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The Flemish
Flemish
or Flemings (Dutch pronunciation:  Vlamingen (help·info)) are a Germanic ethnic group native to Flanders, in modern Belgium, who speak Dutch, especially any of its dialects spoken in historical Flanders, known collectively as Flemish Dutch.[5] They are one of two principal ethnic groups in Belgium, the other being the French-speaking Walloons. Flemish
Flemish
people make up the majority of the Belgian population (about 60%). Historically, all inhabitants of the medieval County of Flanders
Flanders
were referred to as "Flemings", irrespective of the language spoken.[6] The contemporary region of Flanders
Flanders
comprises a part of this historical county, as well as parts of the medieval duchy of Brabant and the medieval county of Loon.

Contents

1 History 2 Identity and culture

2.1 Language 2.2 Religion 2.3 National symbols

3 See also 4 Notes and references

History[edit] The sense of "Flemish" identity increased significantly after the Belgian Revolution. Prior to this, the term "Flemings" in the Dutch language was in first place used for the inhabitants of the former County of Flanders. Flemish
Flemish
however had been used since the 14th century to refer to the language and dialects of both the peoples of Flanders
Flanders
and the Duchy of Brabant.[7] The modern Belgian province of Limburg was not part of the treaty, and only came to be considered "Flemish" in the 19th century.[citation needed]

The Wedding Dance by Pieter Brueghel the Younger, 1625

In 1830 the southern provinces of the United Netherlands
Netherlands
proclaimed their independence. French-dialect speaking population, as well as the administration and elites, feared the loss of their status and autonomy under Dutch rule while the rapid industrialization in the south highlighted economic differences between the two. Under French rule (1794–1815), French was enforced as the only official language in public life, resulting in a Frenchification of the elites and, to a lesser extent, the middle classes. The Dutch King allowed the use of both Dutch and French dialects as administrative languages in the Flemish
Flemish
provinces. He also enacted laws to reestablish Dutch in schools.[8] The language policy was not the only cause of the secession; the Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic
majority viewed the sovereign, the Protestant
Protestant
William I, with suspicion and were heavily stirred by the Roman Catholic Church
Catholic Church
which suspected William of wanting to enforce Protestantism. Lastly, Belgian liberals were dissatisfied with William for his allegedly despotic behaviour.[citation needed] Following the revolt, the language reforms of 1823 were the first Dutch laws to be abolished and the subsequent years would see a number of laws restricting the use of the Dutch language.[9] This policy led to the gradual emergence of the Flemish
Flemish
Movement, that was built on earlier anti-French feelings of injustice, as expressed in writings (for example by the late 18th-century writer, Jan Verlooy) which criticized the Southern Francophile
Francophile
elites. The efforts of this movement during the following 150 years, have to no small extent facilitated the creation of the de jure social, political and linguistic equality of Dutch from the end of the 19th century.[citation needed] After the Hundred Years War
Hundred Years War
many Flemings migrated to the Azores. By 1490 there were 2,000 Flemings living in the Azores. Willem van der Haegen was the original sea captain who brought settlers from Flanders to the Azores. Today many Azoreans trace their genealogy from present day Flanders. Many of their customs and traditions are distinctively Flemish
Flemish
in nature such as Windmills used for grain, São Jorge cheese and several religious events such as the imperios and the feast of the Cult of the Holy Spirit. Identity and culture[edit]

Map of the mediæval County of Flanders.

Within Belgium, Flemings form a clearly distinguishable group set apart by their language and customs. However, when compared to the Netherlands
Netherlands
most of these cultural and linguistic differences quickly fade, as the Flemish
Flemish
share the same language, similar or identical customs and (though chiefly with the southern part of today's Netherlands) traditional religion with the Dutch.[10] However, the popular perception of being a single polity varies greatly, depending on subject matter, locality and personal background. Generally, Flemings will seldom identify themselves as being Dutch and vice versa, especially on a national level.[11] This is partly caused by the popular stereotypes in the Netherlands
Netherlands
as well as Flanders
Flanders
which are mostly based on the 'cultural extremes' of both Northern and Southern culture.[12] But also in great part because of the history of emancipation of their culture in Belgium, which has left many Flemings with a high degree of national consciousness, which can be very marked among some Dutch-speaking Belgians.[13] Alongside this overarching political and social affiliation, there also exists a strong tendency towards regionalism, in which individuals greatly identify themselves culturally through their native province, city, region or dialect they speak. Language[edit] Flemings speak Dutch (specifically its southern variant, which is sometimes colloquially called 'Flemish'). It is the majority language in Belgium, being spoken natively by three-fifths of the population. Its various dialects contain a number of lexical and a few grammatical features which distinguish them from the standard language.[14] As in the Netherlands, the pronunciation of Standard Dutch is affected by the native dialect of the speaker. All Dutch dialects
Dutch dialects
spoken in Belgium
Belgium
are spoken in adjacent areas of the Netherlands
Netherlands
as well. At the same time East Flemish
East Flemish
forms a continuum with both Brabantic and West Flemish. Standard Dutch is primarily based on the Hollandic dialect (spoken in the northwestern Netherlands) and to a lesser extent on Brabantian, which is the most dominant Dutch dialect of the Southern Netherlands
Netherlands
and Flanders. Religion[edit] See also: Religion in Belgium Approximately 75% of the Flemish
Flemish
people are by baptism assumed Roman Catholic, though a still diminishing minority of less than 8% attends Mass on a regular basis and nearly half of the inhabitants of Flanders are agnostic or atheist. A 2006 inquiry in Flanders, showed 55% chose to call themselves religious, 36% believe that God created the universe.[15] National symbols[edit]

The Flag of Flanders

The official flag and coat of arms of the Flemish Community
Flemish Community
represents a black lion with red claws and tongue on a yellow field (or a lion rampant sable armed and langued gules).[16] A flag with a completely black lion had been in wide use before 1991 when the current version was officially adopted by the Flemish
Flemish
Community. That older flag was at times recognized by government sources (alongside the version with red claws and tongue).[17][18] Today, only the flag bearing a lion with red claws and tongue is recognized by Belgian law, while the flag with the all black lion is mostly used by Flemish
Flemish
separatist movements. The Flemish
Flemish
authorities also use two logos of a highly stylized black lion which show the claws and tongue in either red or black.[19] The first documented use[20] of the Flemish
Flemish
lion was on the seal of Philip d'Alsace, count of Flanders
Flanders
of 1162. As of that date the use of the Flemish
Flemish
coat of arms (or a lion rampant sable) remained in use throughout the reigns of the d'Alsace, Flanders
Flanders
(2nd) and Dampierre dynasties of counts. The motto "Vlaanderen de Leeuw" ( Flanders
Flanders
the lion) was allegedly present on the arms of Pieter de Coninck at the Battle of the Golden Spurs
Battle of the Golden Spurs
on July 11, 1302.[21][22][23] After the acquisition of Flanders
Flanders
by the Burgundian dukes the lion was only used in escutcheons. It was only after the creation of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands
United Kingdom of the Netherlands
that the coat of arms (surmounted by a chief bearing the Royal Arms of the Netherlands) once again became the official symbol of the new province East Flanders. See also[edit]

Belgium
Belgium
portal

De Vlaamse Leeuw Greater Netherlands Flemish
Flemish
Movement Flemish
Flemish
Region French Flemish

Notes and references[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Flemish
Flemish
people.

^ Mainly in the Reformed tradition, although also a scarce population of Lutherans.

^ "Structuur van de bevolking – België / Brussels
Brussels
Hoofdstedelijk Gewest / Vlaams Gewest / Waals Gewest / De 25 bevolkingsrijke gemeenten (2000–2006)" [Structure of the population - Belgium
Belgium
/ Brussels-Capital Region
Region
/ Flemish
Flemish
Region
Region
/ Walloon Region
Region
/ The 25 populated municipalities (2000-2006)] (in Dutch). Belgian Federal Government Service (ministry) of Economy – Directorate-general Statistics Belgium. 2007. Retrieved May 23, 2007. — Note: 59% of the Belgians can be considered Flemish, i.e., Dutch-speaking: Native speakers of Dutch living in Wallonia
Wallonia
and of French in Flanders are relatively small minorities which furthermore largely balance one another, hence counting all inhabitants of each unilingual area to the area's language can cause only insignificant inaccuracies (99% can speak the language). Dutch: Flanders' 6.079 million inhabitants and about 15% of Brussels' 1.019 million are 6.23 million or 59.3% of the 10.511 million inhabitants of Belgium
Belgium
(2006); German: 70,400 in the German-speaking Community (which has language facilities for its less than 5% French-speakers), and an estimated 20,000–25,000 speakers of German in the Walloon Region
Region
outside the geographical boundaries of their official Community, or 0.9%; French: in the latter area as well as mainly in the rest of Wallonia
Wallonia
(3.414 - 0.093 = 3.321 million) and 85% of the Brussels
Brussels
inhabitants (0.866 million) thus 4.187 million or 39.8%; together indeed 100%[dead link] ^ Results   American Fact Finder (US Census Bureau) ^ a b c d "Vlamingen in de Wereld". Vlamingen in de Wereld, a foundation offering services for Flemish
Flemish
expatriates, with cooperation of the Flemish
Flemish
government. Archived from the original on 2007-02-05. Retrieved 2007-03-01.  ^ 2011 Canadian Census ^ Minahan, James (2000). One Europe, many nations: a historical dictionary of European national groups. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 769. ISBN 0313309841. Retrieved May 25, 2013.  ^ La Flandre Wallonne aux 16e et 17e siшcle suivie... de notes historiques ... - Lebon - Google Livres. Books.google.fr. Retrieved 2013-01-08.  ^ Lode Wils. De lange weg van de naties in de Lage Landen, p.46. ISBN 90-5350-144-4 ^ E.H. Kossmann, De lage landen 1780/1980. Deel 1 1780-1914, 1986, Amsterdam, p. 128 ^ Jacques Logie, De la régionalisation à l'indépendance, 1830, Duculot, 1980, Paris-Gembloux, p. 21 ^ National minorities in Europe, W. Braumüller, 2003, page 20. ^ Nederlandse en Vlaamse identiteit, Civis Mundi 2006 by S.W Couwenberg. ISBN 90-5573-688-0. Page 62. Quote: "Er valt heel wat te lachen om de wederwaardigheden van Vlamingen in Nederland en Nederlanders in Vlaanderen. Ze relativeren de verschillen en beklemtonen ze tegelijkertijd. Die verschillen zijn er onmiskenbaar: in taal, klank, kleur, stijl, gedrag, in politiek, maatschappelijke organisatie, maar het zijn stuk voor stuk varianten binnen één taal-en cultuurgemeenschap." The opposite opinion is stated by L. Beheydt (2002): "Al bij al lijkt een grondiger analyse van de taalsituatie en de taalattitude in Nederland en Vlaanderen weinig aanwijzingen te bieden voor een gezamenlijke culturele identiteit. Dat er ook op andere gebieden weinig aanleiding is voor een gezamenlijke culturele identiteit is al door Geert Hofstede geconstateerd in zijn vermaarde boek Allemaal andersdenkenden (1991)." L. Beheydt, "Delen Vlaanderen en Nederland een culturele identiteit?", in P. Gillaerts, H. van Belle, L. Ravier (eds.), Vlaamse identiteit: mythe én werkelijkheid ( Leuven
Leuven
2002), 22-40, esp. 38. (in Dutch) ^ Dutch Culture in a European Perspective: Accounting for the past, 1650-2000; by D. Fokkema, 2004, Assen. ^ Languages in contact and conflict ... - Google Books. Books.google.com. 1995. ISBN 978-1-85359-278-2. Retrieved 2010-08-27.  ^ G. Janssens and A. Marynissen, Het Nederlands vroeger en nu (Leuven/Voorburg 2005), 155 ff. ^ 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
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) Flemish
Flemish
Authorities - coat of arms De officiële voorstelling van het wapen van de Vlaamse Gemeenschap, in zwart - wit en in kleur, werd vastgesteld bij de ministeriële besluiten van 2 januari 1991 (BS 2 maart 1991), en zoals afgebeeld op de bijlagen bij deze besluiten. - flag ^ Samples of the black lion without red tongue and claws for the province of East and West Flanders
Flanders
before the regionalization of Belgian provinces:Prof. Dr. J. Verschueren; Dr. W. Pée & Dr. A. Seeldraeyers (1 December 1997). Verschuerens Modern Woordenboek (6th revised ed.). N.V. Brepols, Turnhout. volume M–Z, plate "Wapenschilden" left of p. 1997.  This dictionary/encyclopaedia was put on the list of school books allowed to be used in the official secondary institutions of education on March 8, 1933 by the Belgian government. ^ Armorial des provinces et des communes de Belgique, Max Servais: pages 217-219, explaining the 1816 origin of the Flags of the provinces of East and West Flanders
Flanders
and their post 1830 modifications ^ Flemish
Flemish
authorities show a logo of a highly stylized black lion either with red claws and tongue (sample: 'error' page by ministry of the Flemish
Flemish
Community) or a completely black version. ^ Armorial des provinces et des communes de Belgique, Max Servais ^ " Flanders
Flanders
(Belgium)". Flags of the World web site. 2006-12-02. Retrieved 2007-08-26.  ^ Velde, François R. (2000-04-01). "War-Cries". Retrieved 2007-08-26.  ^ Olivier, M. (1995-06-13). "Voorstel van decreet houdende instelling van de Orde van de Vlaamse Leeuw (Vlaamse Raad, stuk 36, buitengewone zitting 1995 – Nr. 1)" (PDF) (in Dutch). Flemish
Flemish
Parliament. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-08-26. 

v t e

  Flanders
Flanders
topics

Territories

Modern Belgium

Flemish
Flemish
Region Flemish
Flemish
Community

Neighbouring and historical regions

Margravate County French Flanders Zeelandic Flanders Romance Flanders

Local regions

Flemish
Flemish
Ardennes Campine Denderstreek Hageland Haspengouw Pajottenland Meetjesland Westhoek Waasland ...

Provinces (and cities)

West Flanders
Flanders
(Bruges) East Flanders
Flanders
(Ghent) Antwerp
Antwerp
(Antwerp) Flemish Brabant
Flemish Brabant
(Leuven) Limburg (Hasselt)

See also

Brussels List of municipalities Flemish
Flemish
Diamond

Politics

Flemish
Flemish
Parliament Flemish
Flemish
Government Community Commission (Brussels) Political parties Minister-President

Symbols and history

Anthem Coat of arms Day of the Flemish
Flemish
Community

Guldensporenslag De Leeuw van Vlaanderen

Flag

Other topics

Flemish
Flemish
Movement Language Literature Painting People Education Science and technology Transport Agriculture

v t e

Ethnic and national groups in Belgium

Flemish Walloons German-speaking Belgians

Africans Arabs

Lebanese Moroccans

Armenians Berbers Croats Filipinos Georgia Greeks Indians Jews Maltese Russians Surinamese Turkish Vietnamese

Bold denotes ethnic groups that (partly) originate from within contemporary and historic parts of the Belgium

v t e

Ethnic and national groups in the Netherlands

Africa

Horn

Somalis

North

Berbers Egyptians Moroccans

South

Angolans

West

Cape Verdeans Nigerians Togolese

Asia

Central

Afghans

East

Chinese Japanese Koreans

South

Indians Nepalis Pakistanis

Southeast

Filipinos Hongkongers Indonesians

Indos

Vietnamese

West

Armenians Assyrians Iranians Iraqis Kurds Turks

Europe

Belgians

Flemings Walloons

Post-1830 migration

Dutchmen

Frisians

French

Huguenots

Greeks Norwegians Portuguese Serbs

North America

Arubans Curaçaoans

South America

Brazilians Chileans Colombians Surinamese Uruguayans

Other

Arabs in the Netherlands Dutch Jews

Sephardim

Bold denotes ethnic groups that (partly) originate in historic parts

.