External appearances of the police throughout the years

Heraldry and military fashion

The British like to see themselves as the inventors of the international police star and of blue as the uniform color for the police.

More and more there are international parallel developments and cross-fertilization. Heraldry (heraldry) owes its origins to the strikingly painted decorations that knights put on their shields in the early 12th century to make themselves recognizable in a tournament and battle. These emblems were handed over from father to son and developed into family weapons. Families rose in social and political prestige, played a crucial role in the development of cities, regions and states and thereby passed on their emblems. Non-noble citizens and institutions of all kinds started using heraldic emblems.
The traditions, symbols and uses of heraldry can be found not only in national flags and state weapons, but also in emblems that are used today by families, trading companies, institutions and organizations, cities and municipalities.
The original significance of the coat of arms as a personal identification mark in the war bustle also developed further: from the recognition mark of the knight and his soldiers to emblems of regiments, armed forces and national armies.

The main components in heraldic emblems are: color, shield, helmet, crown and signs. There are multiple signs in heraldry: crosses, swords, structures and tools, celestial bodies, plants and animals.


Heraldry distinguishes six main colors: yellow, white, red, blue, black and green.
Yellow (= gold) and white (= silver) are the "metals" that are used with the "colors". The other colors are most common in the order: red, blue, black and green. Each color has one or more symbolic values. Red (also called "throat" in heraldry) stands for desire and making himself deserving of his homeland. Blue ("azure") stands for loyalty and perseverance; black ("saber") for mourning. And green ("sinopel") symbolizes freedom, joy and hope.


Blue, white and red are heraldic colors and also the national colors of the Netherlands. The symbolic values ​​of red and blue are respectively: making merit for the fatherland, and loyalty and perseverance. Characteristics that an army must have.
In 1912 the Dutch army introduced the green-gray field kit. Wherever possible, blue cloth was used for collars and samples to increase the appearance. Minister of War H. Colijn motivated the choice of blue with the strength of this color, which does not easily lose its fresh hue, and the desire to keep the memory "of the old national uniform color" alive.
Indeed, it is already clear from the oldest Dutch uniform regulations, from 1752, that the dragonders (heavy cavalry), the guards on horseback and the infantry of the State army were dressed in blue uniform coats. For the army, white was the color for the cavalry and red for the Scottish regiments in the service of the Republic of the United Netherlands.
At that time, blue was already the dominant color. The textile industry around Leiden was an important supplier of "militia cloth" and blue dyeing was most common in the Leiden area.

In choosing uniform colors, the Republic followed the military superpowers, in particular France. After the Eighty Years' War (1568-1648), which was primarily fought by mercenary armies by the warriors, the national armies took shape. The soldiers swore allegiance to the sovereign prince, who chose national or heraldic colors for the uniforms of his troops. The mercenary commanders no longer determined the loyalty and uniform colors of their soldiers.
France is the trendsetter in the field of military fashion and the French national colors red, white and blue determine the color combinations for the uniforms in the French army. In England, from Cromwell's rule (1645-1658), the scarlet uniform coat is typical.
After the fall of Napoleon, the Netherlands became a sovereign kingdom. The regained national independence had to be expressed in the uniform colors of the new Dutch army and the memory of French hegemony and uniforms disappeared. Unfortunately, the favorite uniform colors at the time of the Republic - red, white and blue - were also the French national colors. Blue again became the dominant uniform color. The dark blue was often combined with the light blue or sky blue color, which symbolizes the House of Orange Nassau: nassau blue.
The Dutch police system took shape in the course of the 19th century. The police joined military fashion and tradition as a strong executive arm of the state and as a uniform-bearing organization. The Royal Netherlands Marechaussee was even a national police organization and part of the army as a military police force

The eight-pointed star

The star, or rather the shining sun as the brightest celestial body, is an old heraldic sign. The enormous power of the sun's rays appeals to many princes. Think of Louis XIV, the Sun King. The sun is also the symbol of freedom and the hope for a better future. That is why the sun appears in countless royal and national weapons and emblems.

Great Britain: police helmet and star

The eight-pointed star is called the Brunswick star in Great Britain and is associated with the British royal family Hanover. This noble family, from the Electors of Hanover, had its roots in Braunschweig-Lüneburg. During the First World War, the British royal family changed its name: Hannover then became Windsor
The first British king of the House of Hanover, George I (1714-1727), founded his own knighthood, the Order of the Bath, like many other kings in that period. In the decorations of this order, the Maltese cross is depicted on an eight-pointed star, with Ich dien (I serve) on the spellbinding. A century later, George IV (1820-1830) reigned. He was a lover of costumes, uniforms and military chic and issued the first general dress codes for the British army. The shakos of the British regiments often received the crowned Brunswick star as emblem plate. The shako is a stiff, top hat in the shape of a truncated cone, with a flap. In the first half of the 19th century, the shako was the most common military headdress.
In the mid-19th century, the British army fought out countless colonial wars in the vast Empire. The tropical helmet, a fabric-covered cork helmet hat, appeared as an alternative to the heavy and warm shako.
While lacquered felt or leather helmets with comb or peak (Pickelhaube) increasingly determined military fashion on the European continent, in 1878 the British army introduced the cork helmet hat for the troops in the motherland itself, covered with dark blue fabric and fitted with dark blue fabric. a peak (Home Service Helmet, 1878 Pattern). The regimental emblems on these peak helmets consist of separate regiment symbols and spells in the middle of the crowned Brunswick star.

The Metropolitan Police in London were created by the Metropolitan Police Act of 1829.
This police law, initiated by Interior Minister Robert Peel, governed police supervision in the London metropolis.

In choosing uniform colors, the Republic followed the military superpowers, in particular France. After the Eighty Years' War (1568-1648), which was primarily fought by mercenary armies by the warriors, the national armies took shape. The soldiers swore allegiance to the sovereign prince, who chose national or heraldic colors for the uniforms of his troops. The mercenary commanders no longer determined the loyalty and uniform colors of their soldiers.
France is the trendsetter in the field of military fashion and the French national colors red, white and blue determine the color combinations for the uniforms in the French army. In England, from Cromwell's rule (1645-1658), the scarlet uniform coat is typical.
After the fall of Napoleon, the Netherlands became a sovereign kingdom. The regained national independence had to be expressed in the uniform colors of the new Dutch army and the memory of French hegemony and uniforms disappeared. Unfortunately, the favorite uniform colors at the time of the Republic - red, white and blue - were also the French national colors. Blue again became the dominant uniform color. The dark blue was often combined with the light blue or sky blue color, which symbolizes the House of Orange Nassau: nassau blue.
The Dutch police system took shape in the course of the 19th century. The police joined military fashion and tradition as a strong executive arm of the state and as a uniform-bearing organization. The Royal Netherlands Military Police was equally a national police organization and part of the army as a military police force.

The Metropolitan Police in London were created by the Metropolitan Police Act of 1829.
This police law, initiated by Interior Minister Robert Peel, governed police supervision in the London metropolis.

The emblem of police forces led the eight-pointed star in the Netherlands before 1945 to a marginal existence. In price lists of suppliers of police uniforms and equipment, such as the Netherlands Weapon Warehouse in Haarlem, an eight-pointed star is offered as a helmet plate. This star has a circular surface in the middle in which the municipal coat of arms can be engraved. The star's wreath has the shape of the German Gardestern. A helmet with helmet plate of this model was in use around 1910 at the police force of Veendam.

The lion, the crown and the national coat of arms
Animals are heraldic signs. The lion is the most common weapon of all heraldic animals, particularly in state weapons. He is king of the animals as a symbol of kingship. In addition, the royal crown is the symbol of royal dignity. The most important characteristic of the royal crown are the brackets with the royal apple on top of the crown. They are the symbol of sovereignty.
Color, lion, crown and coat of arms are the main elements in the most important heraldic emblem of the Netherlands, the national coat of arms, which was established in 1815.
In the azure shield surface, studded with cubes, there is a climbing, accustomed and crowned lion. The lion carries a bared Roman sword in its claws and a bundle of seven arrows.
The coat of arms reflects the emergence of the kingdom: the lion from the family crest of Nassau is crowned (elevated to royal dignity) and provided with the attributes of the States, namely the sword and the bundle of arrows that symbolize the union and constitution of the seven ancient regions . The blocks symbolize the regions of the Southern and Northern Netherlands.
The coat of arms with the royal crown, the two heraldic lions as shield holders and the motto je maintiendrai ("I will maintain") in Latin letters of gold on an azure ribbon are the so-called external ornaments.
The lion-shield holders, too, were originally crowned and looked rather than profiled. This heraldic blunder was corrected in 1907: only the lion on the shield should wear a crown.
The use of the national coat of arms, placed on the coat of arms and canopy, is usually reserved for the king himself.
If the national coat of arms is not shown in color, the hatching of horizontal stripes in the shield area symbolizes the color azure (blue).

The Marechaussee and the exploding grenade

The term Marechaussee is of French origin. During the Late Middle Ages, military police units on horseback were established in France. These troops were assigned to the headquarters (maréchalcé or maréchaucée), also tribunal, of a marshal (maréchal). The marshals (maréchaux de France) were charged with the administration of justice and the exercise of police care in the army and were under the connétable in the hierarchy. The name military police for a soldier of the military police and as a name for the corps itself is probably a corruption of maréchalcé and maréchaucée. Marshmallows were originally stable masters at the royal court and the connétable the supreme master. This term was derived from the Latin constabularius: the person with whom you share the stable. The English name for police officer, constable, is also derived from that.
Gradually, the French Marechaussee grew to a strength of several divisions with mounted and non-mounted parts, which were charged with general police supervision in all provinces of the kingdom. As emblem they had a wreathed coat of arms with three French lilies, with the royal crown on top of the shield. After the revolution of 1789, which ended the ancien regime of king and nobility, the Marechaussee was abolished in 1791.

The police force was promptly re-established under the name Gendarmerie Nationale; a name that is not associated with the old regime. It means corps of gens d’armes, armed men.


Exploding grenade

In 1791 the grenadier-gendarme rankings appeared for men at least two non-ridden companies of the gendarmerie. From 1801, several units of the gendarmerie used the jumping grenade as an emblem.
The exploding or jumping grenade has traditionally been the emblem of artillery and grenadiers, the hand grenade launchers. The grenadiers soon become elite corps: heroism is needed to defy the range of fire of enemy muskets to throw grenades. Grenadier units often receive the status of guardian regiments. The leaping grenade thus became the emblem of wardrobe regiments.
In 1804, Napoleon incorporated units from the Gendarmerie into his Guard Imperiale.
It is certain that the exploding grenade already appeared at the gendarmerie before 1804 as an emblem. But it is possible that the jumping grenade only became the general corps emblem of the gendarmerie when in 1804 the guards status was obtained.

Marechaussee and exploding grenade in the Netherlands

During the Batavian republic (1795-1806) a small Corps gens d’armes was established in 1805. These armed people supervised import and export duties.
As King of Holland (1806-1810), Louis Napoleon expanded the Corps gens d’armes to a squadron of the Royal Gendarmerie of two companies. They were entirely stationed in Amsterdam to maintain public order.

In the French period (1810-1813) a police organization on the Dutch territory took shape following the French example:
- in the cities, schouten and schout servants were absorbed in a municipal police (police municipale), with the introduction of the ranks of commissioner (in cities with more than 5000 inhabitants), inspector and police officer. In the cities with fewer than 5,000 inhabitants, the mayor was the head of the police rather than a commissioner;
- in the countryside, forestiers and gardes-champetres were the police (rural);
- for the entire area a general police (police generale) came in the form of the French Gendarmerie, a military police force.
In this police system the emphasis was on general police at national level and political state security (haute police).

In 1813, after the departure of the French occupiers, the Netherlands became a sovereign kingdom. The police structure based on the French example was largely maintained:
- municipal police in the cities;
- municipal field guard in the countryside;
- also in the countryside, initially only in the border areas, the Wapen der Koninklijke Marechaussee, copied from the French Gendarmerie and founded in 1814. The partly ridden - and therefore mobile, corps of military police (for the internal police in the armed forces) was also national police, under the responsibility of the Minister of War, but funded for two-thirds by the Department of Justice.

In this police order the emphasis was on the local police. The night watch, which was abolished by the French, was restored to its former glory.
The Royal Netherlands Marechaussee in the Netherlands, the Rijkswacht in Belgium, the Gendarmerie in Luxembourg and Austria and the Carabinieri in Italy are all gendarmerie corps after the French example. They all wear a jumping grenade as a corps emblem.

Decorative cords: nestle, fourragere and catch cord

Decorative cords have a long tradition within the armed forces and the police. The origin of these decorative cords is covered in mists and the subject of often beautiful, but not verifiable anecdotes.


The characteristic decorative cord of the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee and the Police Force (1919- 1940) is the nest with metal nesting pins. Within the armed forces, the nest symbolizes the police authority of the wearer.
A military encyclopedia from the 19th century places the origin of the nest during the Eighty Years' War. The duke of Alva threatened to hang a troop of Flemish soldiers if they were to show cowardice in the next fight.
The Flemings attached a noose of rope with a nail to it around their necks to make Alva's punishment easier to enforce. Of course they fought heroically and from now on they wore the bow as a distinguishing sign.
At the French Marechaussee, the nest is mentioned for the first time in 1720 and it remains a characteristic of only the riders of this corps, the French Gendarmerie, the Royal Gendarmerie of the Kingdom of Holland (1806-1810) and the Royal Marechaussee. Only in 1862 did the non-ridden members of the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee bear the nest. The nickname "snare riders" for the gendarmerie and marechaussee probably refers to the nest.
The colors of the nest are different for the three rank groups: men, non-commissioned officers, and adjutants and officers.



The fourragère is a long cord with tassels that is worn as a neck cord or shoulder cord and where the tassels depend on the shoulder. It probably comes from the forage bow, a cord to tie the hay or straw for the horse, and it originally had a practical function. Cavalry riders attached the cord to their uniform and its two ends, respectively, to the hilt of the saber and to the headgear, so that they could not lose it in battle. For the hussars of the Dutch army, the fourragère was an officer-distinctive from 1820 and in 1865 this decorative cord with tassels became a general distinguishing sign for officers in the army. The number of brushes and their color indicate the grade. The ornamental cords are always worn by chief and chief officers during service. Lower officers wear the cords only when wearing the big outfit.
After 1945 fourragères in the army belong to the ceremonial dress.

Towards the end of the 19th century, fourragères were also worn here and there by some municipal police forces, municipal field guards and militia groups, as an ornament on the small (daily) outfit. But wearing a decorative cord is not generally introduced by those organizations.
At the Rijksveldwacht, on the other hand, fourragères have been in use since the establishment of the corps (in 1856) in the small (daily) outfit for grades higher than the Rijksveldwacht. The color of the cord and the number of tassels indicate the grade.

Catch cord

The fourragère of the Rijksveldwacht was changed in the period 1915-1923 to a braided cord with tassels. The braid cord was hung horizontally on the chest with the tassels on the left shoulder. In 1932 this braided cord was replaced by a cord made of two braided cords without tassels and also the staff with the rank of National Guard were given this cord. A part of the cord hangs on the chest and a part goes over the left shoulder, back under the armpit as an arm cord and is attached to the breast piece with a flat knot.
The colors of the cord indicate the three different rank groups. This situation remained so until the dissolution of the corps in 1941.

The catch cord of the Gendarmerie served as an example for the National Police Force. The use of the lanyard by the National Guard is probably the basis for the anecdote that the lanyard originally served to fascinate detainees.

The police uniform in the 19th and 20th centuries

The Royal Netherlands Marechaussee and, from 1858, the National Police Force Corps, the two police bodies in charge of central police care, have uniform dress regulations throughout the country, established by the departments of Justice and Defense.
Municipal police care is in the hands of the municipal police and the municipal police forces. In the first decades of the 19th century, there was hardly any uniformity among the urban police forces; they wear civilian clothes. A wooden staff or stick, painted in the municipal colors, often serves as an office sign.
The instruction and clothing for municipal guards is prescribed by the king's commissioners per province. In Limburg, the rangers wear a dark green skirt coat with light blue storage and collar, dark green trousers with light blue trim and a dark green hat with light blue cover. In Gelderland, dark green is also the uniform color, but the collar, piping and covers are red. In Utrecht, gray and green is the prescribed color combination and in North Brabant it is dark gray and ponce red.
With the Municipal Act of 1851, municipal police care comes under the competent authority of the mayor. The mayor and municipal council determine the dress code of "their" urban municipal police and municipal police officers and the funds that are available for this. Therefore, the uniform with the samples on it and the personal equipment will differ per municipality.

Distinctive emblems of the police organizations

Municipal police and municipal field watch: the municipal coat of arms on headgear, uniform buttons or connecting plate;
National Field Guard: the national coat of arms on the headgear.
Royal Netherlands Marechaussee: the national coat of arms on the helmet; later no corps emblem is worn on the kolbak and kepie; the jumping grenade on the uniform buttons.


Around 1890 there were already some similarities and trends in the standardization of the various police forces. Dark blue and black, whether or not combined with nassau blue, have become the predominant colors in the police uniform. The tunic is usually a two-breasted button-down coat, reaching almost to the knees. The jacket has a standing collar. The long overcoat was usually the same color as the closing coat.
The straight-legged trousers may or may not have a trim.

After top hats, shakos and hats, many police forces wear helmets. The helmets of varnished felt or leather are decorated with the metal National coat of arms or the municipal coat of arms on the front and a comb on top of the helmet. Closing jacket and helmet are uncomfortable when performing the daily service.

Small and large uniform

In the years between 1900 and 1940, many corps introduced a simpler and more practical uniform as a "small uniform" for daily service. As headgear, "Bobby helmets" or "London helmets" are popular after the English example, but also the kepies after the French model and the flat cap with peak. The jacket is replaced by a tunic in the cut of the British military service dress with chest and waist pockets, a single row of buttons and standing collar. The helmet and sometimes the closing jacket often remains in service as a "large outfit" for holidays and special occasions.

Government Clothing Decree of 1928

The purpose of this decree is standardization in government uniforms and savings by manufacturing clothing, badges and buttons in government work establishments such as those in Veenhuizen. There will be a kind of uniform model with differences in fabric color and piping for the various government services such as the postal service, Staatsbosbeheer, the Gestichtswacht and the Rijksveldwacht:
Flat cap with peak of the 'navy model'; one-row tunic with five buttons and stitched breast pockets with box pleat and loose epaulettes; overcoat of the jekkermodel and a cape with large overhanging collar.
For the Rijksveldwacht the fabric color is dark blue with collar, piping and cap band in light blue (nassu blue). Furthermore, white metal uniform buttons with the ascending national lion in the coat of arms with a national crown and white metal emblems and insignia. The founders, for example, wear the dark blue uniform with green collar and piping and yellow metal emblems. Cap and uniform coat of the Government Decree type are also in vogue with the municipal police and municipal police forces.

Municipal police and state police

The 1945 Police Decree regulates police care in the resurrected Netherlands: the National Police Corps is established and the municipal police corps in municipalities designated by Royal Decree.
In 1946 and 1947, provisional uniform orders for the national and municipal police take effect. In front of

for the first time, the Dutch police are dressed, as far as the daily outfit is concerned, in a uniform jacket with an open collar and lapel in combination with a shirt with tie.
The emblem is the white metal lion button on the uniforms. The lion knot was introduced to the army as early as 1912. The embossed image on the button depicts the climbing Empire Lion on a checkered and striped background. The shading with horizontal stripes in the heraldry represents the color blue (azure).

The uniform for the municipal police broadly follows that of the municipal police in the period 1941-1943: a blue-black suit with blue piping, climbing lion of the lion on cap and uniform buttons, pearl gray shirt. For the lower staff, the national lion also on the epaulettes and rank chevrons on the left sleeve. Adjutants and officers wear the rank insignia on patches on the lapel of the tunic.

The uniform for the national police corresponds in the color scheme to the uniforms of the Rijksveldwacht, Marechaussee and the Staatspolitie (Gendarmerie) from 1943-1945: flat cap with nettu blue band and the jumping grenade as a corps emblem, a blue-black tunic and nettu-blue balloon pants with black trim, a pearl gray shirt. The uniform knot is the lion knot, as with the municipal police.
New for the lower staff are the blue collar patches with corps emblem on the lapel of the tunic and the rank chevrons on both upper sleeves. Adjutants and officers wear the rank insignia on patches on the lapel of the tunic and on the epaulettes the jumping grenade.
The jumping grenade has, almost symmetrically, seven flash points. The flame does not spread as wide as that in the emblem of the pre-war Constabulary and the State Police. The Marechaussee also changes its grenade emblem and chooses a closed flame.
With military rankings, the national police refers to its roots, and those of numerous corps members, in the Military Police, the State Police and the pre-war Police Force.

The rank insignia of the national and municipal police are derived from the Royal Netherlands Army: V-chevrons for the lower personnel, dots for adjutants, stars and bars for officers. The Army (including the Military Police) abolishes the V-chevrons (British army style) in 1947 and imports the inverted V-chevrons, pointing up (in American army style), as with the so-called “banana peels” on the sleeves before 1940.

In the new 1961 and 1966

In the new 1961 and 1966
During the 1950s, the police uniforms were criticized: the cut was no longer up to date and the colors and body emblems used evoke associations with the occupation time. The gloomy and deadly impression made by the uniforms undermines the dignity of the office of the police officer.
Uniform committees for the national and municipal police are instructed to come up with advice for new uniforms. The uniform should be more vivid and representative and preferably a star, as an internationally used police emblem, should also be incorporated in new designs

The committees appoint Mr F.J.H.Th. Smits (1915-2006) as aesthetic and uniform consultant. Frans Smits is chief committees at the Ministry of Defense. As a draftsman and designer, military stylist Smits has designed uniforms, banners, emblems and awards for the armed forces, companies and foreign heads of state. The images on the pieces of the board game Stratego were also created by Smits. He largely determined the external appearance of the Dutch police in the following decades. After his retirement at Defense, he remains active with the “packaging” of the Dutch police. His great merit is that he linked the appearance of the police to the historical tradition of heraldry and uniform. He has the pedigree of the
police of the enforcers of peace and order have been made visible in the past.

Municipal police

The municipal police are given new uniforms in 1961 (Dress code municipal police 1961, starting 01-07-1961).
Municipal police: flat dark blue cap with narrow Nassau blue band, tunic of blue-gray (so-called petrol color) Gabardine, black trousers with Nassau blue trim, blue-white shirt.

In particular, the national lion on the old municipal police uniform was a stumbling block: after all, it was a symbol for the state and not for the municipalities.
The traditional emblem of the municipal police had always been the local municipal coat of arms before 1940. So a nationally acceptable and uniform symbol had to be devised. Frans Smits had already designed a new police emblem by placing the Reich Lion in the heart of the eight-pointed, already internationally known, police star.

The deputy chief of police in Heerlen, F. Prick, had chosen this emblem in 1953 as the hat emblem for the first uniformed police women in the Netherlands. in 1954 becomes chief of police in Nijmegen, also in that municipality women are appointed to the Female Police and the ladies' hats are provided with the star with national lion. The introduction of a deviating cap emblem for police women by Prick has been discontinued from above. The national lion in the star will be the cap emblem for RIOHPA, the National Institute for the Training of Higher Police Officers, the predecessor of the Dutch Police Academy.

In 1961, the municipal police also received a new corps emblem: an eight-pointed star, in which a circular space was saved. In the circle is depicted a book of law, in front of which is a raised, bared sword; lawbook and sword are flanked by laurel branches. Below the circle a curved ribbon, on which the spell vigilat ut quiescant is written.
The uniform buttons have this corps emblem, without the star, on a smooth background. In the heraldry, the smooth background stands for white (silver).
Also new is the corps certificate with the municipality name above the right breast pocket of the tunic.
The corps license consists of the image of a law book, in front of which a raised bared sword has been placed, surrounded at the bottom by laurel branches. The top half is surrounded by an oval; of ribbon, on which the spell vigilat ut quiescant occurs. The laurel branches on the underside rest on a horizontally arranged curved ribbon, on which the municipality name is mentioned. The certification is made of silver-colored metal. The ribbon oval and the curved ribbon are colored near-blue.
The sword and the code of law in the corps emblem and corps certificate symbolize the task of the police: upholding the rule of law - if necessary with the use of force -. The raised sword also symbolizes the right of the state to punish offenders.
The Latin proverb vigilat ut quiescant means: she (the police) watches so that they (the citizens) can rest. Originally, this saying was the motto of the guet bourgeois, the vigilante and night watchman of Paris during the Middle Ages.
The star was already a well-known police emblem internationally, especially in Great Britain and Germany. In his design for the emblems for national and municipal police, Frans Smits chooses the star shape of the eight-pointed star of the emblem of the Mobile Shooters from 1831.
With the star of the militia and the spell of the Parisian vigilante and night watch, Smits establishes the symbolic connection between the militia of the past and the police as organizations or corps of honorable and state-serving civilians. In the distant past, the militia organizations were charged with maintaining public order as a night watchman and as a social worker.
Also the color silver (white metal) of the corps emblems,uniform buttons and rank insignia emphasize the civil status of the police as an organization.

State police

The State Police Force is newly dressed in 1966 (State Police Uniform Uniform Regulations, commencing 01-01-1966).
The design of a new uniform is suspended for some time due to the decision of the Royal Netherlands Military Constabulary to reintroduce the pre-war blue uniform in November 1959 in addition to the existing green uniform. This uniformed in some ways with the traditional closed, standing collar and two rows of buttons remains in use by the military police until 1974.
Especially the small grenade with a closed flame, looks a lot like the jumping grenade of the national police.
The new uniform of the national police had to be changed in the sense that “by retaining the nassau blue as the color for the uniform pants and the jumping grenade as a corps emblem, the clearest possible distinction would be made between the uniform of the National Police Corps and that of the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee ”. Moreover, as much connection as possible is sought with the models of the now accepted new uniforms for the municipal police.
The color scheme of the new national police uniform remains the same except for the new white shirt. New is the corps emblem more adapted to the municipal police: the eight-pointed star, in which a circular space has been saved. An asymmetrical jumping grenade with nine flash points has been placed in the circle. Due to the fanning flame, the new national police grenade differs considerably from the Marechaussee Grenade with a closed flame.
The body emblem comes on the cap and in a smaller size on the collar patches, which now have a tapered top.
The uniform buttons also feature the jumping grenade as a corps emblem, but without the star, on a smooth background.

New rank insignia are introduced at both police bodies from the rank of brigadier (municipal police) and chief guard (state police).
Chief Guardian: Two crossed swords on a laurel wreath, embroidered in silver thread on a net blue background. This emblem is soon called “the cauliflower”.
Brigadier: a crown of cities, surrounded by laurel branches, in which a raised bared sword is placed, embroidered in silver thread on a base of nassu blue cloth. The crown of the city, in contrast to the royal crown or imperial crown, is a wall crown. The wall with battlements symbolizes urban autonomy. The Cities Crown also comes in the new rank insignia for the municipal police commissioner ranks.
Adjutants and senior officials now wear their rank insignia on the shoulder covers of the tunic instead of on the collar patches at both police bodies. The stars in the rank insignia for officers are now emblem stars.
The personnel below the rank of adjutant wear the rank insignia on both upper sleeves. From 1977 (Gempo) and 1979 (RP), the lower officials also wear the rank insignia on the epaulettes of the tunic and overcoat.

Clothes on trial

In the course of the 1970s, cooperation between the municipal police forces and the municipal police forces with the National Police Force intensified. In this connection, at the beginning of 1978, the cooperating boards in the Central Police Organizations point out that the non-functional difference between the uniforms of the national and municipal police must be eliminated and that an uniform must be introduced for the entire Dutch police. There is also criticism of the tunic for the daily service. The tight tunic offers the wearer little freedom of movement. In 1980, the police began replacing the obsolete FN service pistol models with the Walther P5. The Walther is wider than the FN Browning and therefore not so easy to wear under the tunic. Wear tests with a jacket (jacket) that should offer the wearer maximum freedom of movement followed in the early 1980s. The jacket reaches to the gun holster. With this way of wearing, the service pistol is available for immediate use.


Unit for State and Municipal Police in 1985

The result of more extensive wearing tests is a new clothing line for the entire Dutch police: dark blue blouse and tunic, blue-gray trousers with black trim, blue-gray skirt and pants skirt. The uniform cap is dark blue with a blue-gray band, accompanied by a ladies hat with narrow raised brim in the same color scheme.
With this, the nettu blue disappears from the Dutch police uniform.
The worsted tunic features two rows of buttons and two side pockets with flaps. The tunic disappears from the street as part of the everyday “work suit”, but remains part of the dressed uniform.
The buttons on the tunic and blouse, the cap emblem, the lapel insignia of the tunic, the fabric emblems on the top sleeves of the blouse and the differences in rank insignia identify the wearer as a member of the national police or a municipal police force.

In practice, the blue shirt of the municipal police becomes the shirt of the daily uniform and the white shirt of the national police is mainly worn with the dressed uniform.

1994 merger of the National Police Force and the municipal police forces

In 1994 the National Police Corps and the municipal police forces merge: one type of police is formed, consisting of 25 regional police forces and the National Police Services Agency.
The fabric, cut and colors of the police uniform remain the same, but the outfits change.
The star and the white metal (silver) color of buttons, rank insignia and the emblems of the state and municipal police had not been legally protected in previous years. As a result, other government services, corporate police forces, such as the Airport Police and the Railway Police, and private security officers began to wear uniforms, much like the police uniforms.

The silver buttons, rank insignia and emblems of the national and municipal police have been replaced in 1994 by buttons, cap emblem and corps certificates in yellow metal (gold color) with the new police logo: the jumping grenade, abstracted into a small circle, from which four stylized flames sprout, placed before the code. The police logo, the police logo and a completely new corporate identity for stationery up to the color pattern on police vehicles and helicopters was designed by studio Dumbar and legally established and protected.
The uniform buttons have the police logo in a circle with a crosshatch or background of diagonal stripes from top left to bottom right (\\\). This background is a strange choice. In heraldry, these stripes indicate the color green (sinople). No shading represents silver, dots represent gold. The choice of dots would have made more sense.

The 1994 reorganization deliberately broke with the remains of military origin and tradition in the appearance of the police as a civilian government corps.
The smaller-sized jumping grenade (referring to the National Police Force) in front of the code (referring to the municipal police) has been reinterpreted as the flame, symbolizing vigilance (the logo is mockingly referred to as the burning code or sandwich maker).
Furthermore, the rank names of the municipal police have been adopted and not the military-looking ranks of the state police, whereby the rank of adjutant has been abolished.
In addition, a new rank has been inserted between aspirant and agent: invigilator.
The crown in the rank insignia for Sergeant, (Chief) Inspector and (Chief) Commissioner is no longer the city ​​crown, but the imperial crown (with braces and apple of the kingdom). The rank insignia are in yellow metal (gold color), with the chevrons in the shape of a straight bar, instead of the V-shaped bars in military style.

It is striking that with the dressed outfit and ceremonial outfit, a lanyard (men) or arm cord (ladies) on the left shoulder was chosen. This decorative cord fits in with the tradition of the Gendarmerie and State Police, but not in that of the municipal police. The novelty of these decorative cords is that, unlike all their predecessors, they are not tied to a rank group: a gold-colored cord for everyone.

The execution of the samples in yellow metal (gold) instead of white metal (silver) and was criticized when the new police organization was introduced in 1994.
Traditionally, yellow metal samples within the armed forces predominate; Yellow metal has traditionally been the norm in the Navy. Within the Royal Netherlands Army, white metal specimens indicate mounted weapons (cavalry, military police) and civilian corps (national reserve, military administration). In turn, civil society organizations mainly carried out white metal specimens: the National Police Guard Corps, the National Police Corps, municipal police forces and Customs.
The Rijkspolitie te Water and the River Police of the Rotterdam Municipal Police followed the navy tradition with yellow metal trim.
In the organizations responsible for disaster relief, such as the Protection of the Population and the fire brigade, it is mainly yellow metal.

The gold-colored safety cord also had to suffer. Until then, only adjutants from Her Majesty's Military House wore a golden nest on the uniform (on the right shoulder). A privilege that the police should not appropriate for themselves, the opponents said. They are partly right. However, the police carry the decorative cord on the left shoulder and it is not a nest with nesting pins, but a lanyard. In addition, there are precedents within the police tradition. Adjutants and officers of the National Police in Water had been wearing gold-colored safety cords on the dressed and ceremonial outfit since 1966.
During the Kingdom of Holland (1806-1810), the officers of the Royal Gendarmerie wore a gold-colored nest, initially on the right shoulder and from 1807 on the left shoulder. A gold colored cord or arm cord can therefore be defended as an ornamental cord with police tradition.

Review uniform Dutch police

The project group has been working since the beginning of 2000

“Revision of uniform Dutch police” to an adapted and balanced clothing package for the Dutch police. The police uniform has now been adjusted on a number of points.
The emblem buttons have a wider outer edge and the background around the police logo is no longer obliquely shaded (sinople), but with dots (gold).
The color Nassau blue has made its comeback in the Dutch police uniform.
There are new shield-shaped sleeve badges with the police logo and police logo on a nude blue background. The dark blue shoulder covers with the dark blue sliders with embroidered rank insignia for shirt, blouse, blouse and parka have been replaced by off-blue shoulder covers with reduced embroidered rank insignia.
The color blue-gray, which was used for the cap band, trousers and skirt, has also been replaced by nassau blue.
The project “Revision uniform Dutch police” was completed in 2008.

From corps certificate to police certificate

It is no longer possible to see from which uniform (or KLPD or police academy) they belong to the uniforms and outfits of the police officers.
The plastic one-color corps certificate was initially changed in early 2008 to a gold-colored metal model with blue accents and a blue ribbon for the corps name.
At the end of September 2008, the individual police certificates were replaced by the police certificate with the motto Watchful and Servable. The police certificate is a metal model in gold color with blue accents and a blue ribbon for the police motto.
The new police certificate symbolizes that the police stands for the values ​​of the rule of law, if one comes out and that Dutch citizens can count on a vigilant and helpful police.