|Heemskerk and the Zeehaen
Source: Discovery of Tasmania, 1985 |
The Heemskerk, commanded
by Ide Tjaerts Holleman, was a 120-ton, three masted ‘war-yacht’ built
in 1638 at Rapenburg and carried 60-crewmen and 120 guns.
Its name means ‘Home Church’ and honoured Dutch explorer
Jacob van Heemskerk [1567-1607].
The 50-man Zeehaen,
commanded by Gerritt Jansz, was also built at Rapenburg in
1639. Despite its smaller dimensions it was a 200-ton, three
masted ‘flute’ or transport. It carried a flat stern and
an image of a gurnard [Zeehaan].
Both of these vessels have a rather bulging
shape beneath a narrow deck. This design was partly because
of a Danish taxation practice, which charged visiting vessels
according to their deck area!
In 1642 the Dutch Prince-flag probably carried an orange
band at the top followed by a white and blue band. It was possibly
a red band, which became more frequent after 1630, although
the orange had definitely been replaced by a red stripe
1660. However, a separate orange pennant was and still
is commonly flown for Dutch Royal birthdays, sporting teams,
1937 Queen Wilhelmina decreed that the national colours
of the Netherlands were red, white and blue, and in 1958, the
stripes were defined more precisely as bright vermilion
F. Ottens, 1726 [copper plate engraving]
Source: Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts,