The Escutcheon of Amsterdam and the Dutch East Indies Trading Company

The Dutch East Indies Trading Company

The Dutch East Indies Trading Company was the first trading company in Amsterdam, and often set out fleets of twenty ships at a time unlike the one ship at a time that other countries sent. This is how the Dutch escape and minimize pirates, bad weather, and mechanical difficulties that often sank ships during transporation and adventures.

The Mark or Escutcheon of Amsterdam
The flag or mark of Amsterdam is the official mark / flag of Amsterdam as the capital of the Netherlands. It displays three Saint Andrew’s Crosses and is based on the escutcheon in the coat of arms of Amsterdam. The coat of arms of Amsterdam is the red field of the escutcheon (heraldic shield). This is charged with three vertically ordered silver or white Saint Andrew’s Crosses on top of a black pale. The field and the pale result in three vertical bands in the colours red, black, and red. It is believed that these represent the three dangers of ancient Amsterdam – fire, floods, and the Black Death. Others believe it originated with the shield of the noble family Persijn 1280-1282 which refers to “pale water”. The black pale in the escutcheon of Amsterdam would refer to the river Amstel. Both the colours and the crosses are also found in the escutcheons of two towns near Amsterdam: the village of Ouder-Amstel on the banks of the river Amstel to the southeast, and Nieuwer-Amstel (now the suburb Amstelveen) to the southwest. Both villages were also the property of the Persijn family. The three Saint Andrew’s Crosses are used in the logo of the city government and also as decorations on the typical Amsterdam bollards called Amsterdammertjes. These coats of arms are all effectively in the public domain, as the municipalities cannot claim copyright.[wikipedia]

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