flag. She was depicted with a lion at her feet. In one hand she bore a shield with the Roman fasces and in the other a lance crowned with the cap of liberty.[3]

The Dutch Maiden continued to be used as a symbol after the creation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1815. She appears in nineteenth century monuments like the one on Plein 1813 in The Hague[4], the one commemorating the Battle of Heiligerlee[5], and the one on the Nieuwemarkt in Rotterdam[6].

In a song in his 1977 oudejaarsconference, comedian Wim Kan made a reference to the Dutch Maiden: "All chicken laying golden eggs are slaughtered/The Dutch maiden was raped by the red rooster/She is now taken to Bloemenhoven/On Van Agt's racing bike."

References

  1. ^ http://www.muntenmuseum.nl/PDF/Staten%20Generaal%2025%20mei%201694.pdf
  2. ^ Hubert de Vries, Wapens van de Nederlanden. De historische ontwikkeling van de heraldische symbolen van Nederland, België, hun provincies en Luxemburg. Uitgeverij Jan Mets, Amsterdam, 1995, page 183, note 9.
  3. ^ Hubert de Vries, Wapens van de Nederlanden. De historische ontwikkeling van de heraldische symbolen van Nederland, België, hun provincies en Luxemburg. Uitgeverij Jan Mets, Amsterdam, 1995, page 38-39.
  4. ^ http://www.vanderkrogt.net/standbeelden/object.php?record=ZH15bg
  5. ^ http://www.vanderkrogt.net/standbeelden/object.php?record=GR23cb
  6. ^ http://www.vanderkrogt.net/standbeelden/object.php?record=ZH58cf