The Netherlands is a country located mainly in Northwestern Europe. Together with three island territories in the Caribbean, it forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The European portion of the Netherlands consists of twelve provinces, spanning 16,040 square miles, and has a population of more than 17 million. It borders Germany, Belgium, and the North Sea. Amsterdam is the country's capital, while The Hague holds the seat of the States General, Cabinet and Supreme Court. Especially for paintings is the country one of the most acclaimed in the world.

'Netherlands' literally means 'lower countries', referring to its low land and flat geography. In the 16th century, they started land reclamation. The result is that only about 50% of its land exceeding 3ft 3in above sea level.

In the 17th century, the Dutch Empire grew to become one of the major seafaring and economic powers. They established colonies and trading posts all over the world. In 1614 they founded New Amsterdam in North America (today known as New York). The Netherlands has been administered as a parliamentary constitutional monarchy since 1848. The country were able to remain neutral during World War I, in part because the import of goods through the Netherlands proved essential to German survival. It changed in World War II, when Nazi Germany invaded the Netherlands on May 10, 1940.

The Military Order of William was established by King William I of the Netherlands in 1815 and has remained the most prestigious decoration of the Netherlands since its creation. The reigning Dutch monarch is the Grand Master of the Order.


Meijer, H.G., C.P. Mulder, B.W. Wagenar. Orders and Decorations of the Netherlands. 1984.
World Order of Knighthood and Merit, 689-693.

Besluit draagvolgorde onderscheidingen, Nr. KNO/2013/2543_2.
De Kanselier der Nederlandse Orden. Het Nederlandse decoratiestelsel.
Military Dutch Orders Medals Decorations. Modified on January 3, 2017.
Müller, Erik. Nederlandse Ridderorden en Onderscheidingen. Modified in 2017.
Pearson, Richard. Medals of the Nijmegen Vierdaagse From 1909 to the present day.

The following website was used extensively in researching the badges of Dutch Nazi-sympathising organisations, but it appears to have been taken off the web:

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