Flemish people

Flemish people

Infobox Ethnic group

poptime=6,550,000 (2006 estimate)
ref1= cite web
title=Structuur van de bevolking — België / Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest / Vlaams Gewest / Waals Gewest / De 25 bevolkingsrijkste gemeenten (2000–2006)
date=© 1998/2007
publisher=Belgian Federal Government Service (ministry) of Economy — Directorate-general Statistics Belgium
— Note: 59% of the Belgians can be considered Flemish, i.e., Dutch-speaking: Native speakers of Dutch living in 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 (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 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 (3.414 - 0.093 = 3.321 million) and 85% of the Brussels inhabitants (0.866 million) thus 4.187 million or 39.8%;who wrote this? together indeed 100%]
pop2=12,430 - 168,910
ref2=cite web
title=Vlamingen in de Wereld
publisher=Vlamingen in de Wereld, a foundation offering services for Flemish expatriates, with cooperation of the Flemish government.
, Canada: [http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census06/data/highlights/ethnic/pages/Page.cfm?Lang=E&Geo=PR&Code=01&Data=Count&Table=2&StartRec=1&Sort=3&Display=All&CSDFilter=5000 2006 Canadian Census] gives 12,430 respondents stating their "ethnic origin" as Flemish. Another 168,910 reported 'Belgian'. See List of Canadians by ethnicity (2001).]
region3=flag|United States
pop3=58,545 - 389,171
ref3= [The [http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IPTable?_bm=y&-reg=ACS_2006_EST_G00_S0201:518;ACS_2006_EST_G00_S0201PR:518;ACS_2006_EST_G00_S0201T:518;ACS_2006_EST_G00_S0201TPR:518&-qr_name=ACS_2006_EST_G00_S0201&-qr_name=ACS_2006_EST_G00_S0201PR&-qr_name=ACS_2006_EST_G00_S0201T&-qr_name=ACS_2006_EST_G00_S0201TPR&-ds_name=ACS_2006_EST_G00_&-TABLE_NAMEX=&-ci_type=A&-redoLog=true&-charIterations=047&-geo_id=01000US&-geo_id=NBSP&-format=&-_lang=en 2006 US American Community Survey] listed 389,171 people claiming "Belgian" ancestry.]
region5=flag|South Africa

(Generally as 2nd or 3rd language, 59% of the Flemings can speak French, 53% English) [cite journal
author=Ginsburgh, Victor, Université Catholique de Louvain; Weber, Shlomo, Professor Economy and Director of the Center for Economic Studies of the Southern Methodist University, Dallas, USA, and having a seat in the expert panel of the IMF [http://www.itinerainstitute.org/cms.taf?Act=LoadPage&Param=ItineraInstituteBeXXX558]
title=La dynamique des langues en Belgique
journal=Regards économiques, Publication préparée par les économistes de l'Université Catholique de Louvain
issue=Numéro 42
quote=Ce numéro de Regards économiques est consacré à la question des connaissances linguistiques en Belgique et dans ses trois régions (Bruxelles, Flandre, Wallonie). Les enquêtes montrent que la Flandre est bien plus multilingue, ce qui est sans doute un fait bien connu, mais la différence est considérable : alors que 59 % et 53 % des Flamands connaissent le français ou l'anglais respectivement, seulement 19 % et 17 % des Wallons connaissent le néerlandais ou l'anglais. Les mesures préconisées par le Plan Marshall vont dans la bonne direction, mais sont sans doute très insuffisantes pour combler le retard. ... 95 pour cent des Bruxellois déclarent parler le français, alors que ce pourcentage tombe à 59 pour cent pour le néerlandais. Quant à l’anglais, il est connu par une proportion importante de la population à Bruxelles (41 pour cent). ... Le syndrome d’H (...) frappe la Wallonie, où à peine 19 et 17 pour cent de la population parlent respectivement le néerlandais et l’anglais.
format=pdf 0.7 MB


("In alphabetical order")
Afrikaners, Dutch. [Afrikaners: mainly the descendants of Dutch colonists in South Africa, speak Afrikaans a mutually intelligable Dutch semi-creol; Dutch: share origin, language and much of their history with the Flemish and live adjacent to the them. Note: One can assume a far relation of the Flemish with Germans of northwestern regions on linguistic and near the common border on historical grounds; with Frisians only based on an indirect relation via the Dutch and a slightly related Germanic language.]
rels=Roman Catholic, other.The terms Fleming and Flemings ("Vlaming" and "Vlamingen" in Dutch) denote respectively a person and people, and the Flemings or the Flemish (always "de Vlamingen") or the Flemish people ("het Vlaamse volk") the population forming a community of more than six million people and the majority of all Belgians, of Flanders, the northern half of the country.

Modern [Footnote: Though the usage of 'Flanders' for the area roughly corresponding to the present-day Flemish Community became more and more common as the twentieth century proceeded, a similar broader usage occasionally occurred already much earlier, for instance, an English-language map dating from c. 1718 of the Low Countries distinguishes the larger printed "Flanders" encompassing at least (the county of) "Flanders proper", Brabant, Limburg (including their parts of present-day France, the Netherlands, and the Walloon Region) and parts of the Prins-Bishopric of Liège: cite web
title=A new map of the Netherlands or Low Countries
work="New Sett of Maps"

] Flanders however, does not correspond closely to the former County of Flanders, which included parts of present-day France and the Netherlands and did not include the central and eastern parts of present-day Flanders, which were part of other Holy Roman fiefs, chiefly the Duchy of Brabant and the County of Loon. Within proper context, the term 'Fleming' may still refer specifically to a native of West Flanders or East Flanders, the two provinces in Belgium that were part of the former county, or rarely to a native of other parts of that county who speaks a Dutch dialect from the Flemish county or the standard Dutch language.

Culture and identity

The native Flemings descend from Germanic tribes, predominantly Franks, and mixed Celtic-Germanic "Gaulish" tribes who had lived in the same region even before Roman times.dubious [Footnote: The Celtic and/or Germanic influences on and origin(s) of the pre-Roman Belgae remains disputed; Julius Caesar had called them 'Gauls' but had also distinguished them from these. Further reading e.g. cite web
title=Ethnic and Cultural Identity
work=Barbarians on the Greek Periphery? — Origins of Celtic Art
year=1997 |month=May
author=Witt, Constanze Maria
publisher=Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, University of Virginia
] . In the first instance, Flemish culture is defined by its West Germanic language, Dutch, shared with most people in the Netherlands, as opposed to the Francophone compatriots within Belgium. Contrary to popular belief, a Flemish literature does exist, though Flemish literary schools are also present within the Dutch literature as a whole.Fact|date=July 2008

For students, the intellectual norm in Flanders means learning two or even three foreign languages (at least two are obligatory in most secondary school programs, generally French and English, but also German and/or a languages chosen from a supplementary list) to a higher standard than in most countries.Fact|date=July 2008 Cosmopolitanism is a historical constant in Flanders' very open economy, while the mainly Anglo-Saxon orientation is a rather recent phenomenon as, until the 1960s, Flanders was heavily dominated by French culture (as long enforced by the Belgian state), which now only is an honorable second.Fact|date=July 2008 Proficiency in English has greatly improved during the last half century, whereas proficiency in French and German has decreased somewhat.Fact|date=July 2008 Proficiency in other languages widened, and improved, although some companies complain about a seemingly eternal lack of sufficient German-speakers. Fact|date=July 2008

Related ethno-linguistic groups

The Flemish onceFact|date=July 2008 formed a single ethnic group with what are currently the Dutch. When the split occurred is a matter of debate; in fact, there are people who dispute whether the Flemish form a distinct ethnic group at all. For a fuller treatment, see the Flemish section of the article about the Dutch.

From the 13th to the 15th centuries, Prussia invited several waves of Flemings along with Netherlands Dutch and Frisians to settle throughout the country (mainly along the Baltic Sea coast). In the 12th century, Fläming, a region in Germany southwest of Berlin in the historic state of Brandenburg was subsequently named for them as they cultivated new farming lands. Flemings also represented a small proportion of German-speaking Transylvanian Saxon settlement in the Romanian region of Transylvania then under Austro-Hungarian rule from the 16th to 18th centuries.

Official language

The official language of Flanders is Dutch (at the Belgian - federal - level at par with French, and to a lesser extent German; the language legislation is complex and politically extremely sensitive).

Dialects tended to be very strong, almost particular to every locality.Fact|date=July 2008 Since World War II, the influence of radio, television, and with more people moving out of their region of birth, the use of the original dialects tends to decrease.Fact|date=July 2008 Differences between the regional dialects erode and new types of intermediate dialects appear, including a non-standardized mix of standard Dutch with 'cleaned-up' dialect. This is often called" 'tussentaal' "('language-in-between') or, derogatorily," 'verkavelingsvlaams' "(speech as where Flemish people from diverse locations and dialects become neighbours in a newly built-up out of town quarter). In Brussels, the local dialect is heavily influenced by French, both in pronunciation, as in vocabulary. Only a small number ("c". 150,000) of the inhabitants of French Flanders can speak or understand Dutch or the local dialect. [ [http://www.multilingual-matters.net/jmmd/023/0022/jmmd0230022.pdf Dutch/Flemish in the North of France (Hugo Ryckeboer)] University of Ghent, Department of Dutch Linguistics]


Approximately 75% of the Flemish people are by baptism assumed Roman Catholic, though a still diminishing minority of less than 8% attends mass on a regular basis.Fact|date=July 2008 Nearly half of the inhabitants of Flanders are Agnostic or Atheist.Fact|date=July 2008 A 2006 inquiry in Flanders, showed 55% chose to call themselves religious, 36% believe that God created the world. [Inquiry by 'Vepec', 'Vereniging voor Promotie en Communicatie' (Organisation for Promotion and Communication), published in Knack magazine 22 November2006 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] .] (See also Religion in Belgium.)

Flemish movement

The confrontational nature of Flemish politics is related to the communal tension between Dutch-speaking Flanders and French-speaking Wallonia.Fact|date=July 2008 These ultimately resulted in the federalization of Belgium, and the Flemish movement includes secessionist tendencies and groups. [For example Vlaams Belang, states that the "Flemish people' have a right to self-determination: "De Vlaamse onafhankelijkheid is een principekwestie voor het Vlaams Belang. Het Vlaamse volk kan en moet zijn recht op zelfbeschikking uitoefenen." Party Programme, [http://www.vlaamsbelang.be/index.php?p=21&id=1] .] Functions continue to devolve away from the Belgian state to the institutional regions and communities.

Until the 1960s the Belgian state was Francophone. Not only the Walloons were Francophone, but also the nobility, since Burgundian times, and the Flemish bourgeoisie since the early nineteenth century. Use of French was mandatory in all aspects of public life: government, the courts, academia, and industry. Until the 1930s, for example, the Flemish majority was educated only in French and courts were conducted in French causing numerous Flemish peasants being tried and judged in a language they did not comprehend.Fact|date=July 2008 During the First World War there were also tensions between Flemish soldiers and their French speaking officers. It wasn't until 1967 that the Belgian constitution has been translated in Dutch. Since the falling-off of its traditional coal mining and steel industries at the beginning of the 60's, Wallonia, the French-speaking southern half of Belgium, which was the leading economic force in Belgium and the strongest contributor to its wealth, has become more and more subsidized by the more economically robust Flemish north, an issue that remains unresolved.

Within the Flemish Movement, the demand for outright independence grew stronger in the last decades.Fact|date=July 2008 There are three political parties strongly advocating secession from Belgium: the Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie (New Flemish Alliance), the Vlaams Belang (or 'VB') and the new Lijst Dedecker. VB is considered by all other Flemish political parties to be far right.Fact|date=July 2008 Its identification of the Flemings as a separate 'people' ( _nl. volk) is controversial. It associates that claim with rejection of a Belgian national identity, and describes itself as a Flemish nationalist party, seeking a separate and sovereign state for the Flemish people, which is claimed to be a nation, and to have its own national identity. [Party Programme [http://www.vlaamsbelang.be/index.php?p=21&id=1] : "Het Vlaams Belang is een Vlaams-nationalistische partij. Voor ons is het zelfbeschikkingsrecht der volkeren fundamenteel. De soevereiniteit van een natie moet van het volk zelf uitgaan. Elk volk heeft het recht zijn toekomst in te richten zoals het dat wil, bij voorkeur in een eigen staat. Wij vinden dat de identiteit van ons volk, van élk volk, zo waardevol is dat een nationale identiteit speciale bescherming moet genieten."] It seeks the dissolution of Belgium. [Party Programme [http://www.vlaamsbelang.be/index.php?p=21&id=1] : "Vlaanderen moet Europa voorbereiden op een vreedzame opdeling van België. Vlaanderen moet Europa warm maken voor een uitdagend en dynamisch project, voor de komst van een nieuwe, moderne staat in het hart van Europa."]

The viewpoints of the Vlaams Belang, which is the continuation of the after a court conviction for racism dissolved Vlaams Blok, are not shared by Flemish mainstream parties.Fact|date=July 2008 With the elected smaller and the French Community parties they continued the "cordon sanitaire" around the Vlaams Belang, which is an agreement not to form a coalition or to cooperate at any level with that party. The large Flemish mainstream Christian-Democrat party CD&V forms an alliance with the Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie.

Both Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie and Lijst Dedecker have a slightly different priority. They are not against Belgium out of principle, but more out of dissatisfaction.Fact|date=July 2008 They think that the Belgian state will never recognize the rights of Flanders and the Flemings, and that therefore, it is better, and more democratic for the Flemish people to aim for independence.Fact|date=July 2008

The Flemish Community is one of the three institutional Communities of Belgium, not identical to the Flemish Region, though both have a single body of parliament, government and administration.


The official flag and coat of arms of the Flemish Community represents a black lion with red claws and tongue on a yellow field ("or a lion rampant sable armed and langued gules"). [nl icon [http://docs.vlaanderen.be/channels/hoofdmenu/vlaamseoverheid/wapen.jsp 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." [http://docs.vlaanderen.be/channels/hoofdmenu/vlaamseoverheid/vlag.jsp - flag] ] A flag with a completely black lion had been in wide use before 1991 when the current version was officially adopted by the Flemish Community. That older flag was at times recognized by government sources (alongside the version with red claws and tongue). [Samples of the black lion without red tongue and claws for the province of East and West Flanders before the regionalization of Belgian provinces:cite book
name = originally Prof. Dr. J. Verschueren, co-authors Dr. W. Pée & Dr. A. Seeldraeyers
title = Verschuerens Modern Woordenboek, 6th revised ed.
publisher = N.V. Brepols, Turnhout
date = 1954 or later
pages = volume M-Z, plate "Wapenschilden" left of p. 1997
url =
doi =
id =
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 and their post 1830 modifications] Both flags can still be seen in popular use, though only the modern one is recognised by law. The Flemish authorities also use two logos of a highly stylized black lion which show the claws and tongue in either red or black. [Flemish authorities show a logo of a highly stylized black lion either with [http://docs.portal.vlaanderen.be/VlaamseInfolijn/VlaamseInfolijn-Page-HomePageVlaamseInfolijn_index.html red claws and tongue (sample: 'error' page by ministry of the Flemish Community)] or a [http://www.vlaamseregering.be/ completely black version] .]

Origin of the Flemish lion

The first documented use [ Armorial des provinces et des communes de Belgique, Max Servais ] of the Flemish lion was on the seal of Philip d'Alsace, count of Flanders of 1162. As of that date the use of the Flemish coat of arms ("or a lion rampant sable") remained in use throughout the reigns of the d'Alsace, Flanders (2nd) and Dampierre dynasties of counts. After the acquisition of 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 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.

Flanders the Lion

The motto "Vlaenderen die Leu" (Flanders the lion) was according to Eug. Sanders present on the arms of Pieter de Coninck at the Battle of the Golden Spurs on July 11, 1302. [cite web
title=Flanders (Belgium)
publisher=Flags of the World web site
] [cite web
author=Velde, François R.
] [cite web
title=Voorstel van decreet houdende instelling van de Orde van de Vlaamse Leeuw (Vlaamse Raad, stuk 36, buitengewone zitting 1995 – Nr. 1)
author=Olivier, M.
publisher=Flemish Parliament
] Some three hundred nobles supposedly also used the motto "Vlaenderen den Leeuw" as their battlecry when they fought in the Flemish ranks to avoid being confused for the enemy. In Spiegel Historiael, Louis van Velthem also refers to the lion in a song describing the battle of Blangys-Guinegatte (which took place in August 1472). Later, Hendrik Conscience used the motto in his Lion of Flanders.

The Flemish diaspora

The Flemish diaspora consists of Flemish emigrants and their descendants in countries such as the present Netherlands, France, Britain, India (Sri Lanka), Indonesia, Australia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Africa and The Americas.Fact|date=July 2008

During the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries, when the territory of present-day Flanders formed the setting for an impressive economic and cultural boom as well as certain internal problems, many artists and craftsmen sought refuge elsewhere. Flemish settlers introduced the first printing presses into Spain and Portugal.Fact|date=July 2008 The Flemish contribution to the exploitation as well as the population of the Azores was so conspicuous, that for a long time the archipelago was referred to as the Flemish islands.Fact|date=July 2008

Following in the wake of the explorers, Flemish missionaries such as Pieter van Gent in Mexico, Joost de Rijcke in Ecuador, Ferdinand Verbiest in China, Constant Lievens in India, Pierre-Jean DeSmet in the United States and Jozef de Veuster in Molokai built up a reputation in various overseas countries that continues even to this day.Fact|date=July 2008

A combination of a demographic explosion and inadequate economic growth resulted in an emigration from Flanders that continued up to the First World War.Fact|date=July 2008 It was something that every family faced sooner or later.Fact|date=July 2008 Not only did it involve the so-called lower classes of the population, but also members of the better classes who found a future overseas in teacher-training colleges and colleges of engineering and agriculture. Louis Cruis, for example, was a Flemish engineer who led expeditions to lay down the boundaries of Brazil and the city limits of the capital Brasilia.

In France, the Nord and Pas-de-Calais departments were parts of historic Flanders before France annexed the region in 1656 (and other additions until the last permanent boundary change in the 1790s after the French Revolution). About 400,000 Flemings settled in France proper.Fact|date=July 2008 They often had to start afresh in poor villages, from where they breathed new life into agriculture.Fact|date=July 2008 There are an estimated 1,250,000 people with a Flemish dubious surname in France.Fact|date=July 2008

Similar to the Netherlands, many Flemish families also emigrated to South Africa due to the relative closeness of culture and language.Fact|date=July 2008

In the United States and Canada today, there are Americans with Flemish roots but who are mostly regarded as Dutch Americans.Fact|date=February 2007


See also

*Burgundian Netherlands
*De Vlaamse Leeuw
*Flemish Community
*Flemish Movement
*Flemish Region
*French Flemish
*Seventeen Provinces

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужна курсовая?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Flemish Parliament — Vlaams Parlement Type Type Unicameral Leadership Speaker Jan Peumans, N VA since July 13, 2009 …   Wikipedia

  • Flemish (disambiguation) — Flemish can refer to anything related to Flanders, and may refer directly to the following articles:*Flemish, a number of varieties of the Dutch language as spoken in Belgium. *The East Flemish and West Flemish dialects of the Dutch language.… …   Wikipedia

  • Flemish — ► NOUN 1) (the Flemish) the people of Flanders, a region divided between Belgium, France, and the Netherlands. 2) the Dutch language as spoken in Flanders. ► ADJECTIVE ▪ relating to the Flemish people or language. ORIGIN Dutch Vl misch …   English terms dictionary

  • Flemish Movement — The Flemish Movement ( nl. Vlaamse Beweging) is a popular term used to describe the political movement for emancipation and greater autonomy of the Belgian region of Flanders, for protection of the Dutch language, and for the over all protection… …   Wikipedia

  • Flemish Community — Infobox Belgium Community name = Flemish Community Vlaamse Gemeenschap nl icon language = Dutch language2= language3= capital = Brussels web = [http://www.vlaanderen.be/ www.vlaanderen.be] ministerpresident = Kris Peeters date established = 1993… …   Wikipedia

  • Flemish Region — Infobox Belgium Region name = Flemish Region Vlaams Gewest nl icon emblem = Flemish government emblem.svg language = Dutch capital = Brussels area = km2 to mi2|13522|abbr=yes ISO = BE VLG web = [http://www.flanders.be/ www.flanders.be] TypePop1 …   Wikipedia

  • People's Union (Belgium) — Volksunie ( People s Union , VU) was a Belgian political party, formed in 1954 as a successor to the Christian Flemish People s Union , an electoral alliance of Flemish nationalists.The party initially proved successful and had members elected to …   Wikipedia

  • Flemish — [ flɛmɪʃ] noun 1》 (the Flemish) the people of Flanders, a region divided between Belgium, France, and the Netherlands. 2》 the Dutch language as spoken in Flanders. adjective relating to the Flemish people or language. Origin ME: from MDu.… …   English new terms dictionary

  • Flemish literature — is literature from Flanders, the northern part of Belgium. The older Flemish writers were contributors to Dutch literature in the broad sense of nationality; after the separation of Belgium, however, from the Netherlands, when Belgium became… …   Wikipedia

  • Flemish — Flem ish, a. Pertaining to Flanders, or the Flemings. n. The language or dialect spoken by the Flemings; also, collectively, the people of Flanders. [1913 Webster] {Flemish accounts} (Naut.), short or deficient accounts. [Humorous] Ham. Nav.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”