Symbol of the Batavian Republic, 1795–1806.

The Dutch Maiden (Dutch: Nederlandse Maagd) is a national personification of the Netherlands. She is typically depicted wearing a Roman garment and with a lion, the Leo Belgicus, by her side. In addition to the symbol of a national maiden, there were also symbolic provincial maidens and town maidens.

The Dutch Maiden has been used as a national symbol since the 16th century. During the Dutch Revolt, a maiden representing the United Provinces of the Netherlands became a recurrent theme in allegorical cartoons. In early depictions she may be shown in the "Garden of Holland", a small garden surrounded by a fence, recalling the medieval hortus conclusus of the Virgin Mary. On 25 May 1694, the States of Holland and West Friesland introduced a uniform coin design for the United Provinces, showing a Dutch Maiden leaning on a bible placed on an altar and holding a lance with the cap of liberty, the Liberty pole.[1][2]

The Dutch maiden threatened by a Spanish soldier. From Gysius: Oorsprong en voortgang, 1616.

Initially carrying a martyr's palm, by the late 17th century she often carries a cap of liberty on a liberty pole, though the hat is a conventional male style for the period, rather than the Phrygian cap that later images of liberty personified in other countries used.[citation needed] Alongside the type of depiction with a liberty pole, which is usually costumed in more or less modern styles, images in the Baroque classical dress that was more conventional for such personifications are also found.

19th-century and later

The Dutch Maiden always carries her cap of liberty on a pole, and it is not of the Phrygian cap form.[citation needed] 1660

During the French Revolutionary occupation, the short-lived Batavian Republic adopted the Dutch Maiden as its main symbol. The symbol was depicted on the upper left corner of the Batavian Republic's flag, with a lion at her feet. In one hand, she holds a shield with the Roman fasces and in the other a lance crowned with the cap of liberty.[3]

The Dutch Maiden continued to be used as a symbol after the foundation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1815. She was integrated into a number of 19th century monuments, including:

Maiden as a provincial or town symbol

Starting around the time of the Renaissance, it was not uncommon for a Dutch province to be symbolized by the image of a maiden, e.g. "the Maiden of Holland".

A "town maiden" (stedenmaagd) was sometimes used to symbolize a Dutch town, e.g. "the Maiden of Dordrecht".

Maiden of Dordrecht

On a relief on the 16th century Groothoofdspoort in Dordrecht, the Maiden of Dordrecht, holding the heraldic shield of Dordrecht, is seated in the symbolical Garden of Holland. She is surrounded by the heraldic shields of 15 cities. The same theme was the subject of a 1596 gift to the St. Janskerk in Gouda by the Dordrecht city council. From 19 to 23 July 1572, Dordrecht had been the scene of the first independent meeting of the provinces rebelling against Spanish rule.

In these symbols of Dordrecht, the heraldic shields are (clockwise from Geertruidenberg, the city shield on the "gate" of the garden) for the following towns: Geertruidenberg, Schoonhoven, Hoorn, Weesp, Leerdam, Naarden, Muiden, Medemblik, Grootebroek, Monnickendam, Enkhuizen, Asperen, Heusden, Schiedam and Vlaardingen.



  1. ^ "De Munt en Munteryebetreffende" (PDF) (in Dutch). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-24. Retrieved 2011-02-07.
  2. ^ de Vries, Hubert; van de Nederlanden, Wapens (1995). De historische ontwikkeling van de heraldische symbolen van Nederland, België, hun provincies en Luxemburg (in Dutch). Amsterdam: Uitgeverij Jan Mets. p. 183, note 9.
  3. ^ de Vries & van de Nederlanden 1995, pp. 38–39.
  4. ^ "Nationale Onafhankelijkheid". Van der Krogt sites (in Dutch).
  5. ^ "Adolf van Nassau". Van der Krogt sites (in Dutch).
  6. ^ "De Maagd van Holland". Van der Krogt sites (in Dutch).
  7. ^ It shows the Dutch Maiden holding a lance topped by a phrygian cap, left hand leaning on a bible and standing on an altar. From the collection of the Teylers Museum
  8. ^ Entitled Ons Schibboleth, printed in De Nederlandsche Spectator, 1866.