16 Jun: Don’t Wear Orange

Dutch patriots are now regularly spotted sporting orange wigs, orange clothes, orange banners and orange face paint. But, on 16th June, 1784, they were BANNED from wearing anything orange. 

The intention was to silence supporters of the ‘stadtholders’. And the colour – descending, in the public imagination, from William of Orange – had become so politically toxic in some cities that it was even prohibited to display orange carrots without their green tops showing.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly consider why the Dutch flag isn’t orange, despite the Netherlands’ love of the colour; posit what not to do on what used to be ‘Queen’s Day’; and reveal why Queen Wilhelmina’s wartime exile in London finally sealed the deal for this controversial colour… 

Further Reading:

• ‘Why the Dutch wear orange’ (Amsterdam Tourist Information): https://www.dutchamsterdam.nl/321-why-the-dutch-wear-orange

• ‘The Dutch Patriot Movement of the 1780s’ (Loyola University of New Orleans, 1986): http://people.loyno.edu/~history/journal/1986-7/botticelli.htm

• ‘Why do the Dutch wear orange?’ (WonderWhy):