Oranje

Royal Netherlands Football Association

The KNVB jumped up and whipped mighty Brazil in the World Cup.

Not being Dutch, I didn’t watch the game. Not being Dutch, I might have gone catatonic had I watched. But, as always, I root for any team that represents a free nation against one that is not so free. Rulers of the Netherlands have come from the French House of Orange , but I don’t hold that against them.

Most importantly, Orange represents the color of liberty for those of us in the Anglo-Saxon world. For the simple reason of William of Orange’s accession to the throne of England in 1689 as William III. William was from Protestant Holland and stood for liberty, as much as any monarch of the late 17th century could.

How so? Simple: William’s accession kept the throne of England, soon the be the most powerful nation in the world, from reverting back to Roman Catholicism. Wait, Jack: are you implying that Catholic nations can’t be free? Not exactly. I’m stating that any nation that takes marching orders from a foreign prince or potentate, in this case the Pope in Rome, can not truly be free.

William III was able to guide England, and thence Scotland, towards a more Parliamentarian form of government. This accelerated when the House of Orange gave way to the House of Hanover (yes, King George III and all of that). But most important was the sharing of power between the throne and the Parliament.

Fast forward from 1689 to 1775, and our people here in the American Colonies were overtaxed and abused by a distant central government (sound familiar?). By the late 18th century, we understood the rights of the people to be not less than those invested in the government. Our Founders took that concept to its logical conclusion: the people were sovereign, and our representatives in Parliament, now Congress, only temporary caretakers. And our president was sure as Hades not our “ruler.”

Yes, that’s a lot of baggage to place on a soccer victory over Brazil. But there it is, in all its symbolism: Go Oranje, the color of liberty.

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