Flanders (Dutch: Vlaanderen [ˈvlaːndərə(n)] ( listen),
French: Flandre [flɑ̃dʁ], German: Flandern, [flɑndɛɹn]) is the
Dutch-speaking northern portion of Belgium, although there are several
overlapping definitions, including ones related to culture, language,
politics and history. It is one of the communities, regions and
language areas of Belgium. The demonym associated with
Fleming, while the corresponding adjective is Flemish. The official
Flanders is Brussels, although
Brussels Capital Region
has an independent regional government, and the government of Flanders
only oversees the community aspects of
Flanders life such as (Flemish)
culture and education.
In historical contexts,
Flanders originally refers to the County of
Flanders (Flandria), which around AD 1000 stretched from the Strait of
Dover to the
Scheldt estuary. The core of historical
situated within modern-day
Flanders and corresponds to the provinces
West Flanders and East Flanders, but it sometimes stretched into what
France and the Netherlands. Nevertheless, during the 19th and
20th centuries it became increasingly commonplace to use the term
"Flanders" to refer to the entire Dutch-speaking part of Belgium,
stretching all the way to the River Meuse, as well as cultural
movements such as
Flemish art. In accordance with late 20th century
Belgian state reforms the area was made into two political entities:
Flemish Community" (Dutch: Vlaamse Gemeenschap) and the "Flemish
Region" (Dutch: Vlaams Gewest). These entities were merged, although
Flemish Community, which has a broader cultural
mandate, covers Brussels, whereas the
Flemish Region does not.
Flanders has figured prominently in European history. During the late
Middle Ages, cities such as Ghent, Bruges,
it one of the richest and most urbanized parts of Europe, weaving the
wool of neighbouring lands into cloth for both domestic use and
export. As a consequence, a very sophisticated culture developed, with
impressive achievements in the arts and architecture, rivaling those
of northern Italy.
Belgium was one of the centres of the 19th century
industrial revolution but
Flanders was at first overtaken by
French-speaking Wallonia. In the second half of the 20th century,
however, Flanders' economy modernised rapidly, and today
significantly more wealthy than its southern counterpart and in
general one of the wealthiest regions in Europe and the world.
Flanders is generally flat, and has a small section of
coast on the North Sea. Much of
Flanders is agriculturally fertile and
densely populated, with a population density of almost 500 people per
square kilometer (1,200 per square mile). It touches
France to the
west near the coast, and borders the
Netherlands to the north and
Wallonia to the south. The
Brussels Capital Region is an
(officially bilingual) enclave within the
exclaves of its own:
Voeren in the east is between
Wallonia and the
Baarle-Hertog in the north consists of 22 exclaves
surrounded by the Netherlands.
1.1 In Belgium
Belgium and neighbouring countries
1.3 Dutch-speaking part of Belgium
2.1 Early history
2.2 Historical Flanders
2.3 Low Countries
2.3.2 The Eighty Years' War and its consequences
2.3.4 French Revolution and Napoleonic
2.3.5 United Kingdom of the
2.4 Kingdom of Belgium
2.4.1 Rise of the
World War I
World War I and its consequences
2.4.3 Right-Wing Nationalism in the interbellum and World War II
3 Government and politics
4.1 Administrative divisions
8.1 Language and literature
9 See also
The term "Flanders" has several main meanings:
Flemish community" or "
Flemish nation", i.e. the social, cultural
and linguistic, scientific and educational, economical and political
community of the Flemings. It comprises 6.5 million Belgians (60%) who
consider Dutch to be their mother tongue.
The political subdivisions of Belgium: the
Flemish Region (competent
in mainly economic matters) and the
Flemish Community (competent in
mainly cultural matters). The first does not comprise
forms a Region on itself), whereas the latter does comprise the
Dutch-speaking inhabitants of Brussels.
The political institutions that govern both subdivisions: the
operative body "
Flemish Government" and the legislative organ "Flemish
The two westernmost provinces of the
West Flanders and
East Flanders, forming the central portion of the historic County of
Belgium and neighbouring countries
A feudal territory that existed from the 8th century (Flandria) until
its absorption by the French First Republic. Until the 1600s, this
county also extended over parts of
France and the Netherlands.
Main article: County of Flanders
One of the regions conquered by the French in Flanders, namely French
Flanders in the Nord department.
French Flanders can be divided into
two smaller regions:
Walloon Flanders and Maritime Flanders
(Westhoek). The first region was predominantly French-speaking already
in the 1600s, the latter became so in the 20th century. The city of
Lille identifies itself as "Flemish", and this is reflected, for
instance, in the name of its local railway station
Main article: French Flanders
The region conquered by the
Dutch Republic in Flanders, now part of
the Dutch province of Zeeland.
Main article: Zeelandic Flanders
Dutch-speaking part of Belgium
The significance of the
County of Flanders
County of Flanders and its counts eroded
through time, but the designation remained in a very broad sense. In
the Early modern period, the term
Flanders was associated with the
southern part of the Low Countries: the Southern Netherlands. During
the 19th and 20th centuries, it became increasingly commonplace to
refer to the Dutch-speaking part of
Belgium as "Flanders". The
linguistic limit between French and Dutch was recorded in the early
Kortrijk to Maastricht. Now,
Flanders extends over the
northern part of Belgium, including Belgian Limburg (corresponding
closely to the medieval County of Loon), and the Belgian parts of the
medieval Duchy of Brabant.
The ambiguity between this wider area and that of the County (or the
Belgian parts thereof), still remains. In most present-day contexts
however, in general the term
Flanders is taken to refer to either the
political, social, cultural, and linguistic community (and the
corresponding official institution, the
Flemish Community), or the
geographical area, one of the three institutional regions in Belgium,
In the history of art and other fields, the adjectives
Netherlandish are commonly used to designate all the artistic
production in this area before about 1580, after which it refers
specifically to the southern Netherlands. For example, the term
Flemish Primitives", now outdated in English but used in French,
Dutch and other languages, is a synonym for "Early Netherlandish
painting", and it is not uncommon to see
Mosan art categorized as
Flemish art. In music the Franco-
Flemish School is also known as the
Within this Dutch-speaking part of Belgium, French has never ceased to
be spoken by some citizens and Jewish groups have been speaking
Antwerp for centuries. Today, Flanders' minority residents
include 170 nationalities[a] — the largest groups speaking French,
English, Berber, Turkish, Arabic, Spanish, Italian and Polish.
Main article: History of Flanders
Main article: Belgae
The area, roughly encompassing the later geographical meanings of
Flanders, was considered to be in the northern and less economically
developed part of Gallia Belgica. Under the
Roman empire this became
an administrative province, but much of modern
became part of Germania Inferior. These were the most northerly
continental provinces of the Roman empire. Linguistically, the tribes
in this area were under Celtic influence in the south, and Germanic
influence in the east, but there is disagreement about what language
was spoken locally, which may even have been an intermediate
"Nordwestblock" language related to both. By the first century BC
Germanic languages had become prevalent. In the future county of
Flanders, the main
Belgic tribe in Roman times was the Menapii, but
also on the coast were the
Marsacii and Morini. In the central part of
Belgium were the
Nervii and in the east were the Tungri. The
Tungri especially were thought to have links to Germanic tribes east
of the Rhine. Another notable group were the
Toxandrians who appear to
have lived in the Kempen region, in the northern parts of both the
Nervian and Tungrian provinces. The Roman provinces of the Menapii,
Tungri therefore correspond roughly with the medieval
counties of Flanders, Brabant and Loon, and the modern Flemish
provinces of East and
West Flanders (Menapii), Brabant and Antwerp
(Nervii), and Belgian Limburg (Tungri).
Main article: County of Flanders
Created in the year 862 as a feudal fief in West Francia, the County
Flanders was divided when its western districts fell under French
rule in the late 12th century. The remaining parts of
under the rule of the counts of neighbouring Hainaut in 1191. The
entire area passed in 1384 to the dukes of Burgundy, in 1477 to the
Habsburg dynasty, and in 1556 to the kings of Spain. The western
Flanders came finally under French rule under successive
treaties of 1659 (Artois), 1668, and 1678.
During the late
Middle Ages Flanders' trading towns (notably Ghent,
Bruges and Ypres) made it one of the richest and most urbanized parts
of Europe, weaving the wool of neighbouring lands into cloth for both
domestic use and export. As a consequence, a very sophisticated
culture developed, with impressive achievements in the arts and
architecture, rivaling those of northern Italy. Ghent, Bruges, Ypres
and the Franc of
Bruges formed the Four Members, a form of parliament
that exercised considerable power in Flanders.
Increasingly powerful from the 12th century, the territory's
autonomous urban communes were instrumental in defeating a French
attempt at annexation (1300–1302), finally defeating the French in
Battle of the Golden Spurs
Battle of the Golden Spurs (11 July 1302), near Kortrijk. Two
years later, the uprising was defeated and
Flanders remained part of
the French Crown.
Flemish prosperity waned in the following century,
however, owing to widespread European population decline following the
Black Death of 1348, the disruption of trade during the Anglo-French
Hundred Years' War
Hundred Years' War (1337–1453), and increased English cloth
Flemish weavers had gone over to
Worstead and North
Walsham in Norfolk in the 12th century and established the woolen
County of Flanders
County of Flanders started to take control of the neighbouring
County of Brabant during the life of Louis II, Count of Flanders
(1330-1384), who fought his sister-in-law Joanna, Duchess of Brabant
for control of it. The titles were eventually more clearly united
Philip the Good
Philip the Good (1396 – 1467), Duke of Burgundy. The County of
Loon, approximately the modern
Flemish province of Limburg, remained
independent under the lordship of the Archbishop of Liège until the
French Revolution, but surrounded by the Burgundians.
Main article: Low Countries
In 1500, Charles V was born in Ghent. He inherited the Seventeen
Provinces (1506), Spain (1516) with its colonies and in 1519 was
elected Holy Roman Emperor. The Pragmatic Sanction of 1549, issued
by Charles V, established the
Low Countries as the Seventeen Provinces
Netherlands in its broad sense) as an entity separate from
Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire and from France. In 1556 Charles V abdicated due
to ill health (he suffered from crippling gout). Spain and the
Seventeen Provinces went to his son, king Philip II of Spain.
Over the first half of the 16th century
Antwerp grew to become the
second-largest European city north of the
Alps by 1560.
the richest city in Europe at this time. According to Luc-Normand
Tellier "It is estimated that the port of
Antwerp was earning the
Spanish crown seven times more revenues than the Americas."
The Sack of
Antwerp in 1576, in which about 7,000 people died
Meanwhile, Protestantism had reached the Low Countries. Among the
wealthy traders of Antwerp, the Lutheran beliefs of the German
Hanseatic traders found appeal, perhaps partly for economic reasons.
The spread of Protestantism in this city was aided by the presence of
Augustinian cloister (founded 1514) in the St. Andries quarter.
Augustinian himself, had taught some of the monks, and his
works were in print by 1518. The first Lutheran martyrs came from
Antwerp. The Reformation resulted in consecutive but overlapping waves
of reform: a Lutheran, followed by a militant Anabaptist, then a
Mennonite, and finally a Calvinistic movement. These movements existed
independently of each other.
Philip II, a devout Catholic and self-proclaimed protector of the
Calvinism in Flanders, Brabant and
Holland (what is now approximately Belgian Limburg was part of the
Bishopric of Liège
Bishopric of Liège and was Catholic de facto). In 1566, the wave of
iconoclasm known as the
Beeldenstorm was a prelude to religious war
between Catholics and Protestants, especially the Anabaptists. The
Beeldenstorm started in what is now French Flanders, with open-air
sermons (Dutch: hagepreken) that spread through the Low Countries,
Antwerp and Ghent, and from there further east and north. In
total it lasted not even a month.
The Eighty Years' War and its consequences
Subsequently, Philip II sent the Duke of Alba to the Provinces to
repress the revolt. Alba recaptured the southern part of the
Provinces, who signed the Union of Atrecht, which meant that they
would accept the Spanish government on condition of more freedom. But
the northern part of the provinces signed the
Union of Utrecht
Union of Utrecht and
settled in 1581 the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands. Spanish
troops quickly started fighting the rebels, but before the revolt
could be completely defeated, a war between England and Spain had
broken out, forcing Philip's Spanish troops to halt their advance.
Meanwhile, the Spanish armies had already conquered the important
trading cities of
Bruges and Ghent. Antwerp, which was then the most
important port in the world, also had to be conquered. On 17 August
Antwerp fell. This ended the Eighty Years' War for the (from now
on) Southern Netherlands. The United Provinces (the Northern
Netherlands) fought on until 1648 – the Peace of Westphalia.
Winter scene by Sebastian Vrancx, 1622
While Spain was at war with England, the rebels from the north,
strengthened by refugees from the south, started a campaign to reclaim
areas lost to Philip II's Spanish troops. They managed to conquer a
considerable part of Brabant (the later
Noord-Brabant of the
Netherlands), and the south bank of the
Scheldt estuary (Zeelandic
Flanders), before being stopped by Spanish troops. The front line at
the end of this war stabilized and became the current border between
Belgium and the Netherlands. The Dutch (as they later
became known) had managed to reclaim enough of Spanish-controlled
Flanders to close off the river Scheldt, effectively cutting Antwerp
off from its trade routes.
First the fall of
Antwerp to the Spanish and later also the closing of
Scheldt were causes of a considerable emigration of
Antverpians.[b] Many of the Calvinist merchants of
Antwerp and also of
Flemish cities left
Flanders and emigrated to the north. A large
number of them settled in Amsterdam, which was at the time a smaller
port, of significance only in the Baltic trade. In the following years
Amsterdam was rapidly transformed into one of the world's most
important ports. Because of the contribution of the
Flemish exiles to
this transformation, the exodus is sometimes described as "creating a
Flanders and Brabant, due to these events, went into a period of
relative decline from the time of the Thirty Years War. In the
Netherlands however, the mass emigration from
Brabant became an important driving force behind the Dutch Golden Age.
1609 map of the county of Flanders
Although arts remained at a relatively impressive level for another
Peter Paul Rubens
Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640) and Anthony van Dyck,
Flanders experienced a loss of its former economic and intellectual
power under Spanish, Austrian, and French rule, with heavy taxation
and rigid imperial political control compounding the effects of
industrial stagnation and Spanish-Dutch and Franco-Austrian conflict.
Netherlands suffered severely under the War of the
Spanish Succession, but under the reign of empress Maria-Theresia
these lands economically flourished again. Influenced by the
Enlightenment, the Austrian emperor Joseph II was the first sovereign
who has been in the Southern
Netherlands since king Philip II of Spain
left them in 1559.
French Revolution and Napoleonic
In 1794 the French Republican Army started using
Antwerp as the
northernmost naval port of France, which country officially annexed
Flanders the following year as the départements of Lys, Escaut,
Meuse-Inférieure and Dyle. Obligatory (French) army
service for all men aged 16–25 was one of the main reasons for the
people's uprising against the French in 1798, known as the Boerenkrijg
(Peasants' War), with the heaviest fighting in the
United Kingdom of the
After the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte at the 1815 Battle of Waterloo
in Waterloo, Brabant, sovereignty over the Austrian
Belgium minus the
East Cantons and Luxembourg – was given by the
Congress of Vienna
Congress of Vienna (1815) to the United
Netherlands (Dutch: Verenigde
Nederlanden), the state that briefly existed under Sovereign Prince
William I of Orange Nassau, the latter King William I of the United
Kingdom of the Netherlands, after the French Empire was driven out of
the Dutch territories. The United Kingdom of the
Netherlands was born.
The Protestant King of the Netherlands, William I rapidly started the
industrialisation of the southern parts of the Kingdom. The political
system that was set up however, slowly but surely failed to forge a
true union between the northern and the southern parts of the Kingdom.
The southern bourgeoisie mainly was Roman Catholic, in contrast to the
mainly Protestant north; large parts of the southern bourgeoisie also
primarily spoke French rather than Dutch.
In 1815 the Dutch Senate was reinstated (Dutch: Eerste Kamer der
Staaten Generaal). The nobility, mainly coming from the south, became
more and more estranged from their northern colleagues. Resentment
grew both between the Roman Catholics from the south and the
Protestants from the north and among the powerful liberal bourgeoisie
from the south and their more moderate colleagues from the north. On
25 August 1830 (after the showing of the opera 'La Muette de Portici'
Daniel Auber in Brussels) the
Belgian Revolution sparked off and
became a fact. On 4 October 1830, the Provisional Government (Dutch:
Voorlopig Bewind) proclaimed the independence, which was later
confirmed by the National Congress that issued a new Liberal
Constitution and declared the new state a Constitutional Monarchy,
under the House of Saxe-Coburg.
Flanders now became part of the
Kingdom of Belgium, which was recognized by the major European Powers
on 20 January 1831. The de facto dissidence was finally recognized by
the United Kingdom of the
Netherlands on 19 April 1839.
Kingdom of Belgium
Further information: History of Belgium
In 1830, the
Belgian Revolution led to the splitting up of the two
Belgium was confirmed as an independent state by the Treaty
of London of 1839, but deprived of the eastern half of Limburg (now
Dutch Limburg), and the Eastern half of Luxembourg (now the
Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg). Sovereignty over Zeelandic Flanders, south
Westerscheldt river delta, was left with the Kingdom of the
Netherlands, which was allowed to levy a toll on all traffic to
Antwerp harbour until 1863.
Rise of the
Belgian Revolution was not well supported in
Flanders and even on
4 October 1830, when the Belgian independence was eventually declared,
Flemish authorities refused to take orders from the new Belgian
government in Brussels. Only after
Flanders was subdued with the aid
of a large French military force one month later, under the leadership
of the Count de Pontécoulant, did
Flanders become a true part of
The French-speaking bourgeoisie showed very little respect for the
Dutch-speaking part of the population.[clarification needed] French
became the only official language in
Belgium and all secondary and
higher education in the
Dutch language was abolished.
In 1834, all people even remotely suspected of being "
or calling for the reunification of the
Netherlands were prosecuted
and their houses looted and burnt. Flanders, until then a very
prosperous European region,[clarification needed] was not considered
worthwhile for investment and scholarship. A study in 1918
demonstrated that in the first 88 years of its existence, 80% of the
Belgian GNP was invested in Wallonia. This led to a widespread poverty
in Flanders, forcing roughly 300.000
Flemish to emigrate to Wallonia
to start working there in the heavy industry.
All of these events led to a silent uprising in
Flanders against the
French-speaking domination. But it was not until 1878 that Dutch was
allowed to be used for official purposes in
Flanders (see language
legislation in Belgium), although French remained the only official
language in Belgium.
In 1873, Dutch became the official language in public secondary
schools. In 1898 Dutch and French were declared equal languages in
laws and Royal orders. In 1930 the first
Flemish university was
The first official translation of the Belgian constitution in Dutch
was not published until 1967.
Koksijde, a memorial to soldiers killed in World War I
World War I
World War I and its consequences
Belgium as a whole) saw some of the greatest loss of
life on the Western Front of the First World War, in particular from
the three battles of Ypres.
Flemish feeling of identity and consciousness grew through the events
and experiences of war. The occupying German authorities took several
Flemish-friendly measures. More importantly, the experiences of many
Dutch-speaking soldiers on the front led by French-speaking officers
Flemish emancipation. The French-speaking officers often
gave orders in French only, followed by "et pour les Flamands, la
même chose!", meaning "and for the Flemish, the same thing!" (which
did not help the
Flemish conscripts, who were mostly uneducated
farmers and workers unable to have understood what had been said in
French). The resulting suffering is still remembered by Flemish
organizations during the yearly
Yser pilgrimage in
Diksmuide at the
monument of the
Right-Wing Nationalism in the interbellum and World War II
Flemish National Union, Verdinaso, Dietsland, and
During the interbellum and World War II, several right-wing fascist
and/or national-socialistic parties emerged in Belgium, the Flemish
ones being energized by the anti-
Flemish discrimination of the
Wallonians[clarification needed]. Since these parties were promised
more rights for the
Flemings by the German government during World War
II, many of them collaborated with the Nazi regime. After the war,
collaborators (or people who were Zwart, "Black" during the war) were
prosecuted and punished, among them many
Flemish Nationalists whose
main political goal had been the emancipation of Flanders. As a
result, up until this day
Flemish Nationalism is often associated with
right-wing and sometimes fascist ideologies.
Main articles: State reform in Belgium, 2007–2011 Belgian political
crisis, and Partition of Belgium
After World War II, the differences between Dutch-speaking and
French-speaking Belgians became clear in a number of conflicts, such
as the Royal Question, the question whether King Leopold III should
return (which most
Flemings supported but not the Walloons) and the
use of Dutch in the Catholic University of Leuven. As a result,
several state reforms took place in the second half of the 20th
century, which transformed the unitary
Belgium into a federal state
with communities, regions and language areas. This resulted also in
the establishment of a
Flemish Parliament and Government. During the
1970s, all major political parties split into a Dutch and
Flemish parties still advocate for more
Flemish autonomy, some
Flemish independence (see Partition of Belgium), whereas the
French-speakers would like to keep the current state as it is. Recent
governments (such as Verhofstadt I Government) have transferred
certain federal competences to the regional governments.
On 13 December 2006, a spoof news broadcast by the Belgian Francophone
public broadcasting station
RTBF declared that
Flanders had decided to
declare independence from Belgium.
The 2007 federal elections showed more support for
marking the start of the 2007–2011 Belgian political crisis. All the
political parties that advocated a significant increase of Flemish
autonomy gained votes as well as seats in the Belgian federal
parliament. This was especially the case for Christian Democratic and
Flemish and New
Flemish Alliance (N-VA) (who had participated on a
shared electoral list). The trend continued during the 2009 regional
elections, where CD&V and
N-VA were the clear winners in Flanders,
N-VA became even the largest party in
the 2010 federal elections, followed by the longest-ever government
formation after which the
Di Rupo I Government
Di Rupo I Government was formed excluding
N-VA. Eight parties agreed on a sixth state reform which aim to solve
the disputes between
Flemings and French-speakers. The 2012 provincial
and municipal elections however continued the trend of
the biggest party in Flanders.
However, sociological studies show no parallel between the rise of
nationalist parties and popular support for their agenda. Instead, a
recent study revealed a majority in favour of returning regional
competences to the federal level 
Government and politics
Kris Peeters, former Minister-President of Flanders, promoting
Flanders in Action
Main article: Communities, regions and language areas of Belgium
Flemish Community and the
Flemish Region are constitutional
institutions of the Kingdom of Belgium, exercising certain powers
within their jurisdiction, granted following a series of state
reforms. In practice, the
Flemish Community and Region together form a
single body, with its own parliament and government, as the Community
legally absorbed the competences of the Region. The parliament is a
directly elected legislative body composed of 124 representatives. The
government consists of up to a maximum of eleven members and is
presided by a Minister-President, currently
Geert Bourgeois (New
Flemish Alliance) leading a coalition of his party (N-VA) with
Christen-Democratisch en Vlaams
Christen-Democratisch en Vlaams (CD&V) and Open Vlaamse Liberalen
en Democraten (Open VLD).
The area of the
Flemish Community is represented on the maps above,
including the area of the
Brussels-Capital Region (hatched on the
relevant map). Roughly, the
Flemish Community exercises competences
originally oriented towards the individuals of the Community's
language: culture (including audiovisual media), education, and the
use of the language. Extensions to personal matters less directly
associated with language comprise sports, health policy (curative and
preventive medicine), and assistance to individuals (protection of
youth, social welfare, aid to families, immigrant assistance services,
The area of the
Flemish Region is represented on the maps above. It
has a population of more than 6 million (excluding the Dutch-speaking
community in the
Brussels Region, grey on the map for it is not a part
Flemish Region). Roughly, the
Flemish Region is responsible for
territorial issues in a broad sense, including economy, employment,
agriculture, water policy, housing, public works, energy, transport,
the environment, town and country planning, nature conservation,
credit, and foreign trade. It supervises the provinces,
municipalities, and intercommunal utility companies.
The number of Dutch-speaking
Flemish people in the Capital Region is
estimated to be between 11% and 15% (official figures do not exist as
there is no language census and no official subnationality). According
to a survey conducted by the
Université catholique de Louvain
Université catholique de Louvain in
Louvain-la-Neuve and published in June 2006, 51% of respondents from
Brussels claimed to be bilingual, even if they do not have Dutch as
their first language. They are governed by the
for economics affairs and by the
Flemish Community for educational and
As mentioned above,
Flemish institutions such as the Flemish
Parliament and Government, represent the
Flemish Community and the
Flemish Region. The region and the community thus de facto share the
same parliament and the same government. All these institutions are
based in Brussels. Nevertheless, both types of subdivisions (the
Community and the Region) still exist legally and the distinction
between both is important for the people living in Brussels. Members
Flemish Parliament who were elected in the
cannot vote on affairs belonging to the competences of the Flemish
The official language for all
Flemish institutions is Dutch. French
enjoys a limited official recognition in a dozen municipalities along
the borders with French-speaking Wallonia, and a large recognition in
Brussels Region. French is widely known in Flanders,
with 59% claiming to know French according to a survey conducted by
Université catholique de Louvain
Université catholique de Louvain in
published in June 2006.
Politics of Flanders
Politics of Flanders and Political parties in Flanders
Historically, the political parties reflected the pillarisation
Flemish society. The traditional political parties of
the three pillars are Christian-Democratic and
Flemish (CD&V), the
Flemish Liberals and Democrats (Open Vld) and the Socialist Party
– Differently (sp.a).
However, during the last half century, many new political parties were
founded in Flanders. One of the first was the nationalist People's
Union, of which the right nationalist
Flemish Block (now Flemish
Interest) split off, and which later dissolved into the now-defunct
Spirit or Social Liberal Party, moderate nationalism rather left of
the spectrum, on the one hand, and the New
Flemish Alliance (N-VA),
more conservative but independentist, on the other hand. Other parties
are the leftist alternative/ecological Green party; the short-lived
anarchistic libertarian spark
ROSSEM and more recently the
conservative-right liberal List Dedecker, founded by Jean-Marie
Dedecker, and the socialist Workers' Party.
Flemish Interest has seen electoral
success roughly around the turn of the century, and the New Flemish
Alliance during the last few elections, becoming even the largest
party in the 2010 federal elections.
Border crossing sign near Menen.
For some inhabitants,
Flanders is more than just a geographical area
or the federal institutions (
Flemish Community and Region). Supporters
Flemish Movement even call it a nation and pursue Flemish
independence, but most people (approximately 75%) living in Flanders
say they are proud to be Belgian and opposed to the dissolution of
Belgium. 20% is even very proud, while some 25% are not proud and 8%
is very not proud. Mostly students claim to be proud of their
nationality, with 90% of them staying so. Of the people older than 55,
31% claim to be proud of being a Belgian. Particular opposition to
secession comes from women, people employed in services, the highest
social classes and people from big families. Strongest of all opposing
the notion are housekeepers - both housewives and house husbands.
In 2012, the
Flemish government drafted a "Charter for Flanders"
(Handvest voor Vlaanderen) of which the first article says
"Vlaanderen is een deelstaat van de federale Staat België en maakt
deel uit van de Europese Unie." ("
Flanders is a component state of the
federal State of
Belgium and is part of the European Union"). Though
interpreted by many
Flemish nationalists as a statement, this phrase
is merely a quotation from the Belgian constitution and has no further
legal value whatsoever.
Further information: Geography of Belgium
The Sonian Forest
Flanders shares its borders with
Wallonia in the south,
an enclave within the
Flemish Region. The rest of the border is shared
Netherlands (Zeelandic Flanders,
North Brabant and Limburg)
in the north and east, and with
France (French Flanders) and the North
Sea in the west.
Voeren is an exclave of
the Netherlands, while
Flanders forms a complicated
series of enclaves and exclaves with
Baarle-Nassau in the Netherlands.
Germany, although bordering
Wallonia and close to
Voeren in Limburg,
does not share a border with Flanders. The German-speaking Community
of Belgium, also close to Voeren, does not border
(The commune of Plombières, majority French speaking, lies between
Flanders is a highly urbanised area, lying completely within the Blue
Banana. Antwerp, Ghent,
Leuven are the largest cities of
Antwerp has a population of more than 500,000
citizens and is the largest city,
Ghent has a population of 250,000
citizens, followed by
Bruges with 120,000 citizens and
almost 100,000 citizens.
Brussels is a part of
Flanders as far as community matters are concerned, but does not
belong to the
Flanders has two main geographical regions: the coastal
plain in the north-west and a central plain. The first consists mainly
of sand dunes and clayey alluvial soils in the polders. Polders are
areas of land, close to or below sea level that have been reclaimed
from the sea, from which they are protected by dikes or, a little
further inland, by fields that have been drained with canals. With
similar soils along the lowermost
Scheldt basin starts the central
plain, a smooth, slowly rising fertile area irrigated by many
waterways that reaches an average height of about five metres
(16.4 ft) above sea level with wide valleys of its rivers
upstream as well as the
Campine region to the east having sandy soils
at altitudes around thirty metres.[c] Near its southern edges close to
Wallonia one can find slightly rougher land richer of calcium with low
hills reaching up to 150 m (490 ft) and small valleys, and
at the eastern border with the Netherlands, in the
Meuse basin, there
are marl caves (mergelgrotten). Its exclave around
Voeren between the
Dutch border and the Walloon province of Liège attains a maximum
altitude of 288 m (945 ft) above sea level.
Main articles: Provinces of
Belgium and List of municipalities of the
Flemish Region covers 13,522 km2
(5,221 sq mi) and is divided into five provinces, 22
arrondissements and 308 cities or municipalities.
(1 January 2016)
Antwerp, Mechelen, Turnhout
Hasselt, Maaseik, Tongeren
East Flanders (Oost-Vlaanderen)
Aalst, Dendermonde, Eeklo, Ghent, Oudenaarde, Sint-Niklaas
Flemish Brabant (Vlaams-Brabant)
West Flanders (West-Vlaanderen)
Bruges, Diksmuide, Ypres, Kortrijk, Ostend, Roeselare, Tielt, Veurne
The province of
Flemish Brabant is the most recent one, being formed
in 1995 after the splitting of the province of Brabant.
Most municipalities are made up of several former municipalities, now
called deelgemeenten. The largest municipality (both in terms of
population and area) is Antwerp, having more than half a million
inhabitants. Its nine deelgemeenten have a special status and are
called districts, which have an elected council and a college. While
any municipality with more than 100,000 inhabitants can establish
Antwerp did this so far. The smallest municipality
(also both in terms of population and area) is Herstappe
Brussels-Capital Region with the City of
Brussels (one of 19
municipalities) in red
Flemish Community covers both the
Flemish Region and, together
with the French Community, the Brussels-Capital Region. Brussels, an
enclave within the province of
Flemish Brabant, is not divided into
any province nor is it part of any. It coincides with the
Arrondissement of Brussels-Capital and includes 19 municipalities.
Flemish Government has its own local institutions in the
Brussels-Capital Region, being the Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie
(VGC), and its municipal antennae (Gemeenschapscentra, community
centres for the
Flemish community in Brussels). These institutions are
independent from the educational, cultural and social institutions
that depend directly on the
Flemish Government. They exert, among
others, all those cultural competences that outside
under the provinces.
The climate is maritime temperate, with significant precipitation in
all seasons (Köppen climate classification: Cfb; the average
temperature is 3 °C (37 °F) in January, and 21 °C
(70 °F) in July; the average precipitation is
65 millimetres (2.6 in) in January, and 78 millimetres
(3.1 in) in July).
Main articles: Economy of Belgium,
Flemish Diamond, Science and
technology in Flanders, and Agriculture in Flanders
The Port of
Antwerp is the second largest in Europe.
The A12 with a railway in the centre.
Total GDP of the
Flemish Region in 2004 was €165,847 billion
Eurostat figures). Per capita GDP at purchasing power parity was 23%
above the EU average.
Flemish productivity per capita is about 13%
higher than that in Wallonia, and wages are about 7% higher than in
Flanders was one of the first continental European areas to undergo
the Industrial Revolution, in the 19th century. Initially, the
modernization relied heavily on food processing and textile. However,
by the 1840s the textile industry of
Flanders was in severe crisis and
there was famine in
Flanders (1846–50). After World War II, Antwerp
Ghent experienced a fast expansion of the chemical and petroleum
Flanders also attracted a large majority of foreign
investments in Belgium. The 1973 and 1979 oil crises sent the economy
into a recession. The steel industry remained in relatively good
shape. In the 1980s and 90s, the economic centre of
to shift further to
Flanders and is now concentrated in the populous
Flemish Diamond area. Nowadays, the
Flemish economy is mainly
Belgium is a founding member of the European Coal and Steel Community
in 1951, which evolved into the present-day European Union. In 1999,
the euro, the single European currency, was introduced in Flanders. It
Belgian franc in 2002.
Flemish economy is strongly export-oriented, in particular of high
value-added goods. The main imports are food products, machinery,
rough diamonds, petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, clothing
and accessories, and textiles. The main exports are automobiles, food
and food products, iron and steel, finished diamonds, textiles,
plastics, petroleum products, and non-ferrous metals. Since 1922,
Belgium and Luxembourg have been a single trade market within a
customs and currency union—the Belgium–Luxembourg Economic Union.
Its main trading partners are Germany, the Netherlands, France, the
United Kingdom, Italy, the United States, and Spain.[citation
Antwerp is the number one diamond market in the world, diamond exports
account for roughly 1/10 of Belgian exports. The Antwerp-based BASF
plant is the largest BASF-base outside Germany, and accounts on its
own for about 2% of Belgian exports. Other industrial and service
Antwerp include car manufacturing, telecommunications,
Flanders is home to several science and technology institutes, such as
Flanders DC and
Main article: Transport in Belgium
Flanders has developed an extensive transportation infrastructure of
ports, canals, railways and highways. The Port of
Antwerp is the
second-largest in Europe, after Rotterdam. Other ports are
Ghent and Ostend, of which
Bruges and Ostend are
located at the Belgian coast.
Whereas railways are managed by the federal National Railway Company
of Belgium, other public transport (De Lijn) and roads are managed by
The main airport is
Brussels Airport, the only other civilian airport
with scheduled services in
Antwerp International Airport,
but there are two other ones with cargo or charter flights:
Bruges International Airport and Kortrijk-Wevelgem
International Airport, both in West Flanders.
Further information: Demographics of Belgium,
Flemish people, and List
of cities in Flanders
The highest population density is found in the area circumscribed by
Leuven agglomerations that surround
Mechelen and is known as the
Flemish Diamond, in other important urban
Kortrijk to the west, and notable centres
Hasselt to the east. On 1 January 2015, the Flemish
Region had a population of 6,444,127 and about 15% of the 1,175,173
people in the
Brussels Region are also considered
A typical church, present in all villages in Flanders
Further information: Religion in Belgium
The (Belgian) laicist, or secularist, constitution provides for
freedom of religion, and the various governments in general respect
this right in practice. Since independence, Catholicism,
counterbalanced by strong freethought movements, has had an important
role in Belgium's politics, since the 20th century in
via the Christian trade union ACV and the Christian Democratic and
Flemish party (CD&V). According to the 2001 Survey and Study of
Religion, about 47 percent of the Belgian population identify
themselves as belonging to the Catholic Church, while Islam is the
second-largest religion at 3.5 percent. A 2006
inquiry in Flanders, considered more religious than Wallonia, showed
that 55% considered themselves religious, and 36% believed that God
created the world.
Jews have been present in
Flanders for a long time, in particular in
Antwerp. More recently, Muslims have immigrated to Flanders, now
forming the largest minority religion with about 3.9% in the Flemish
Region and 25% in Brussels. The largest Muslim group is the
Moroccans, while the second largest is the Turks.
Arenberg Château, part of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, the
oldest university in
Belgium and the Low Countries.
Further information: Education in Flanders
Education is compulsory from the ages of six to 18, but most Flemings
continue to study until around 23. Among the Organisation for Economic
Co-operation and Development countries in 1999,
Flanders had the
third-highest proportion of 18- to 21-year-olds enrolled in
Flanders also scores very high in
international comparative studies on education. Its secondary school
students consistently rank among the top three for mathematics and
science. However, the success is not evenly spread: ethnic minority
youth score consistently lower, and the difference is larger than in
most comparable countries.[a]
Mirroring the historical political conflicts between the freethought
and Catholic segments of the population, the
system is split into a secular branch controlled by the communities,
the provinces, or the municipalities, and a subsidised
religious—mostly Catholic—branch. For the subsidised schools, the
main costs such as the teacher's wages and building maintenance
completely borne by the
Flemish government. Subsidised schools are
also free to determine their own teaching and examination methods, but
in exchange, they must be able to prove that certain minimal terms are
achieved by keeping records of the given lessons and exams. It should
however be noted that—at least for the Catholic schools—the
religious authorities have very limited power over these schools,
neither do the schools have a lot of power on their own. Instead, the
Catholic schools are a member of the Catholic umbrella organisation
VSKO. The VSKO determines most practicalities for schools, like the
advised schedules per study field. However, there's freedom of
education in Flanders, which doesn't only mean that every pupil can
choose his/her preferred school, but also that every organisation can
found a school, and even be subsidised when abiding the different
rules. This resulted also in some smaller school systems follow
'methodical pedagogies' (e.g. Steiner, Montessori, or Freinet) or
serve the Jewish and Protestant minorities.
During the school year 2003–2004, 68.30% of the total population of
children between the ages of six and 18 went to subsidized private
schools (both religious schools or 'methodical pedagogies'
The big freedom given to schools results in a constant competition to
be the "best" school. The schools get certain reputations amongst
parents and employers. So it's important for schools to be the best
school since the subsidies depend on the number of pupils. This
competition has been pinpointed as one of the main reasons for the
high overall quality of the
Flemish education. However, the importance
of a school's reputation also makes schools more eager to expel pupils
that don't perform well. Resulting in the ethnic differences and the
well-known waterfall system: pupils start high in the perceived
hierarchy, and then drop towards more professional oriented directions
or "easier" schools when they can't handle the pressure any longer.
Further information: Healthcare in Belgium
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (July
Healthcare is a federal matter, but the
Flemish Government is
responsible for care, health education and preventive care.
Main articles: Dutch language, Flemish,
Flemish people, and Flemish
At first sight,
Flemish culture is defined by the
Dutch language and
its gourmandic mentality, as compared to the more Calvinistic Dutch
culture. Dutch and
Flemish paintings enjoyed more equal international
Language and literature
Statue of Gezelle in Bruges, by sculptor Jules Lagae
The standard language in
Flanders is Dutch; spelling and grammar are
regulated by a single authority, the
Dutch Language Union
Dutch Language Union (Nederlandse
Taalunie), comprising a committee of ministers of the
Dutch governments, their advisory council of appointed experts, a
controlling commission of 22 parliamentarians, and a
secretariate. The term
Flemish can be applied to the Dutch
spoken in Flanders; it shows many regional and local variations.
The biggest difference between Belgian Dutch and Dutch used in the
Netherlands is in the pronunciation of words. The Dutch spoken in the
north of the
Netherlands is typically described as being "sharper",
while Belgian Dutch is "softer". In Belgian Dutch, there are also
fewer vowels pronounced as diphthongs. When it comes to spelling,
Dutch language purists historically avoided writing words
using a French spelling, or searched for specific translations of
words derived from French, while the Dutch prefer to stick with French
spelling, as it differentiates Dutch more from the neighbouring
German. For example, the Dutch word "punaise" (English: Drawing pin)
is derived directly from the French language. Belgian Dutch language
purists have lobbied to accept the word "duimspijker" (literally:
thumb spike) as official Dutch, though the
Dutch Language Union
Dutch Language Union never
accepted it as standard Dutch. Other proposals by purists were
sometimes accepted, and sometimes reverted again in later spelling
revisions. As language purists were quite often professionally
involved in language (f.e. as a teacher), these unofficial purist
translations are found more often in Belgian Dutch texts.
The earliest example of literature in non-standardized dialects in the
current area of
Flanders is Hendrik van Veldeke's Eneas Romance, the
first courtly romance in a
Germanic language (12th century). With a
writer of Hendrik Conscience's stature,
Flemish literature rose ahead
of French literature in Belgium's early history. Guido Gezelle
not only explicitly referred to his writings as
Flemish but used it in
many of his poems, and strongly defended it:
Original from kleengedichtjes (1860?)
Gij zegt dat ’t vlaamsch te niet zal gaan:
’t en zal!
dat ’t waalsch gezwets zal boven slaan:' ’t en zal!
Dat hopen, dat begeren wij:
dat zeggen en dat zweren wij:
zoo lange als wij ons weren, wij:
’t en zal, ’t en zal,
’t en zal!
Translation . For explanations, continue along It shan't! This we
hope, for this we hanker: this we say and this we vow: as long as we
fight back, we: It shan't, It shan't, It shan't! </poem>
The distinction between Dutch and
Flemish literature, often perceived
politically, is also made on intrinsic grounds by some experts such as
Kris Humbeeck, professor of Literature at the University of
Antwerp. Nevertheless, most Dutch-language literature read
(and appreciated to varying degrees) in
Flanders is the same as that
in the Netherlands.
Flemish writers include Ernest Claes,
Stijn Streuvels and
Felix Timmermans. Their novels mostly describe rural life in Flanders
in the 19th century and at beginning of the 20th. Widely read by the
older generations, they are considered somewhat old-fashioned by
present-day critics. Some famous
Flemish writers of the early 20th
century wrote in French, including Nobel Prize winners (1911) Maurice
Maeterlinck and Emile Verhaeren. They were followed by a younger
Paul van Ostaijen
Paul van Ostaijen and Gaston Burssens, who
Flemish Movement. Still widely read and translated
into other languages (including English) are the novels of authors
such as Willem Elsschot,
Louis Paul Boon
Louis Paul Boon and Hugo Claus. The recent
crop of writers includes the novelists
Tom Lanoye and Herman
Brusselmans, and poets such as the married couple Herman de Coninck
and Kristien Hemmerechts.
At the creation of the Belgian state, French was the only official
Flanders was a Dutch-speaking region. For a
long period, French was used as a second language and, like elsewhere
in Europe, commonly spoken among the aristocracy. There is still a
French-speaking minority in Flanders, especially in the municipalities
with language facilities, along the language border and the Brussels
periphery (Vlaamse Rand), though many of them are French-speakers that
Flanders in recent decades.
In French Flanders, French is the only official language and now the
native language of the majority of the population, but there is still
a minority of Dutch-speakers living there. French is also the primary
language in the officially bilingual
Brussels Capital Region, (see
Francization of Brussels).
Flemings are also able to speak French, children in Flanders
generally get their first French lessons in the 5th primary year
(normally around 10 years). But the current lack of French outside the
educational context makes it hard to maintain a decent level of
French. As such, the proficiency of French is declining. Flemish
pupils are also obligated to follow English lessons as their third
language. Normally from the second secondary year (around 14 years
old), but the ubiquity of English in movies, music, IT and even
advertisements makes it easier to learn and maintain the English
language. This makes the
Flemish people very proficient in English (in
Europe, only Sweden and Malta have a better knowledge of English as a
Further information: Television in Belgium
The public radio and television broadcaster in
Flanders is VRT, which
operates the TV channels één, Canvas, Ketnet,
OP12 and (together
with the Netherlands) BVN.
Flemish provinces each have up to two TV
channels as well. Commercial television broadcasters include vtm and
Vier (VT4). Popular TV series are for example
Thuis and F.C. De
The five most successful
Flemish films were Loft (2008; 1,186,071
Koko Flanel (1990; 1,082,000 tickets sold), Hector (1987;
933,000 tickets sold), Daens (1993; 848,000 tickets sold) and De Zaak
Alzheimer (2003; 750,000 tickets sold). The first and last ones were
directed by Erik Van Looy, and an American remake is being made of
both of them, respectively The Loft (2012) and The Memory of a Killer.
The other three ones were directed by Stijn Coninx.
Newspapers are grouped under three main publishers:
De Persgroep with
Het Laatste Nieuws, the most popular newspaper in Flanders, De Morgen
and De Tijd. Then
Corelio with De Gentenaar, the oldest extant Flemish
Het Nieuwsblad and De Standaard. Lastly, Concentra
Gazet van Antwerpen
Gazet van Antwerpen and Het Belang van Limburg.
Magazines include Knack and HUMO.
Kim Clijsters was WTA Player of the Year in 2005 and 2010
Further information: Sport in Belgium
Association football (soccer) is one of the most popular sports in
both parts of Belgium, together with cycling, tennis, swimming and
In cycling, the
Tour of Flanders
Tour of Flanders is considered one of the five
"Monuments". Other "
Flanders Classics" races include Dwars door
Vlaanderen and Gent–Wevelgem.
Eddy Merckx is regarded as one of the
greatest cyclists of all time, with five victories in the Tour de
France and numerous other cycling records. His hour speed record
(set in 1972) stood for 12 years.
Jean-Marie Pfaff, a former Belgian goalkeeper, is considered one of
the greatest in the history of football (soccer).
Kim Clijsters (as well as the French-speaking Belgian Justine Henin)
was Player of the Year twice in the
Women's Tennis Association
Women's Tennis Association as she
was ranked the number one female tennis player.
Kim Gevaert and
Tia Hellebaut are notable track and field stars from
1920 Summer Olympics
1920 Summer Olympics were held in Antwerp.
Jacques Rogge has been
president of the
International Olympic Committee
International Olympic Committee since 2001.
Flemish government agency for sports is Bloso.
Further information: Music of Belgium
Flanders is known for its music festivals, like the annual Rock
Werchter, Tomorrowland and Pukkelpop. The
Gentse Feesten are another
very large yearly event.
Flemish group or artist is the (Flemish-Dutch) group
2 Unlimited, followed by (Italian-born) Rocco Granata, Technotronic,
Helmut Lotti and Vaya Con Dios.
The weekly charts of best-selling singles is the Ultratop 50.
Kvraagetaan by the
Fixkes holds the current record for longest time at
#1 on the chart.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Flanders.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Flanders.
Count of Flanders
European Union portal
^ a b c The relation between nationality, genetic ethnicity, native
and mainly spoken language(s) (within a group of same ethnicity and
age, in presence of elders, in ethnically mixed groups), and minority
group identification, can be complex: Dutch nationals constituting one
of the largest groups of foreigners, share the standard language with
Flemish locals but their accent is enough to immediately distinguish
them. The majority of immigrants from certain other countries, had
belonged to a minority or disadvantaged group there. Children born in
Belgium from residents of foreign nationality, very often acquired
Belgian citizenship. Regardless nationality, according to Belgian Law,
if for obligatory education inscribed to a school located in the
Flemish Region, the lessons will be in Dutch language; among schools
in Brussels, one may as well opt for one teaching in French. The
determining of statistical samples and interpretation of publicized
figures can easily lead to false assumptions or conclusions.
^ An Antverpian, derived from Antverpia, the Latin name of Antwerp, is
an inhabitant of this city; the term is also the adjective expressing
that its substantive is from or in that city or belongs to it.
^ The altitude of Mechelen, approximately in the middle of the central
plain forming the large part of Flanders, is 7 m (23 ft)
above sea level. Already closer to the higher southern Wallonia, the
Hasselt reach altitudes up to about 40 m
^ "Discover Flanders". Flanders.be.
^ "Belgium". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
^ Philip the Good: the apogee of Burgundy by Richard Vaughan, p201
^ William Robertson, The History of the Reign of the Emperor Charles V
(NY, 1874), p 116
^ William Robertson, The History of the Reign of the Emperor Charles V
(NY, 1874), p 456
^ Dunton, Larkin (1896). The World and Its People. Silver, Burdett.
^ Luc-Normand Tellier (2009). "Urban world history: an economic and
geographical perspective". PUQ. p.308. ISBN 2-7605-1588-5
^ a b c "
Antwerp – History". Find it in Flanders. Tourism Flanders
Flanders House, London, UK. Retrieved 2 January
^ "Kingdom of
Belgium map (politically outdated)". Planet Ware.
Retrieved 15 May 2007.
^ Leclerc, Jacques (TLFQ member) (16 June 2011). "Histoire de la
Belgique et ses conséquences linguistiques". L'aménagement
linguistique dans le monde (in French). Trésor de la langue
française au Québec (TLFQ), Département de Langues, linguistique et
traduction, Faculté des Lettres, Laval University, Quebec, Canada.
Retrieved 21 July 2011. Et pour les Flamands, la même chose!
— Note: This quote in
French language "Et pour ...!" has become a
coined expression in Belgium, and as such published abroad. E.g.:
Meylaerts, Reine (KUL). ""Et pour les Flamands, la même chose" :
quelle politique de traduction pour quelles minorités
linguistiques ?" (Pdf). journal des traducteurs (Translators'
Journal), vol. 54, n° 1, 2009, p. 7-21 (in French). Consortium
Érudit 2011, Quebec, Canada. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
^ Peter De Lobel (25 January 2016). "Staatshervorming richting België
wint aan politieke steun" [State reform towards
Belgium is gaining
De Standaard (in Dutch).
^ "The Communities". .be Portal. Belgian Federal Government. Archived
from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 23 May 2007.
^ "The Regions". .be Portal. Belgian Federal Government. Archived from
the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 23 May 2007.
^ (in French) Report of study by the Université Catholique de Louvain
Archived 23 August 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
^ (in Dutch) Article at Taaluniversum.org summarising report
^ (in French) Report of study by Université Catholique de Louvain
Archived 23 August 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
^ (in Dutch) Taaluniversum.org, summarising report
^ "Drie op vier Vlamingen zijn trotse Belgen". knack.be.
^ "Handvest voor Vlaanderen" (pdf). vlaamsparlement.be.
^ Ir. Jan Strubbe in collaboration with Frank Mostaert and Ir. Koen
Maeghe. "Flood management in
Flanders with special focus on navigable
waterways" (PDF). Ministry of the
Flemish Community, department
Environment and Infrastructure (Waterbouwkundig Laboratorium, Flanders
Hydraulics Research, Administratie Waterwegen en Zeewezen). Archived
from the original (PDF) on 14 June 2007. Retrieved 15 May 2007.
Flanders is covered by the three major catchment basins (Yser, Scheldt
and Meuse). This rather lowlying nearly flat region (2 to 150 m
(6.6 to 492.1 ft)altitude above sea-level) ...
^ Myriam Dumortier; Luc De Bruyn; Maarten Hens; Johan Peymen; Anik
Schneiders; Toon Van Daele; Wouter Van Reeth; Gisèle Weyembergh;
Eckhart Kuijken (2006). Biodiversity Indicators 2006 – State of
Flanders (Belgium) (PDF). Research Institute for Nature and
Forest (INBO), Brussels. ISBN 90-403-0251-0. Retrieved 15 May
2007. The altitude ranges from a few meters above sea-level in the
Polders to 288 m (945 ft) above sea-level in the south
^ (in Dutch) Onze Waalse collega’s kunnen niet volgen, 29 May 2005,
^ Vanhaverbeke, Wim. "Het belang van de Vlaamse Ruit vanuit economisch
perspectief The importance of the
Flemish Diamond from an economical
perspective" (in Dutch).
Netherlands Institute of Business
Organization and Strategy Research, University of Maastricht. Archived
from the original on 14 March 2007. Retrieved 19 May 2007.
^ "Flanders: export-driven economy". Archived from the original on
2017-02-24. Retrieved 2017-01-26.
^ Dean., Amory, (2014). Flemish. [Place of publication not
identified]: Lulu Com. ISBN 1291768084.
^ "Focus on the port". Port of Antwerp. Archived from the original on
28 August 2008. Retrieved 27 September 2009.
^ "Statistics Belgium". Federal Public Service Economy.
^ "Belgium". International Religious Freedom Report 2004. US
Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor.
2004. Retrieved 28 May 2007.
^ Inquiry by 'Vepec', 'Vereniging voor Promotie en Communicatie'
(Organisation for Promotion and Communication), published in Knack
magazine 22 November 2006 p. 14 [The
Dutch language term 'gelovig' is
in the text translated as 'religious', more precisely it is a very
common word for believing in particular in any kind of God in a
monotheistic sense, and/or in some afterlife.
^ (in Dutch) Jan Hertogen, In België wonen 628.751 moslims,
Indymedia, September 12, 2008
^ "Education in Flanders" (PDF). A broad view of the Flemish
educational landscape. Ministry of the
Flemish Community. 2005.
Retrieved 2 November 2009.
^ "De Taalunie – Wie zijn wij?" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Taalunie.
Retrieved 19 February 2011.
^ "De Taalunie – Werkwijze en beleid" (in Dutch). Nederlandse
Taalunie. Retrieved 17 February 2011.
^ Hoeksema, Jack. "College 4 – 1830 Belgische onafhankelijkheid,
Noord-Zuidverschillen, Dialecten en de rijksgrens, Frans-Vlaanderen"
(ppt) (in Dutch).
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