The Significance of the Three Crosses in Amsterdam

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Amsterdam Tourist Attractions

The capital city of the Netherlands is one of the most touristic places in entire Europe. Amsterdam tours walk you through the city’s rich history, open skylines, brick buildings, and its easy-going approach towards life. You would also find signs of triple X plastered around the city. You could see them almost everywhere, from being suspended from buildings to being painted on bins. This sign is proudly showcased on a number of souvenirs too. However, not many know that this sign is deeply related to the history of Amsterdam.

Coat of Arms and Flag of Amsterdam

The XXX symbol that could be seen all throughout Amsterdam is in fact St. Andrew’s crosses, and it has its origin from the Coat of Arms. In the Coat of Arms of Amsterdam, you would be able to see a brilliant red shield having a black pale and three crosses in white. You could also see Austria’s Imperial Crown that is held by two golden lions placed above the shield.

There is a white panel with the inscription containing the motto of the city “Heldhaftig, Vastberaden, Barmhartig” (Heroic, Steadfast, and Compassionate). The flag of Amsterdam is also closely related to the shield bearing the coat of arms.

You could see Amsterdam’s flag with red, white, and black colors flying on the top of canal boats and buildings. The three crosses of the flag could also be seen everywhere in the city.

The Amsterdam Flag

There are many theories about what the components of Amsterdam’s flag represent. Some people say that the purpose of three crosses on the flag is to drive away the three main dangers (floods, fire, and black plague) from the city. However, there is no solid proof to support this claim.

The actual origin of the colors on Amsterdam Coat of Arms is unknown. Some of the officials of the city suggest that it could have come from the colors of the Coat of Arms of the Persijns. The noble family of Persijns owned a very large part of the land of the olden day Amsterdam.

The stripe that could be seen on the middle of the flag is assumed to symbolize the River Amstel that floats along the route from Nieuwveen to Amsterdam. You would be able to see the portrayal of water in flags of many other cities around the Netherlands too.