Flag of Maastricht
|Adopted||Historical (1545-1549, 1647-? (1938), 1994–present)|
|Design||A red field with a five-pointed star|
The flag of Maastricht (Dutch: Vlag van Maastricht, Limburgish (Maastrichtian variant): Veendel vaan Mestreech or Drappo vaan Mestreech) is the official flag of Maastricht, the capital city of the province of Limburg, Netherlands. It constitutes a red vertical surface with a five-pointed star on its left side (a star that is common amongst many flags e.g., the flag of Chile). It had been an historical flag, with its first image of appearance dating from 1545, of the municipality but was replaced with a flag identical in design to, amongst others, the current Polish flag in 1938. To avoid confusion, the old flag was reinstated in 1994.
In 1438 the flag of Maastricht is described as being as a six-pointed star on a red field, with the first historic image dating from 1545. The mentioned image was published in the Wappenbuch von Meister IK-book in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. However, in 1549, the flag is stated as being "yellow-white-red". In 1647, the white-star-on-red design had apparently returned when the Peace of Münster treaty was signed. The next known design is the white-red (with the upper part of the flag being white, and the lower part being red) design similar to the Polish flag. In 1993 it was decided by the municipal government to reinstate the first design and the flag was re-inaugurated on January 1, 1994.
The height of the white star on the flag has to measure 3/5 of the entire flagheight and the space above and beneath the star has to be equal. Furthermore, the proportions between the height and the width has to be 2:3. This design designation has been in use since 1994. The reasons for rechoosing this design were varied. Firstly, there was to be no confusion with flags of other countries, provinces or cities. Secondly, the citizens of Maastricht were argued to feel more united by this design than the 1938-1994 design. Thirdly, the flag complies with the heraldric standards of the Netherlands. Finally, the colours of the Maastrichtian flag are white and vermilion, ones also used in the flag of the Netherlands.
Symbolism and misconceptions
- First and current design (1545-1549, 1647-? (1938), 1994-): this flag does not bear any symbolism towards communism, a political ideology known for using many red symbolism e.g. the red flag.
- Second design (1938-1994): this flag was easily confused with the Polish flag and similar designs.
- Municipality of Maastricht (2008). "Municipality of Maastricht: Official flag design". N.A. Mestreech. Retrieved 2008-12-29.
- Ubachs P. & Evers, I. (2005). Historische Encyclopedie Maastricht. Regionaal Historisch Centrum Limburg.