The Capitulation Flag
From the collection of Museum Rotterdam / The War and Resistance Museum Rotterdam
h 148 cm x w 68 cm
The 14th of May 1940: four days earlier, German troops had invaded the Netherlands. Fierce battles were raging in many places. Also in Rotterdam. The Germans threatened to bomb the city if the Dutch did not surrender. A white flag was needed. Sergeant Major Gerrit Ommering made this one from a sheet and a broomstick. Waving his flag, he walked back and forth a number of times between Dutch Military Headquarters and that of the Germans during the negotiations to force a capitulation. Along the way he tended to a wounded marine and blood splattered on this flag.