Why Holland changed its name to Holland, a question that is repeated in times of the World Cup

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We don’t always know countries by their official names. For political or historical reasons, some have changed their names in recent years, such as when the Czech Republic decided to become the Czech Republic or when “Holland” decided on the first day of 2020 that it no longer wants to be called “Holland” abroad. ”, but always use its official name: “Netherlands”.

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The data repeats now in times of Qatar World Cup, with the Netherlands playing their first World Cup under the new name. In Brazil 2014 he was eliminated on penalties against Argentina and was called the Netherlands; in Russia 2018 they did not qualify for the finals.

“Holland”, geographically and properly speaking, never referred to the whole country, but to the southern provinces, the border with Belgium and the coast. Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s country is geographically divided into 12 provinces. Two of them, South Holland and North Holland, host the largest cities: Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague, the economic and political heart of the country.

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The other ten provinces are not “Dutch”. Calling them that would be like calling Salta “Patagonia” even if the distances are much smaller. Thus, for example, the city of Utrecht, home to a powerful university and another of the country’s great poles, is located in the province of the same name, so saying, for example, “the Dutch city of Utrecht” is a mistake.

For more than two centuries, from 1588 to 1795, the territory we now designate as “Netherlands” and colloquially as “Holland” was a republic of seven states. Most of that period the country was under Spanish rule, in what became known as “Spanish Flanders”.

In 1744 the Spanish left what is now the “Netherlands” after several military defeats but in 1795 French troops took control until in 1806 Napoleon Bonaparte decided to make his brother Louis king of the “Netherlands”. Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo (Belgium) restored the country’s independence, which maintained a monarchy that passed to the House of Orange, from which descends Guillermo, husband of Máxima.

Those years saw an economic boom in cities located in the Dutch regions of the countryso much so that the term “Holland” began to be used more and more abroad.

In addition to a decree for all public bodies, both at home and abroad, to stop using “Holland” and switch to using “Netherlands”, the government paid €200,000 for the design of the country’s new logo, a species of orange tulip (the most typical flower of the country) (that of its royal house) formed by a stylized drawing of the letters N and L (Nederland).

When the change was approved, Foreign Trade Minister Sigrid Kaag said the matter also affected his business: “It was time to modernize. A clear international logo is an advantage for exports and for attracting investors and talents”.

But be careful, don’t overdo it. Even calling Holland the Netherlands would not be wrong. Experts believe that it is a “particularizing synecdoche”, a stylistic code for naming the use of the part to refer to the whole.

With information published in October 2020.

Source: Clarin

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