Grand Duchy of Flandrensis
|Grand Duchy of Flandrensis
|Motto: Flandrensis Domi Nostrae|
|Organizational structure||constitutional monarchy|
|-||Declared||4 September 2008|
5,749 sq mi
The Grand Duchy of Flandrensis (Dutch: Groothertogdom Flandrensis) is a micronation with claims over some territories of Antarctica, which was founded in 2008 by the Belgian Niels Vermeersch. Flandrensis is not recognised by any country or government.
The Grand Duchy of Flandrensis was founded on September 4, 2008 by the Belgian Niels Vermeersch. The Micronation is inspired by the medieval County of Flanders (Pagus Flandrensis). Flandrensis is regarded by the founder as a hobby-micronation, still the micronation has its own identity cards, currency, newspaper, constitution and national anthem. Flandrensis also a political simulation with political parties like the APPF (pirate party), DRP (royalist), NPF (nationalist), FDUP (unionist), FL-AL (solidarity) and Lijst Govaert (liberal) and organises yearly elections. The founder also describes Flandrensis as a cultural organisation. In 2012 the micronation is composed of 128 citizens from 28 different nationalities Outside the internet the activities of Flandrensis are restricted to the region around Roeselare  but the official embassy is located in the West-Flemish town Langemark. Flandrensis has also a Commonwealth that united only Dutch-speaking micronations: the Grand Duchy of Flandrensis, the Principality of Arkel and the Duchy of Campinia. Flandrensis has been mentioned in Belgian regional media like the Krant van West-Vlaanderen and Roeselare TV. After the participation of Flandrensis in Polination 2012 (2nd International Conference on Micronations on July 14, 2012 at London) the Belgian newspapers Het Nieuwsblad, Het Belang van Limburg and Gazet van Antwerpen published an article about Flandrensis as part of a reportage on European micronations. In 2014 the micronation was the theme of the telivision show "Normale Mensen" on the Belgian channel Één.
Flandrensis claims five islands of the coasts of West Antarctica: Siple Island, Cherry Island, Maher Island, Pranke Island and Carney Island and based its claim on an interpretation of the Antarctic Treaty (1959). Niels Vermeersch sent letters to the United Nations, the European Union and to the nations who signed the Antarctic Treaty to inform them of his claim. All of these countries ignored Niels and his claim. Flandrensis has no intentions to visit their claims. Because of the claims, a diplomatic conflict with the micronation Westarctica arose in 2010, this resulted in the creation of the Antarctic Micronational Union (AMU). This conflict has been described by the Dutch Columbus Magazine  and the French book Les Micronations. In 2010 the Russian newspaper Chastny Korrespondent published an article about Antarctic micronations and described Flandrensis as one of the most resonant micronations on Antarctica.
The flag of Flandrensis is inspired by the first Belgian flag of 1830. The original Belgian flag's yellow band has been replaced by white which symbolises a new beginning. For the same reason there are also two lions on the coat of arms, based on the Flemish lion.
Photos of Flandrensis published in media
- (French) MAZARS, P., “Micronations: la tournée du grand-duc, ‘Le Journal du Dimanche', 28 July 2014
- (French) PRUDENT, R., Envie d’être chef ? Toi aussi, crée ta micronation en dix leçons , ‘Rue 89', 12 June 2014
- (Dutch) DAMIAANS, R., DILLEN, R., Uw krant op bezoek bij Europese micronaties Deel 1: Flandrensis, Het Belang van Limburg, 20 July 2012, page 20-21
- (Dutch)DAMIAANS, R., DILLEN, R., Dwergstaten Deel 1: Flandrensis, Gazet van Antwerpen, 23 July 2012, page 8-9
- (Dutch) GHEERAERT, T., Diplomatieke rel om een deel van Antarctica, Het Wekelijks Nieuws, 05 September 2013, page 10-11
- (Dutch) VANSTEENKISTE, A., “Hoogledenaar is Groothertog van micronatie Flandrensis, Het Nieuwsblad, 13 September 2012, page 22-22
- (Dutch) VERHAEGHE, H., Middagpost West-Vlaanderen, Radio 2, 13 September 2012 (interview with Niels Vermeersch)
- (French) BELENFANT, M., Sa Majesté le Grand-Duc de Flandrensis brise la glace, 'Le Jeu de l'Oie: La Revue Internationale de Sciences – Po Lille', April 2014, page 30-31
- (Dutch) CORNILLIE, B., “Niels, groothertog van Flandrensis, Het Laatste Nieuws, 29 August 2014, page 20
- (Dutch)DUBOIS, T,. Reportage plus: Niels Vermeersch staat als groothertog aan het hoofd van zijn eigen micronatie Flandrensis, 15 June 2012, page 10-11
- (Dutch)DEJONCKHEERE, A., Kleurrijk Roeselare: Roeselarenaar Groothertog, video, Roeselare TV, 2011
- PoliNation 2012: 2nd International Conference on Micronations
- (Dutch)Alaska TV., "Normale Mensen", video, Één, 23 September 2014
- (Dutch)COLUMBUS MAGAZINE, Het Groothertogdom Westarctica, 22 June 2010
- (French) Delafontaine, L., Les Micronations, Montreuil-sur-Brêche, Diaphane, 14 September 2013, pages 160, ISBN 978-2-919077-19-9
- (Russian) CHASTNY KORRESPONDENT, Micronations on the Southern Continent, 28 August 2010