Display Dutch independence documents in "proud, prominent" location: Politicians

The government must better promote Dutch history and ensure that the Netherlands' "birth certificates" are exhibited in a prominent and public place, according to CDA leader Pieter Heerma and VVD leader Klaas Dijkhoff. They want the Plakkaat van Verlatinghe (1581), the Unie van Utrecht (1579) and the Apologie van Willem van Oranje (1580) to be made jointly accessible to the general public, they said to AD.

The three documents form the foundation of Dutch independence from Spanish rule, which was not recognized by the Spanish empire until 1609, midway through the Eighty Years' War. The two politicians want a broader political conversation about displaying the documents during a high-profile debate in Parliament later this week.

Both parties are disturbed by the discussion about Dutch history in recent years. Last week the Amsterdam Museum announced that it will stop using the term 'Golden Age', because it does not do justice to the darker sides of the 17th century, for example. According to Heerma and Dijkhoff, Dutch history should be emphasized instead of erased. "We can be proud of our history and we can show that", they said to the newspaper.

"I believe that few people know that the Netherlands has birth certificates at all. There is nothing wrong with healthy patriotism, it can work in a connecting way", Heerma said. According to him, D66 Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven of Education, Culture and Science has been called to display the 'birth certificates' before, but so far has done too little. "The Minister needs to do more about what has been agreed"

Because of their great significance, Dutch people must be given the opportunity to become acquainted with the 'birth certificates' of their country. "They deserve a proud, prominent place in full daylight, visible to everyone", Dijkhoff said.