I’m sure a lot of people of this region love fries, but that’s not what the region’s name is all about. Friesland, or Frisia in English, is a province of The Netherlands with a long history. The history of the geopolitical region is a lot longer than the history of the current flag of Friesland itsself.
Already as early as the 6th century there was a Frisian Kingdom, which ruled over pretty much all of the coastal areas of The Netherlands. The kingdom only existed until 734 when it was overthrown by the Frankish Kingdom, also known as Francia.
In 1524 the Lordship of Frisia was formed, but that did not last long. In 1566 when The Dutch revolt started, Frisia joined the revolt against Spanish rule. With the Peace of Münster in 1648, Frisia became a full member of the independent Dutch Republic, a federation of seven provincies. In economic and therefore also political importance, Friesland was next in rank to the provinces of Holland and Zeeland. Nowadays Friesland is one of 12 Dutch provinces and has a strong independent identity. The Netherlands actually has two official languages, Dutch and Frisian.
Characteristics of the flag of Friesland
The Frisian flag is a rectangular flag with 4 blue and 3 white diagonal stripes. Within the white stripes there are seven red pompeblêden, leaves of the yellow water-lily. The shape may resemble a heart, but according to the official instructions “should not be heart-shaped”. The seven red seeblatts are a reference to the Frisian “sea countries” in the Middle Ages; independent regions along the coast who were allied against the Vikings.
The first mentioning of a Frisian flag with seeblatts is in a poem from the 13th century. The first depiction of a Frsian flag with seeblatts is in 15th century book about heraldry. The current design is officially approved since 1897 and was first used by the provincial government in 1927.
Friesche Vlag is a Dutch brand which literally translates to Frisian Flag. It’s part of the dairy coorporation FrieslandCampina and is the oldest dairy brand of The Netherlands.
The football club SC Heerenveen uses the province flag for it’s jersey. The club had some problems with the UEFA in European games, because the UEFA thought the lily leaves were actually brand logos. The positioning of the pretended brand logos were not according to UEFA’s rules for European cup games.
What do we think about the flag?
We just love the hearts on it! Shows those Frisians have a lot of love to share! Well, love you back Friesland! Except for that thing you did to Saint Boniface, that was not a cool thing to do!