The Dutch Geoctroyeerde Noordsche Compagnie (or Groenlandsche
Compagnie; Chartered Nordic or Greenlandic Company) was founded 27
January 1614 by patent from the States General. It received the monopoly
for whaling in the area between Nova Zemlya and Davis Strait. On Spitsbergen
(Dutch for Svalbard) the settlement Smerenburg was founded. The company
was dissolved in 1642, due to competition from both the Danish Islandic
Company and Dutch cities who broke the monopoly. In 1645 the States General
gave the whaling free for competition.
(Source: Nijhoffs Geschiedenis-lexicon Nederland en België,
Mark Sensen, 31 July 1999
Flag with whale
I've seen twice small (unclear) depictions of paintings with the Dutch
tricolour and the whale in the centre, waving on what seems to be a whaling
One of them is depicted on the cover of the book Een dorp in de
polder by Van Deursen. The painting is called "Traankokerij in Jisp"
("Try-house in Jisp") and dated 1664, so after the Nordic Company was dissolved!
The upper stripe is red, the whale is spitting, and is facing the hoist.
Was it the flag of the Nordic Company, or of private whalers?
Mark Sensen, 31 July 1999 and 2 August 1999
Flag with harpoons?
In the book Een dorp in de polder by Van Deursen is also a print
of an engraving of Dutch whalers active near Greenland. The flag on the
rear mast is a (Dutch) tricolour, with a device which
could be three
harpoons tight together (note: I'm just speculating here!).
Mark Sensen, 2 August 1999