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Coat of Arms of The Netherlands

Rijkswapen der Nederlanden

Last modified: 2017-11-11 by andrew weeks
Keywords: netherlands | coa |
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Coat of Arms of The Netherlands

Image: see Ralf Hartemink's site, with information in English.

The greater COA has a motto of " JE MAINTIENDRAI".
An English book says that it means "We will maintain." Is this Dutch or Latin?
Nozomi Kariyasu, 24 Aug 2002

None of them. It is French. Future tense of the verb "maintenir". The translation given above is erroneous. "Je" should be "I". "We" would have been "Nous". Since the motto was the oath of Prince Willem, "I" is definitively correct.
Ivan Sache, 25 Aug 2002

Maybe I'm misunderstanding the last sentence. But if you are suggesting that the motto is comming from Willem de Zwijger (William the Silent) I think you are wrong. I think the first form of the motto was first used by René de (Nassau-)Châlons, Prince of Orange, as "Je Maintiendray Châlons". When his cousin Willem I (the Silent) became Prince of Orange, he changed it to "Je Maintiendray Nassau". After him it simply became "Je Maintiendray", which I presume is an older spelling of "Je Maintiendrai".
Mark Sensen, 25 Aug 2002

Smith refers to "the oath of Prince William", and the only thing I knew on this topic is that there are several Princes William in Dutch history.
Concerning "Maintiendray", you are most probably right. The French orthography was not fixed at all at that time. "Maintiendroi" and "Maintiendroy" could have been used, too.
Ivan Sache, 26 Aug 2002