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Het Metalen Kruis (The Netherlands)

the Metal Cross

Last modified: 2018-12-15 by rob raeside
Keywords: metal cross |
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[Het Metalen Kruis flag] image by Jarig Bakker, 17 Sep 2007

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Het Metalen Kruis

Het Metalen Kruis (the Metal Cross) was instituted by Royal Resolution of 12 September 1831 as a reminder of the waractivities of 1830 till 1831. It was also known as the "Hasselter Kruis" (Cross of Hasselt, now in Belgian Limburg), referring to the guns won from the Belgians near Hasselt, the bronze of which was used to produce the Metal Cross. It was awarded liberally, also to soldiers, who didn't participate in the waractivities at all.

On 4, 5, and 6 September 1864 an international armada (with ships from the USA, France, the UK and the Netherlands) quelmed the Japanese guns which guarded the Street of Shimonoseki. After hearing this news the Netherlands celebrated extensively.

One of the participating ships was the frigate "Het Metalen Kruis". It had been baptized as the "Soerabaja" in 1862 and had Batavia as its homeport. The Society "Het Metalen Kruis", representing veterans, who had participated thirty years earlier in the war against the rebellious Belgians, had asked the King for this honor. It also asked for a special Dutch silk flag charged with the medal of Het Metalen Kruis.

The King granted this wish. The silk flag was shown on 5 February 1865 to the veterans at a special meeting at the Marinewharf of Amsterdam. It cost the society HFL 263,10. It was transported to Batavia and handed to Captain De Man on 18 July 1865. By Royal Permission the flag was only to be used at special occasions as a Dutch flag.

The flag was used until 1878, when the frigate was stricken. It got into the Modelroom of the Navy Ministry, and in 1886 the Navy gave it to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. The medal contains inscription in relief, not visible on the flag

Sources: This website for an image of the medal.
Jos Poels: "Bewaard gebleven: Metalen Kruis vlag", in Vlaggenlijn #2, edited by Stichting Vlaggenmuseum, Rotterdam, n.d. (c. 2000), for flagdescription and explanation.
drs. Marijke van den Brandhof: "Vlaggen, vaandels & standaarden van het Rijksmuseum te Amsterdam", 1977, for flagimage.
Jarig Bakker, 17 Sep 2007

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