The city of Alkmaar is c. 50 km north of Amsterdam, with c. 100.000 inhabitants
on 3075 hectares. It is unknown when the settlement was founded, but it
is said that it was already old when it received city-rights in 1254. Its
fort with its impressive tower (which is depicted on Coat of Arms and flag) were
used by the Hollanders in their fight against the Frisians of Westfriesland.
In 1573 it was besieged by the Spaniards, who were ultimately repelled,
hence the Dutch expression "In Alkmaar begint de victorie" - in
Alkmaar begins victory.
At present it is a modern town with an interesting historic center,
where tourists enjoy the "Kaasmarkt", with touristically authenticated
The flag was inaugurated on 27 Aug 1920; the colors are derived from
the Coat of Arms.
Jarig Bakker, 19 June 2001
The arms date from Medieval times, probably from the time the city rights
were granted, in 1254. The motto is used since the 17th century and, together
with the laurel wreath, refers to the liberation of Alkmaar from the Spanish
troops in the late 16th century. The liberation was the turning point in
the 80-years war of liberation of the Netherlands (1568-1648).
All seals of Alkmaar from the 13th to the 17th century show a castle.
The motto was often used, but when the arms were granted in 1816 the motto
accidentally was omitted.
Ralf Hartemink, 1 January 1997