How the football-mad Dutch bought their color orange | EUROtoday

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Wo die niederländische Nationalmannschaft auftritt, färben sich die Straßen orange. Bei der diesjährigen Europameisterschaft hüpfen signalgefärbte Hundertschaften in den deutschen Straßen zudem zum Après-Ski-Lied „Links rechts“ der Snollebollekes in militärischer Staffelung, dabei ganz unmilitärisch ausgelassen, nach links, nach rechts und wieder zurück. Je weiter die niederländische Mannschaft in der Spieltabelle vorrückt, desto stärker wird das in kollektiver Fröhlichkeit demonstrierte „Oranjegevoel“ – dieses „orange Gefühl“, das Flaggen, Vuvuzelas oder Mützen entsprechend einfärbt.

Doch weshalb ausgerechnet orange? Andere Länder manifestieren die Unterstützung ihrer Nationalmannschaft durch das Tragen der Landesfarben auf T-Shirts oder geschminkten Wangen. Woher kommt die leicht aufdringliche Fußballfarbe , die ja nichts mit der rot-weiß-blauen Flagge der Niederlande zu tun hat? Die Frage können hartgesottene holländische Fußballfans selbst in nüchternem Zustand nicht beantworten.

Keine Spur von Orange im Wappen

Die einfachste Antwort wäre diese: Die Niederländer äußern ihre Unterstützung für die Nationalmannschaft in der Farbe Orange, weil diese königlich ist. Sie spielt nämlich im Dienste des Königlich Niederländischen Fußballbundes. Und die königliche Farbe ist Orange – so wie die blaue Farbe der italienischen Nationalmannschaft auf das 1946 abgeschaffte Königshaus Savoyen verweist, weshalb der Farbton „Savoyablau“ heißt und die Nationalmannschaft noch immer als „gli Azzurri“ bekannt ist.

Doch mit dieser Antwort ist das Rätsel nicht gelöst. Denn weshalb sollte Orange eine königliche Farbe sein? Der Experte wird darauf bestehen, dass dies keine heraldische Farbe sei. Tatsächlich enthält das Wappen des niederländischen Königshauses Gold, Blau, Rot, Weiß – doch keine Spur von Orange. Der Freund des Königshauses wird dem pingeligen Heraldiker entgegenhalten, dass an nationalen Feiertagen ein orangefarbener Wimpel über der Landesflagge gehisst werde. Und der Grund sei natürlich, dass die königliche Familie aus dem Hause Oranien-Nassau stamme, wobei der Name „Oranien“ auf das ehemalige Fürstentum „Orange“ in der französischen Rhone­ebene verweise. Voilà.

Holländische Fans tanzen zum Lied „Links Rechts“ von Snollebollekes
Dutch fans dance to the song “Links Rechts” by SnollebollekesImago

At this level, nonetheless, the crux of the thriller is revealed with full pressure. It is true that the a part of the House of Nassau that guidelines within the Netherlands has additionally borne the title of Prince of Orange – Prince d'Orange – for 5 hundred years. But the title of this metropolis has nothing to do with the fruit or the colour named after it. In Roman occasions, town was referred to as Arausio, and this title was pronounced orange a thousand years later – simply as Mogontiacum steadily was Mainz or Augusta Treverorum into Trier. And as for the fruit that gave the distinctive coloration its title, it’s an imported product from the Orient that solely started to unfold in Europe within the fifteenth century.

Same sound, totally different that means

The unique German title Apfelsine nonetheless refers back to the Chinese or usually Asian origin of the fruit, simply because the Dutch nonetheless discuss with the fruity bearer of their soccer coloration as “Sinaasappel”. Over 100 detours, the Indian title of this fruit “nâranga” turned the Arabic “nârandj” earlier than it turned “orange” in France through Spanish and Alpprovençal. The proven fact that the Roman metropolis of Arausio and the Asian fruit had the identical title on the finish of their respective language growth is known as homophony: similar sound, totally different that means. Even within the metropolis of Orange, nonetheless, this has now been forgotten: three oranges have been included within the metropolis's coat of arms – though they’re lemon yellow out of respect for the foundations of heraldry.

Despite all of the confusion, the query of how the “orange feeling” could be defined stays. During the rebellion of the Protestant provinces towards the Habsburg king, orange flags have been used for the primary time in 1572, referring to the chief of the revolt, William of Orange. The fruit, the colour and their meanings have been initially performed with very consciously. “How do you like the oranges?” was a typical query to Spanish troopers, meant as a provocation. But this coloration was quickly to amass a party-political that means.

If you must present your colours, it’s best to have one

After the Netherlands gained independence, the union of states vacillated for hundreds of years between a republican and a centralist and even monarchist type of authorities. The supporters of the latter supported the ambitions of probably the most highly effective household, and this was exactly that of the Princes of Orange-Nassau. Their supporters subsequently referred to as themselves “Orangists”. And as a result of a celebration not solely has to indicate its colours, but additionally has to have them – the Berlin visitors mild coalition proves this with three-colored pressure – the monarchists selected orange. The play on phrases quickly developed into an iconography of rulers that made individuals neglect the joke of the unique affiliation. The telling coat of arms of the German city of Oranienbaum (whose title goes again to a Dutch princess) bears witness to this: it reveals an orange tree, though right here too, heraldically right, with yellow fruits.

The proven fact that the House of Orange, after a number of naval wars towards England, was to obtain a royal crown because of the “Glorious Revolution” in enemy territory is one irony of this prolonged seek for a throne. The annual marches of the members of the Northern Irish Order of Orange – additionally dressed within the thematic coloration, in fact – are paying homage to this time. The second irony is that the Netherlands itself solely acquired a king below French occupation, particularly Napoleon's brother.

After regaining independence, it was determined to lastly reward the Oranges with a crown at house. With a wierd delay, particularly in 1815, the Netherlands turned a monarchy. The coloration orange was added to the nationwide coat of arms in the identical yr, and since then orange flags have now not been waved as a celebration image, however as an indication of nationwide unity. But again to the dancing Dutch on the German streets. The final level of this little historical past of the “orange feeling” is that in soccer historical past it arose precisely fifty years in the past and on German soil, particularly in the course of the 1974 World Cup.

The Netherlands had an exciting staff that made it to the ultimate, which they then misplaced 2-1 to Germany. Since that collective frenzy, it’s not simply the gamers who’ve been carrying orange, but additionally their followers. Since then, a collective wave of emotion has been sweeping throughout the nation on the two-yearly European and World Championships, though the colour is barely a reminder of the considerations of the orangeists. The good factor about this colourful frenzy at present is exactly that: it’s not a nationwide flag.