National Constitution

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Welcome to Netherlands

Flag Description
three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and blue; similar to the flag of Luxembourg, which uses a lighter blue and is longer; the colors were those of WILLIAM I, Prince of Orange, who led the Dutch Revolt against Spanish sovereignty in the latter half of the 16th century; originally the upper band was orange, but because it tended to fade to red over time, the red shade was eventually made the permanent color; the banner is perhaps the oldest tricolor in continuous use.

The Dutch United Provinces declared their independence from Spain in 1579; during the 17th century, they became a leading seafaring and commercial power, with settlements and colonies around the world. After a 20-year French occupation, a Kingdom of the Netherlands was formed in 1815. In 1830 Belgium seceded and formed a separate kingdom. The Netherlands remained neutral in World War I, but suffered invasion and occupation by Germany in World War II. A modern, industrialized nation, the Netherlands is also a large exporter of agricultural products. The country was a founding member of NATO and the EEC (now the EU), and participated in the introduction of the euro in 1999. In October 2010, the former Netherlands Antilles was dissolved and the three smallest islands - Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba - became special municipalities in the Netherlands administrative structure. The larger islands of Sint Maarten and Curacao joined the Netherlands and Aruba as constituent countries forming the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Independence / Republic Days
Independence Declared 26 July 1581
- Recognised 30 January 16484


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Calling code
+31, +5998

Euro (€): Netherlands5, United States dollar ($): Caribbean Netherlands6

Geographic Coordinates
52°19'N 05°33'E

Official languages

Western Europe, bordering the North Sea, between Belgium and Germany

Geographic coordinates
52 30 N, 5 45 E

Map references

total: 41,543 sq km
country comparison to the world: 135
land: 33,893 sq km
water: 7,650 sq km

Area - comparative
slightly less than twice the size of New Jersey

451 km

Maritime claims
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm

Elevation extremes
lowest point: Zuidplaspolder -7 m
highest point: Mount Scenery 862 m (on the island of Saba in the Caribbean, now considered an integral part of the Netherlands following the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles)
note: the highest point on continental Netherlands is Vaalserberg at 322 m

noun: Dutchman(men), Dutchwoman(women)
adjective: Dutch

Dutch (official)
note: Frisian, Low Saxon, and Limburgish are recognized as regional languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages

National symbol(s)

National anthem
name: "Het Wilhelmus" (The William)

National Anthem lyrics/music
Philips VAN MARNIX van Sint Aldegonde (presumed)/unknown
note: adopted 1932, in use since the 17th century, making it the oldest national anthem in the world; also known as "Wilhelmus van Nassouwe" (William of Nassau), it is in the form of an acrostic, where the first letter of each stanza spells the name of the leader of the Dutch Revolt

revenues: $370.4 billion
expenditures: $400.6 billion (2013 est.)

Taxes and other revenues
46.3% of GDP (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 20

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