In this poster, the Dutch flag pierces the flag of the Japanese navy (Japan is the land of the rising sun), which casts a shadow over the Indonesian archipelago. The message is clear. Notably, the semicircle on the Japanese flag is yellow rather than the usual red. Yellow was often used in anti-Japanese propaganda; the colour had a racist connotation as Japan was referred to as the ‘yellow peril’. The image of the Dutch flag planted in the archipelago reflects how it was taken for granted that the Dutch administration would take over again in Indonesia — or from this perspective, in the ‘Dutch East Indies’ (Indië). There was no acknowledgement of how much had changed since the Japanese occupation: the nationalist movement, which had already existed before the war, had now become much more powerful.
‘En nu Indië! Meldt u als vrijwilliger’. Poster, July 1945. Design: Zino Salverda. KITLV 50B3.