Holland removing Dutch ‘Welkom’ signs

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HOLLAND, Mich. — The iconic welcome signs of Tulip City will soon be coming down. In June of 2016 they'll be replaced with a new sign welcoming people to Holland without the traditional Dutch "Welkom".

Brian Burch, City of Holland Counsel Member explains, "We're changing the signs because the signs are old. They're abut 30 years old, they've been repaired multiple times and they're starting to show their age."

The city hopes the new signs will focus on a more modern and more inclusive Holland.

"There are a lot of people, myself included, who are not of Dutch heritage," says Burch, "The tulips and the windmills and the Russ' restaurant will stay the same, but we are a diverse community. The part of town I represent is heavily hispanic and they're bringing with them their ideas and traditions."

At first look, resident's walking through downtown Holland did not like the new signs.

Kelsey Hosner says, "I'm thinking it's a little bit modern and it's not very Dutch."

The new sign needs some explanation. The nod to Holland's Dutch history is a bit subtle. The color of the sign is orange, the color of Dutch royalty. The lattice work is meant to be a reminder of the neat lines of a tulip field. The sign's shape is a blade of a windmill.

Burch explains, "The blades of a windmill keep the windmill moving, they have these striations on them to capture the wind. So you have that motion and that energy coming through this design. That is we want people to come in and experience."

After hearing what the new design is all about the residents we spoke with liked it and thought it represents their more diverse community now, but also shares their heritage with visitors.

"I think it's more subtle to our heritage, but less prominent to the reality of our community," says Holland resident Jon Brown.

We also stopped by the La Consentida Supermerket in Holland, and even with the new description resident's were not as excited about the new design.

"I like the old Dutch style, because it's traditional," explains Fernando Barajas, "it's just nice, the old one with welcome how it's spelled...kind of like when you go to Deboer's it's old, traditional Dutch, it's unique, it's different."

Holland resident Rogelio Cruz echoed, "It's a unique sign and you know it's a heritage of the Dutch people."

The new 13-feet tall, 5 to 6-feet wide signs will cost the city approximately $30,000.

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  • Weston

    “The goal was to still celebrate our heritage, but not be 1860.”

    So when does the 1860’s social mindset get taken down?

    • Karen

      Leave the sign alone!! We

      Have lived
      Close to Holland for more then 45yrs. All 6 of my children loved to go to Holland and see all the wonderfully different things which includes the sign. It was a different country to them. We have always loved the old world aspect of Holland.
      And no we are not Dutch. Neither are our friends we take there to see the uniqueness of Holland


    The local Dutch heritage is being wiped out. The locals should refuse to participate in anything tulip time. see how the city likes the hit to the coffer

    Guess Holland Needs a Dutch heritage council just like the Hispanics have.

    • Pat

      It’s a sin & a shame that so many hallmarks of European-American heritage are being erased as other heritages are being forced upon us. Another example of Dutch legacy eradication occurred 15 years ago at Hofstra University in suburban NY; an excellent educational institution founded by the son of a Dutch immigrant who had lived in Holland, MI for a while. The school’s athletic teams were called the “Flying Dutchmen” until about the time that President Stuart Rabinowitz took control.


    So will the city be removing the Spanish heritage signs as well ?

    Dig deep enough into this and you will find a liberal pushing it.
    The only way to stop it is to demand answers from the city.

    But hey, at least we spent a ton of tax payer cash on the “unity bridge” with the alleged “artwork”
    However “unity” does not include the Dutch or any Hollander who’s lived here longer than 5 years.
    “unity” is a code word for “diversity” which also does not include the Dutch founders.

  • R. R. Bolles

    Holland used those sign’s to bring in the billions of dollars to Sell their Tulip Parade’s over and over, to hide the truth about the Corruption, Police, Lawyer’s Judge’s, while they sold a Lie to all the visitor’s that came in to see the Show in Holland Mi.The truth will be told Soon very SOON!!!!

  • Gonk

    The next step may be to sue all the “Dutch” businesses for not being inclusive and diverse enough to offer products other than their exclusive “Dutch” fairs.

  • vander hoeft

    our family will no longer go to Holland Mi. as it seems we are no longer Welkom! we will instead go to Manchester the home of the Flying Dutchman

  • Lauren

    “There are a lot of people, myself included, who are not of Dutch heritage,”. If you live in Holland long enough you become dutch by association.
    If you drive clear across the city to save 5 cents on gas, you might be a Dutch Hollander.
    If you take more time detailing your bicycle than you do your car, you might be a Dutch Hollander.
    If you were the “short” guy in your class at 6ft tall, you might be a Dutch Hollander.
    If you have more than one set of the kissing Dutch kids on your property, you might be a Dutch Hollander.
    If you consider windmill cookies better than Girl Scout cookies, you might be a Dutch Hollander.
    If consider chocolate sprinkles a breakfast item, you might be a Dutch Hollander.
    If you think its perfectly normal to ride a bicycle while holding an umbrella to keep you and your groceries dry, as you drive your 3 children, on the back and front of the bicycle, through the busy streets ignoring all traffic signals and expect everyone to get out of your way, you might be a Dutch Hollander.


    So its not the people of Holland dividing the people of Holland but it’s elected representatives.
    That’s an easy fix.
    Having grown up here I’m well aware of Hollands Hispanic heritage, we all grew up together, went to school together and hung out together. We ate dinner at each others homes and shared good and bad times together.

    The load of Caca Brian Burch spewed was not only insulting but borderline anti-dutch racist.
    That was politician speak for ” i’m going to pander to one race at the expense of another”
    And guess what, I’m not dutch either.

    • Rhonda Genzink Isser

      I was born and raised in Holland… I have lived my adult life mostly in Texas, but also in Washington DC and Philadelphia.. When I say Holland, Michigan… First thing everyone says is Tulip Festival… Messing with a brand that brings in $ millions annually is crazy..Also…hiring an outside firm that didn’t understand that is craziness. If you want better inclusiveness, caring…a lot of Holland citizens need to look in the mirror and ask…How can I???…changing a brand… Will not provide that answer.

  • Spencer

    I’m not Dutch at all, but the “Welkom” is what represents Holland. It shouldn’t go. Political correctness is just getting out of hand. Leave the signs alone. Sure make new ones but don’t replace the historic design. Brian Birch can move to hudsonville if he doesn’t like it.

  • Rojo

    Change is a double-edged sword. This change to the signs is taking away too much of the original Dutch heritage…you know…the city’s bread-n-butter. Might as well change the name too while you’re at it. What, no one thought of the bright idea to keep the same design with additions on it like maybe a few people figures on it each of a different race waving and smiling (just off the top of my head so don’t slam me for being unoriginal). This is the first thing, then there will be something else, then something else and eventually even the tulips. Just wait, you’ll see. Hopefully I’ll be long dead by then.

  • Charley Larson

    “The part of town I represent is heavily hispanic and they’re bringing with them their ideas and traditions.” Spanish translation: The hispanics have no intention of assimilating into our culture.

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