Talk:Flanders

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Belgica[edit]

The intro of section 'History' had just gotten a subtitle: 'Early history'. This put my attention to its factual inaccuracies, which I corrected. To avoid needless changes, let me point out that at the height of the roman empire, indeed Belgica was the most northeastern province. Then around the start of the decline of the empire the province became subdivided so that Germania Inferior became the most northeastern province. That however, was well after Julius Caesar's references in 'De Bello Gallico' to the Belgiæ, which are the earliest (well-known and often referenced) historical records on the areas that later became County of Flanders as well as still later the Belgian region Flanders. — SomeHuman 25 Aug2006 15:38 (UTC)

Many, some, the[edit]

  • An anonymous user changed 'Although _many_ Flemings identify themselves more with Flanders than with Belgium;' to '_some_ Flemings'. I think this is a good change Bask
Given that the percentages of Flemings favouring independence has risen from 20-25% typically to just over 50% in a recent poll early 2006, it looks just the other way round to me.
  • An anonymous user changed 'More importantly _the_ experiences of the Dutch speaking soldiers on the front lead by French speaking officers catalysed Flemish emancipation.'. to '_some_ Dutch speaking'. I changed it to '_many_ Dutch speaking' Bask
probably more accurate indeed.

I don't know if my remarks fit here but I'll make them anyhow. The Treaty of Verdun (843) which divided the empire, fixed the eastern border of what later became the county of Flanders at the Scheldt. To the east was the duchy of Brabant, which invluded the "marquisat" of Antwerp and had Brussels as its capital. The germanic language spoken in Brabant was not flemish but "diets" (thiois in French). In 1356, the troops of of the count of Flanders invaded and occupied Brusssels for a few months until they were expelled by its inhabitants under the leadership of the alderman Everard 't Serclaes (cfr the article on him in Wikipedia). —Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.247.189.83 (talk) 16:16, 18 May 2008 (UTC)



Confusion, confusion[edit]

Note: Responses by the original author appear indented and in square brackets. (I've changed this in order to increase readbility; hope you agree, --Lucas Richards 11:25, 8 June 2006 (UTC))

Dear all,

This discussion has certainly been a useful lesson in the vicissitudes of Belgian politics! Some here have opined that non-Flemish should basically have no input in this discussion,

Where did you read this? I only found one person arguing against contributions from persons who have no or only limited mastery from the Dutch language, as those persons are incapable of first-hand access to the relevant sources (as official documents, laws, ...). Kind regards, Lucas.
[Precisely. This still does not mean that some educated and well-intentioned outsiders with "no or only limited mastery of the Dutch language" do not have a valuable opinion on the politics of Belgium. The "outsider" status is a valuable psychological tool in objectively analysing the situation of any given country.
That's clear. I agree with you that outsiders do have a potential advantage because they're not involved. However, I remember from the discussions between R. Dierick and Nicnac25 that Mr. Dierick made the point that Nicnac and a few other French-speaking Belgians where no neutral outsiders at all, but active, political militants advocating a certain political line. In addition, he criticised that they pretended making objective statements where they proved incapable (or unwilling?) to consult and understand the relevant provisions in the Flemish legislation (which is only in Dutch). --Lucas Richards 11:25, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
Indeed natives from a certain country are often known to open themselves more candidly to foreigners than they would to their own compatriots, and as a result foreigners can end up with a special knowledge of the country that its own natives probably do not have. Outsiders are often more objective than insiders, because they have no stake in the issue at hand.]

and I would like to express my opposition to this view: by the same token, then, non-Chinese should never have the right to express opinions about China, or non-Americans about America. Needless to say this is a very limitative approach to learning, and the considered opinion of outsiders should, on the contrary, always be taken seriously. The proverb says: "what can they know of England, those who only of England know?"

As said, the main argument concerns the fact whether a contributor who cannot understand any relevant official sources in the language of Flanders can have an accurate and objective meaning on this!
[As said, see above]
I'll add that all national level documents in Belgium (ex: Constitutional court) are edited in three languages by law: Dutch, French and German. All the belgian people I ever met were more or less bilingual (better than I could be in English anyway). As a foreigner, I would'nt underestimate the ability of some dutch politicians (mainly) to spin History as they want it. Just one example: in the 19th century, high class flemish families were french-speaking families, isolated in the dutch speaking area. In what is nowadays french-speaking area, another dialect was used, different from (but related to) french, as are French-based creole languages. In the flemish part of the country, there are some quite different dutch-based languages, some not understandable for other speakers. The school-based flemish of today is Dutch. Some would say that it is a foreign language for all belgians! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 77.202.58.33 (talk) 07:33, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

It appears to me that people disagree so stringently on the subject of Belgium and Flanders because there is a lack of knowledge as to basic political definitions.

This is definitively try. Several persons spend great efforts to clarify on this.
[And still people stringently disagree: so there is no harm in trying again!]

I am going to try and clarify these so that everyone has a better idea of what they're talking about. Please note that this applies to the English language, and that transliterations to French or Dutch may have slightly different cultural and historical connotations.

Nation: a nation is a group of people who generally share cultural characteristics deemed to be significant, most often language and ethnicity. A nation, it is important to note, may or may not have political or legal status. It is reckoned that the people of France are a nation, for instance, and France happens to have a legal political status which reflects this (when this is the case, one speaks of a nation-state). Conversely, although it is equally reckoned that Tibetans form a distinct nation, there is however no Tibetan state in legal existence - Tibet being an administrative part of the People's Republic of China.

Indeed, see also the Scots, the Catalans, the Québeqois, ....

Between a fully self-governing status as a sovereign state and a complete subservience to another nation, there are also several intermediary stages of political representation for any given nation - for instance, the province of Quebec in Canada is not an independent state but enjoys high local autonomy in recognition of the large population of ethnic French there who are substantially different, in cultural terms, from the majority of English-speaking Canadians.

Region: a region is first and foremost a geographical area. It does not necessarily reflect the cultural identity of the people who live in it, and it may not have any political status.

And in certain cases, a 'region' can also be a precise level of federal governement.

Community: a community is a group of people joined together by certain common features. These can be absolutely anything, and often they merely relate to geographical proximity: a neighbourhood can be called a community, or a village, or the people of Europe. Most often communities have no political status or legal representation.

Discussion: The term "Flanders" makes the discussion even more complicated because it encompasses regions which actually belong to different sovereign states than Belgium. The northernmost section of France is often referred to as Flanders, for instance, as is a smaller section of the Netherlands. To simplify matters, one could say that "Greater Flanders" includes all of these regions in addition to Belgian Flanders.

Finally, Brussels makes for a complete classification nightmare because although it traditionally contains more French than Dutch speakers (whether or not this is due to long-lasting Walloon hegemony in Belgium is certainly up for discussion), it is geographically located in Flanders... but by government legislation it is supposed to be half and half (all street signs are bilingual in Brussels, whereas in Wallonia and Flanders they only appear in the respective language of the area in question).

Hmmmm, all French-speaking historians I've read have a very different meaning on the 'traditional' language of Brussels. All state that in 1830, the great majority of the people in brussels were speaking Dutch (or more precisely the local dialect of Dutch as then 99% of the population in belgium spoke only one or another dialect). See also the detailled explanations from Rudi Dierick on this. Lucas.
[Thank you, I stand corrected. The source for this assertion of mine came from Belgians (from both communities) who assured me that there were more French than Dutch speakers in Brussels. This may be the case currently, but not traditionally. I definitely misused the word "traditional" here.]
Indeed, it is clear that TODAY, there are more, but before ....

There is no doubt that the Flemish in Belgium make up a separate nation. They speak a completely different language from the French-speaking Walloons and have asserted their distinct cultural identity in many other ways too - for instance through a general consensus that they are more "Anglo-Saxon", more pragmatic and down-to-earth than their Walloon neighbours.

Whether or not their nation should also include the Flemish of France and the Netherlands, however, is disputable, as these "extra" Flemish do not normally feel much kinship towards their cultural brothers in Belgium and are much less concerned about the internal politics of Belgium. In addition, none have expressed much interest about seceding from their original state and joining Belgian Flanders instead.

Dear, why make it so difficult? Just look at the representative political parties in Flanders and in the French Flanders. Then you'll immediately see that there are NO parties representing the Flemings in France, and that none of the political parties in Flanders have any ambition towards French Flanders. This discussion appears a very theoretical things, typical for people with either a penchant for history, either a poor knowledge of contemporary politics and society. Lucas.
[With all due respect, I think you are the one making it difficult. Political representation is only an indirect form of popular will. By saying "none have expressed much interest about seceding from their original state", I have actually described the situation in a more succinct, accurate and direct way than by delving into the issue of political parties. Furthermore, I don't know how you make that spurious deductive leap about me supposedly having a poor knowledge of contemporary politics and society - I also see this as an ad hominem attack and an invalid value judgement which has no place in this discussion. But let me reassure you on this point, anyway: I have a university diploma in political science, I speak 6 languages fluently and have lived in 8 different countries across 3 different continents. So I think my knowledge of "contemporary politics and society" is probably better than average, thank you very much.]

The Flemish in Belgium are a nation but they do not have a sovereign state (and neither do the Walloons). They are, however, endowed with these intermediate stages of political representation that I talked about earlier. Whether as a "regio/gewest" or a "gemeenschap" they do have the right to decide of their own educational and linguistic policies, their political identification, and the local legislation of their cities, towns and villages.

The rest (which community in Belgium is more privileged, which has more official recognition, which has to pay for the other one, etc etc) is a matter for debate, much of it unfortunately characterised by the continuous tug-of-war between Flanders and Walloonia, as we have seen in this extensive (and often bitter) discussion page.

Hmmmm. The actual opposition is not as much between Flanders and Walloonia, but between Flanders (and especially it's politicians) and the political establishment of the French-speaking community. That means that this opposition runs straight trough Brussels, where the Flemings from Brussels massively insist on remaining part of that Flemish political and cultural community, and where the representative political parties for the French-speakers are all also active in Walloonia. Lucas.
[The point you raise is interesting and informative, so thank you for that. However, there still exists a systemic and generalised hostility between Flemish and Walloons, even outside of the Brussels issue, and I contend that the conflict over Brussels is part of this general animosity. Later on in this post I back that up by mentioning the example of Walloons pretending to be French when they go to Flanders so as not to incur ill-feeling from the other community. You did not comment on this, which I take to mean that you agree.]
Yes, I do agree that there is quite a lot of animosity between Flemings and French-speaking Belgians. In brussels, several of the related conflicts all come into play. It is striking, and very relevant that the mere fact of presenting oneself as a Frenchman, and vice versa (!), removes all (or most) of the street-level animosity. That proves that the animosity of basically an ethnic confrontation between two peoples (nations, communities, ...) and not 'just' a linguistic issue as some French-speaking nationalists proclaim.

In my humble opinion as a foreigner, however, the issue of Belgium may be best resolved by outright secession. The creation of independent Belgium in 1830 was borne mostly of a resistance by the Walloons to the idea of being subservient to a Dutch, Protestant throne. The Flemish of Belgium had little say in the matter, and for the next hundred years at least Belgium was ruled autocratically by the Walloons, who oppressed as many elements of Flemish culture as they could.

The Flemish gradually emancipated (especially when Walloon economic dominance dwindled as their heavy industries failed to compete with those of the developing world) and the unfortunate result today, as I see it, is an enormous and inefficient mess. The Flemish are vengefully trying to establish as much control as possible over a lumbering and outdated state structure characterised by a mushrooming bureaucracy and an institutional tendency towards old-fashioned centralism. The consequence is an organisational nightmare: no one really knows what government organ controls what in Belgium (not even, as it would appear from the contributions to this discussion, the Belgians themselves). Belgium has two posts for every ministry, one Flemish and one Walloon, and four different legislative assemblies, all of that for a country the size of a smallish American state. As such Belgium's is one of the most wasteful, bureaucratic, contentious and ineffective governments in the European Union.

Since the decision to create a Belgian state was made with little consideration for the majority Flemish community, one could very well argue that Belgium has no legitimacy. More than that, over the past forty years the two communities have shown very little willingness to cooperate with each other, and instead spend all their time throwing petty spanners in each other's works. The Flemish are doing their level best to avenge themselves for every slight they suffered during the 120-year period of Walloon supremacy, and the Walloons are stubbornly continuing to behave as if nothing had changed.

Naieve point of view. There was indeed a now widely acknowledged discrimination of Flemings; on the other hand, there are no scientific accounts of current situation that support the statement you made ('The Flemish are doing their level best to avenge themselves'). The latter appears just propaganda and dissatisfaction from certain French-speakers who resent the loss of privileges they had and who defend the last few remaining privileges (as the extra-territorial voting rights that French-speakers living in the mostly monolingual Flemish municipalities of Hal-Vilvorde enjoy (and that Flemings can nowhere enjoy!).
[I have never denied that there was discrimination against Flemings, so I don't know how you interpreted that. See earlier part of my article ("Belgium was ruled autocratically by the Walloons, who oppressed as many elements of Flemish culture as they could"). As for the Flemish trying to avenge themselves, I am afraid that there cannot be "scientific accounts" to back this up, because feeling wronged and seeking revenge is exactly that - a feeling! I take as proof of that feeling the obviously angry and defiant attitude displayed by the Flemish when it comes to most cross-community issues in Belgium, as well as the fact that they tend to go more extremely against the Walloons, rather than seek compromise - I live in Northern Ireland, and believe me, I have a long experience in identifying sectarian hostility and vengefulness when I see it! I don't know how you figured that my take on this was "propaganda" - I'm not Belgian, so why would I take sides in this? You seem to think I favour the Walloons, but I really don't. Indeed I have clearly described my belief that they also deeply unreasonable in their own way (see same paragraph: "the Walloons stubbornly continue to behave as if nothing had changed").]
Looks like I gave another meaning to the term 'avenge' then you, and most probably sloppy use of certain terms is to blame for that. Apologies! --Lucas Richards 11:25, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

The enormous row that recently erupted over the status of Vilvoorde (a suburb of Brussels technically in Flanders which, as a natural consequence of the expansion of the city, has happened to become settled in majority by Walloons)

This appears a factual error; it is only one of the quarters from Vilvoorde, the one lying inside the highway ring that prbably has a majority of French-speakers. --Lucas Richards 11:25, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
Secondly, the known category that you are probably referring to is 'French-speakers' and not 'Walloons'. --Lucas Richards 11:25, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

fully shows to what astronomic lengths the two communities are prepared go in trying to annoy each other. In the meanwhile it is the country at large that suffers. Hostility is so widespread that many Walloons wandering around in Flanders now pretend to be French in order not to suffer derogatory treatment. Because of its petty ethnic wars, a country at the heart of Western Europe which should have been sophisticated, cosmopolitan and outward-looking is becoming inward-looking and dogmatic.

Given that the basis for the existence of Belgium is flimsy and undemocratic and that neither community in the country has shown the maturity to try and get along with the other, the best thing to do would be to separate. Things can then begin from a clean slate and both communities can set about establishing a governmental structure which is rational and efficient, instead of the massive quagmire that all Belgians are stuck with today. Of course, even then there is the possibility that Brussels might become the Jerusalem of Northern Europe, and that both communities will continue to bicker for the next eight generations about who has claim over what!

I hope my contribution has been useful. Either way, I dearly wish for a successful resolution of the Belgian conflict, starting right here on Wikipedia!172.210.92.253 13:36, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

Flanders[edit]

Just to point out a minor mistake: in the Russian version the ancient county of Flanders is constantly referred to as 'duchy'. Ik should say = графство.

Why this endless discussion among Flemish/Brussels/Walloon/ignorant contributors? Just consult the (obligatory) objective information on the whole issue on the Belgian minnistry of Foreign Affairs' site? The whole constitutional reform of Belgium, the competences, etc. are clearly defined. Read and compare www.flanders.be and www.wallonie.be / www.pcf.be/ and keep the mere facts. — 193.191.138.240 18 Sep2006 (was unsigned, undated)

Section title 'Flanders' on the talk page of 'Flanders', I assume it's about Flanders then. Should I report errors in this English Wikipedia on the Russian Wiki? Official == objective, simply because it's obligatory. Nice to know. — SomeHuman 18 Sep2006 18:12 (UTC)

Fuzzy lead[edit]

Can someone tighten up the lead? It's starting to float off into a very general and vague discussion of the word "Flanders" (rather than the geographic region). For example, that one of the primary meanings would be "the community of the Flemings" seems to be a very marginal interpretation. It's somewhat like claiming that England is also "the community of the English". Please keep geographical regions, however disputed, separate from peoples.

Peter Isotalo 14:01, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Hm. I'm afraid you're showing you don't really know much about Flanders nor Belgium... ;-)
You see, the word "Community" in Belgium (and Flanders) has a very precise legal meaning. Belgium is a federal state, with both "Regions" and "Communities" as its constituants. A Belgian Community is -to a certain extent- similar to a US state. I understand that the concept is a bit hard to grasp for non-Belgians, but it's a system that has worked. The situation in Belgium wasn't that much different from Northern Ireland or the Basque Country, or even former Yugoslavia, but we hardly knew the violence these regions have known...
You might want to read more about it in the Communities and regions of Belgium article. An excerpt : "Belgian Communities do not officially refer directly to groups of people – there is indeed no subnationality in Brussels – but rather to the political, linguistic and cultural competencies of the country.
All Communities thus have a precise and legally established area where they can exert their competencies: the Flemish Community is competent in the Flemish and Brussels regions; the French-speaking Community in the Walloon (French linguistic region) and Brussels regions, and the German Community only in a small part of the province of Liège (Wallonia), bordering with Germany, which is the German linguistic region."
I'm afraid that to compare the Belgian Communities with "the community of the English" is nonsensical.
--83.182.213.188 20:50, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
There seems to be a very popular misunderstanding among many people who edit articles about all things Flemish that the terms involved have to be described primarily from the point of view of the people living in the region. This article is supposed to be about the meaning of "Flanders" that is most familiar to the majority of the English speaking world. What you're talking about seems to be talking about exclusively Belgian affairs. There's no problem in describing this legal term in the article, but not in the way it's done in the article. It amounts to a rather obvious POV issue.
And I should add that it makes for a rather poor read. For one thing, it begins with an etymology and doesn't even explain that it's actually about a geographic region rather than some sort of ethnicity. I'm going to do what I can to improve it and bring it up to the standards recommended in WP:LEAD.
Peter Isotalo 10:59, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Of course, Wikipedia should transcend the POV of the people living in Flanders. But the fact is -and this should be a part of the article, if you want to write a complete, correct and NPOV article- that the word "Flanders" has several meanings, one of which is the Community.
I don't see why it should be removed from the article, just because some people do not yet fully understand the concept.
I agree that the introduction needs some work, but please don't cut things because you don't understand them.
--193.190.154.22 11:10, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
I've already edited the introduction a bit. What do you think ? --193.190.154.22 11:18, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
I didn't ask it to be removed completely. In fact, I said it should be mentioned, just not as prominently as it is now. The meaning "Flemish community" is not what I would consider to be a "main meaning" in the English definition of Flanders. If you look up "Flanders" in English language dictionaries and encyclopedias, it's considered to be a region, not a community of Flemings. I suggest describing it not as a primary definition, but pertaining to its legal and cultural status in Belgium.
The layout of the entire lead is, however, the biggest problem. It reads though it were an article in a dictionary, not an encyclopedia, with definitions presented as bulleted lists rather than prose. And it doesn't even begin with the rather obvious sentence "Flanders is...", but a lengthy etymology and then a description of the political status of the region in Belgium. For a general idea of how to construct a good lead about a region, have a look at Prussia (region), Galicia (Central Europe) and Wallachia. (I am aware they aren't exactly analogous to Flanders, but that's beside the point.)
Peter Isotalo 12:14, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
It has now been over a month and little has been done to improve the lead. Only the rather long etymological information has been removed and the lead is still formatted like some sort of dictionary entry and taking a very misleading stance of what "Flanders" actually is. Flanders is a geographical region, not some loosely defined ethnic community, as is suggested in the lead. The community of the Flemings is supposed to be handled in Flemish people and Flemish community. I have added a cleanup tag and I expect it to stay until the problem has been amended.
Peter Isotalo 10:03, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
The notion that "Flanders is a geographical region", and nothing else, is POV. It is a political statement, taking one side in a socio-political division/cleavage within Belgium and Flanders.
You need to read up on Flemish and Belgian political history before contributing to this article if you don't understand that.
--83.182.215.204 16:43, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
In English "Flanders" is a geographical entity. Just look it up in dictionaries and encyclopedias. It's still no more an ethnic community than Prussia or Galicia. That it happens to be the central regions of the Flemings is a different matter. You can't call Flanders a community any more than you can call England or Bavaria one. If anything, the stance taken currently is the POV:ed one. There's absolutely no problem in describing the historical or current situation without fouling up the lead.
Peter Isotalo 08:53, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
"It's still no more an ethnic community than Prussia or Galicia." This is where you are wrong. Because of its social and political history, the word "Flanders" is not only used to describe a geographical area or a administrative subdivision, it has a much broader sense.
Now personally, I don't care much for these connotations, but one can not deny that the word is used in that sense.
--83.182.194.67 18:00, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Peter shows a major ignorance about the indeed very complex situation. Moreover, as some others pointed out, amny of the dictionaries that Peter wants to use to pretend some authority are equally ognorant. Even very famous ones completely ignore contemporary Flanders. Some very prestigious ones even cited Ghent as the capital of Flanders. Just some examples of this blatant ignorance:
* Encarta [1]: "Flanders[ flándərz ] region of Northwestern Europe that was a powerful independent state between the 11th and 14th centuries. It is equivalent to the present-day provinces of Flanders in Belgium, Nord Department in France, and part of Zeeland Province the Netherlands." Oups. Completely ignorant about today's Flanders.
* Columbia Encyclopedia: "(fln´drz) (KEY) , former county in the Low Countries, extending along the North Sea and W of the Scheldt (Escaut) River. It is divided among East Flanders and West Flanders provs., Belgium; Nord and Pas-de-Calais depts., France; and (to a small extent) Zeeland prov., the Netherlands. The name Flanders is also used for all the Dutch-speaking areas of Belgium. Flanders varied considerably in size in the course of its history and at one time also included Artois and parts of Picardy. In Belgian Flanders, Dutch is spoken by the majority of the inhabitants." Missing 99% of contemporary Flanders. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 217.136.199.47 (talk) 15:44, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Well, I've already explained why it doesn't seem like an especially common meaning of "Flanders" in English usage. Most of our readers are not Flemish and would not want to get swamped with the minute aspects of an exclusively Belgian ethnic conflict in first sentence of the article. In English "Flanders" is a geographical region, either historical or modern, and not some loosely defined "ethnic community" separate from the Flemings themselves.
Peter Isotalo 12:43, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
Can you provide a verifiable source for that assertion ? That the meaning of the word "Flanders" in English is restricted to define the geographical region, excluding all other meanings ? --83.182.246.193 15:45, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
A quick glance in dictionaries and encyclopedias (dictionary.com, Encyclopedia Britannica, Encarta) will do the trick. I can't find anything about "the community of the Flemings there". But it's not up to me to prove that you're wrong. It's up to you to prove that you're right. We can easily confirm that Flanders is a region, but we don't know that it's commonly referred to as anything other than a geographical entity. And, again, we're still talking about the listy, crufty and POV:ed nature of the lead, not what can or can't be included in the article as a whole.
Peter Isotalo 08:01, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Annoying, and boring, all those repetition of POV that disregard so many objective key facts. Facts as: - there being no political parties, no media, no educational system in flanders that is specific for the 'region', but ONLY parties, universities, media and all its other big cultural organisations that are covering the entire Flemish community. - the Flemish Parliament and governement are representing the entire Flemish community (or 'nation' as some prefer), and not the region; - the fact that Flemings live in two regions (the Flemish region and the bilingual brussels region, the latter being 'shared' with French-speakers);

Those facts ar about he contemporary rality. Other facts refer to how 'Flanders' is covered in certain sources as English language encyclopedia. Even in relatively reputable encyclopedia, one can read idioties as 'Ghent' being the capital of flanders (which dates from the Medieval times). many even don't mention anything about the contemporary flemish institutions.

Therefore, given that most of those foreign sources are so hopelessly out of date, I eel Wikipedia should rather give accurate, relevant and up-to-date information, rather then try to be the 'common denominator' of so many out-dated ideas and ignoance. Therefore, I think any Wikipedia article on Flanders should indeed cover both aspects, being both the most important contemporary realities (in this case the Flemish community and its institutions (Parliament, governement, 'Region' and 'communiy', where the latter are hen only the institutions as provided for by he Belgian constitution, and where of course, this view severaly 'hurts ' all french-speaking nationalists. They would prefer that the Flemings in brussles disappear from the earth, so that they can claim Brussels for their own. However, such highly intolerant and partisans views should not dominate Wikipedia articles. Just cover them in subsections on contemporay history is enough.

Vlaanderen meaning "flooded land"[edit]

I don't know if it's an appropriate source for citation but it is mentioned in the Encyclopedia Britannica article for Flanders. -71.202.124.173 that is really cool — Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.61.250.242 (talk) 20:58, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

Intro paragraph[edit]

I find the introductory paragraph very obtuse. Could it be made somewhat clearer? If there are necessary pieces stuffed in there that can come out and dealt with later, it might help. It is just very turgid. Thanks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.12.68.2 (talk) 21:58, 27 December 2007 (UTC)


Map[edit]

We need a map change, to show Flanders is a part of Belgium. -- GoodDay (talk) 20:26, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

Do you mean the European map ? In most other articles on parts of a federative state (ex. Germany, Switzerland, U.S.) only the location of the state within the federation is given, not the location of the state on the continent. The European map in the "Flanders" article is an extra, since the location of Flanders (both community and region) within Belgium also is shown with separate maps.
I don't think it is necessary to change the European map. The byline clearly mentions Belgium ("Belgian Flanders"), the borders of Belgium are clearly indicated, and there are two other maps, both of Belgium, that make quite clear that Flanders is a part of Belgium. I don't believe there is a very big risk that a reader without knowledge about Flanders will be mistaken.--Luxem (talk) 21:56, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

I would like to see a map showing Flanders in historical useage, perhaps with the Belgian parts dark, modern general region lighter, and historical region lightest. Something like the map on Central Asia. Paper Toad (talk) 19:34, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

WP:POV[edit]

There are several problems with this article, the main purpose of which seems to be to present an idealised picture of the Flemish rather than give a neutral point of view. The history section is long and detailed even in pre-history, where we are told without a hint of any source that the Germanic Flemish are descendants of the first inhabitants of the region. Even though the pre-history of the region is so detailed, the article remains eerily silent on the more modern history, not mentioning with one single word the links between the Flemish movement and the Nazi collaborators. The economy section in particular is also badly written, with lots of unsourced statements. JdeJ (talk) 20:38, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

I agree some sections are obviously biased and desperately need to be scrutinised. But don't overestimate those so-called links of the Flemish movement to the nazis as a major fact in history. It is a (if not the) typical anti-Flemish story largely based on francophone disgruntlement about German support for Flemish language demands, a welcome excuse for the notorious repression after the war as well as to bring discredit upon the entire Flemish movement (to this day). Collaboration wasn't an exclusively Flemish matter; Wallonia also had its own fascists, more particularly around Léon Degrelle (also not spoken of at Walloon movement). This however shouldn't be blown out of proportions either. Just to make sure the one bias isn't simply replaced by the other.--Hooiwind (talk) 18:45, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
Don't read me wrong; collaboration has occurred.--Hooiwind (talk) 19:13, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
Correct assessment by Hooiwind. The current version is not that biased. I agree that the section on contemporary history is meager. For the economy section, more references might be added, but the actual data are correct and consistent. Therefore, more references appears not necessary. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.241.190.210 (talk) 19:00, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
Only now, I spotted a large number of 'citation needed' tags in the section Economy, and I agree with the above IP user. It seems WP:POINT, as it appears rather unreasonable to question several of the tagged statements.
▲ SomeHuman 2011-07-21 00:57 (UTC)

Brussels[edit]

You say the official languages of Flanders are: Dutch (Brussels: Dutch and French) But Brussels may be the capital of Flanders but it isn't a part of Flanders so French is no official language of Flanders, so i think it should be removed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 193.190.114.253 (talk) 06:44, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

Brussels is not a part of the Flemish Region, but it is part of the Flemish Community. So, on territorial matters, Brussels is not a part of Flanders, but on personal matters, it is.--Luxem (talk) 09:51, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
Correct assessment by Luxem. Moreover, there is another, secondary reason for also considering French as a (secondary) official language in Flanders, being the linguistic facilities. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.241.190.210 (talk) 18:54, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
Indeed correct. As the Flemish give a clear preference to their community (over their region), Brussel is indeed part of Flanders. Here, one miught say Flanders is just the country of the Flemings, being the entire Flemish community. Moreover, the (majority of) the Flemings don't make an exclusive claim on Brussels. They systematically say they share that city and region with the French-speakers. That constitutes an openness less found among French-speakers. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 217.136.199.47 (talk) 14:44, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

The kinx of Spain[edit]

I am afraid there must be a mistake on this phrase "in 1477 to the Habsburg dynasty, and in 1556 to the kings of Spain"

The kinx of the Habsburg dynasty were the kinx of spain since the death of Fernando and until the French kinx, Bourbons, won a war (after which England stole gibraltar)

The official language in Flanders is called Netherlandic or Flemish[edit]

Netherlandic, or Nederlands, is the official English name for the language spoken in Flanders, The Netherlands, Suriname, Dutch Antilles, Aruba and some other regions of the world. Afrikaans is also a kind of Netherlandic. People living in The Netherlands (or Holland) speak Dutch, and Flemish people from Belgium speak Flemish. But the official name is Nederlands or Netherlandic.

People have to stop calling my language Dutch, because I'm not Dutch, I'm Belgian, and I speak Flemish, officially called Netherlandic/Nederlands. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Scubongo (talkcontribs) 21:19, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

Netherlandic may be the official term for Nederlands, but as far as I know this is a book-word only used by linguists. It is called Dutch in common english usage. This does not change a thing however to the fact that Dutch- (or Netherlandic-) speaking Belgians (not the same as Flemings) do not usually appreciate to be called Dutchman (or Netherlanders). The difference between Belgians and Dutch is simple enough: we brew beer, they brew Heineken :-) LHOON (talk) 22:33, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

That Netherlandic thing and all your recent edits related to it are rather vandalism than cooperative behaviour. Don't reinvent dictionaries and get read before spreading false information.--Hooiwind (talk) 16:51, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
I don't reinvent dictionaries, I look things up in them. And if you would look up "Dutch" in the online dictionary, you will see that Dutch refers to "the inhabitants of the Netherlands, or their language". It may well be that Dutch is commonly used to describe Netherlandic, but isn't the reason for this website to provide people with correct information? Why do you want to persist in using a wrong word for translating Nederlands to an English word? Netherlandic is the official translation for Nederlands, not Dutch. I'm not saying that everyone should stop using Dutch when they refer to Nederlands, but what I want is that people know the correct translation. Saying I speak Dutch is like saying an American speaks Scottish. You can also try to call “The Netherlands” “The Dutchlands”. Lets all go to Dutchland... --Scubongo (talk) 02:47, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
There is no such thing as an "official" translation of "Nederlands". De facto, in over 99.999% of cases, this is translated by "Dutch". And I don't see why that would be a problem.--Hooiwind (talk) 09:03, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
I don't understand where you're going to. You object to the use of the word Dutch, because it relates too much to the Netherlands, and you want to substitute it with "Netherlandic".
Now, if you look at both words, I would say that "Netherlandic" relates more to "the Netherlands" than "Dutch", "Netherlandic" being the adjective of "the Netherlands", and Dutch only because of historical reasons is connected to the country.
If for example, you follow the link to Netherlandic, you will notice that it redirects (incorrectly ?) to Netherlands and not to Dutch language, so I would expect that the word in the English language is associated with the country more than "Dutch" is.
--Luxem (talk) 09:17, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

(edit conflicted with Luxem, who I agree with)

Hooiwind, it is not that easy. While casually, people always use Dutch and never Netherlandic, it is in use in scientific (philologic and so on) texts. See e.g. the Britannica article on it. However, even in scientific contexts, it is a minority use compared to the use of "Dutch" to indicate the language of most of the Netherlands, Flanders, Suriname, and other parts of the world. Names for the Dutch language gives some more info on this.

Scubongo, there is no "official" translation, there are no insitutions that can proscribe how the name of a language should be in any other language. Both Dutch and Netherlandic are in use, but Dutch is by far the more common term. While it can be confusing (many people think Dutch is the language of Germany), it is the one we should use as being the most common and easiest recognisable for an English language reader. I am Flemish, and I speak Dutch (the common language, not "Hollands"), and its regional variant Flemish. Fram (talk) 09:26, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Why not conforming to an international standard, such as ISO 639 and ISO 639:n, which is used anyway in wikipedia. --Foroa (talk) 16:17, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
...and that uses "Dutch" as the "official" translation. --Luxem (talk) 16:50, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

The official language of Flanders is Dutch (language), not Flemish or Netherlandic. Flemish is a dialect of Dutch! (like Austrian to German or American to English) --Stijn Calle (talk) 18:28, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

No. The official language of Flanders is Nederlands. No official translation to English is defined for that term. And if it were, this Wikipedia would not be bound to recognize an official Flemish decision. I do speak Dutch, though. Or Flemish, or Mechlinian, according to the circumstances. And say or write that my language is Netherlandic if I would assume my audience to recognize the meaning that I would intend - which could be any one of or all three variants. That said, it would not be inappropriate for an encyclopedia to use the according to linguists most correct term. And, like other works that cover extremely broad fields for a wide public, WP might chose to use a specific term consistently, even if it could appear artificial. That however, requires a clear consensus. Otherwise, the most commonly used 'Dutch' remains admissible and even advisable for most cases.
▲ SomeHuman 2011-07-21 01:28 (UTC)

The official language in Flanders is called 'Dutch'[edit]

Just have a look at the official website from Flanders, find its English language section, and all should be clear about the official language. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 217.136.199.47 (talk) 15:37, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

It is not because some official institution uses a term, that this term becomes official. We all curse, don't we?
▲ SomeHuman 2011-07-21 01:36 (UTC)

Update for actual priority among institutions (community & region)[edit]

Based on most relevant indications, the Community appears much more important then the Region:

  • Politically, the Community has a parliament and a government, whereas the Region has none of these (anymore) since it ceded all its constitutional competencies to the Community (trough a consensus vote).
  • Sociologically, its the community that represents all the Flemings via most choices of adherence to 'national organisations', academic education choices, media, and via their political choices: 99% of the Flemish vote for parties representing the entire region.

The only 'dissenting' voice are the hardliners among the French-speakers who don"t accept the fact that the Flemings living in Brussels are full members of the Flemish Community. This of course, is only one of the many opinions. The changes I've made try to focus only on objective facts.

Estimating population of the Flemish Community[edit]

As there is no official Flemish citizenship, it is difficult to provide figures for the total Flemish population. The figures available are either limited to only the Flemings living in the Flemish Region, or estimates that take into account the Flemings living in Brussels. The various sources estimates these Flamings in Brussels at 15 to 8% of the total population of the Brussels Capital Region.

Flag of Flanders[edit]

This article should certainly include

The official flag of Flanders

because this flag is very much used in Flanders and by the Flemish goverment state.

Whoever ever watchs a (european) cycling race must have seen this flag. —Preceding unsigned comment added by David-bel (talkcontribs) 17:56, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Flanders also considered as a nation[edit]

The earlier 'some way' is in fact an understatement. Most of the Flemings who prefer indepdendance and also many who favor confederalism (as me) consider Flanders as a 'nation'. Since 2005, certain opinion polls started showing a majority for independance, whereas other show between 15 and 50%. The long term trend appears clearly upwards. that means that the total of those considering Flanders as a nation can be estimated as quite impressive (maybe between 20 and 50%). the removal of 'nation' appears therefore a very partisan point of view. --Rudi Dierick (talk) 12:52, 16 August 2009 (UTC)

I have to completely disagree.
  • There's a difference between people wishing it was a nation and it being a nation
  • Almost nobody outside of Flanders considers Flanders a nation
  • Predictions of the future are not valid in Wikipedia as proofs of anything
  • The polls you're drawing conclusions from don't necessarily support the claim that Flanders is a nation. For that, they'd have to say "X% of Flemish people consider Flanders to be (already) a nation"
I think "Flanders" should redirect to Flemish Region, and give this article a different title. Gronky (talk) 19:41, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
This is mainly a historical article, and English-mother tongue users are probably most likely to encounter "Flanders" in a historical context, so it is the right article for the title. Johnbod (talk) 19:56, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
Upward of 90% of times I've heard "Flanders" (and probably upward of 98% too), it was the region of Beligum, but that's anecdotal. How about looking at how it's used in Wikipedia? [2] clearly shows that people are not using it in a historical context, and they are using it to refer to the northern region of Belgium. So that shows usage, and it also shows that by having this article under the title "Flanders", we're making Wikipedia confusing to navigate. Gronky (talk) 20:18, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
Very strange! To me that list, apart from all the municipality template links (which also link to other articles on the modern political areas) clearly shows that people are using it in a historical context, to an even greater extent than I would have expected. I wonder if you realize the dates of some of these biographies etc? If the templates were changed to go to Flemish Region, which maybe they should be, the preponderance of historical articles would be much more stark. Johnbod (talk) 04:07, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
I opened the first screenful of links from that page:
Hmm. Neck-a-neck. I guess this doesn't support either of us, but suggests that having "Flanders" point to one or the other leads to misusage in either direction. Maybe it should be a link to a disambiguation page and let the reader pick which one they're expecting to read about.
I still say that modern usage is focussed on the Belgian region rather than the historical region.
And to not forget the point that started this thread, I still don't think it's right for Wikipeida to call Flanders a nation. Gronky (talk) 03:55, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
There was a bit of a similar issue at Wallonia, and in my opinion the new solution handles it quite nicely. Note the terminology section right after the lead that explains the different meanings of the term. Granted, this situation is made significantly more complicated by French Flanders, West and East Flanders, Zeelandic Flanders and Brussels, but the solution found in Wallonia's case might be a good starting point for a solution to the issues here. Oreo Priest talk 07:29, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
That seems essential;ly what we have here, though the lead here certainly needs tidying (links not on 1st mentions etc). But Wallonia in English is a vastly more obscure term than Flanders. Johnbod (talk) 14:26, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
True, but I think this article could benefit from a partial refocusing. Perhaps make it clear that this article is about the current area of Belgian Flanders (Flemish Region), whereas historically it extended over much more, and have the history section include the wider focus. The Flemish Region's infobox would also probably be beneficial. Oreo Priest talk 16:52, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
Also, the history section is excessively long. It should be forked to History of Flanders and a summary should be included here. Oreo Priest talk 17:58, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

This article lacks focus - merger proposal[edit]

This article lacks focus, and it is quite frankly a bit of a mess. It is true that this article needs to deal with two main ideas of the word "Flanders" - the historical area and the modern northern half of Belgium. Given, however, that there is extensive overlap, I think this can be massaged into a single, cohesive article, and I think having the core of the content smeared across three articles, namely this one, Flemish Region and Flemish Community, is not a great idea.

We should half-merge the content from Flemish Region into this one, and use the infobox, which gives all the vital statistics, like population, area, capital, GDP, etc, in one place. We implemented a similar solution with Wallonia, and I think you'll agree that that works quite well, and that the article gives you more or less all the information you need in one place. We should also still include all of the history and culture of Flanders in the historical sense in this article, in much the same way the article on Germany includes info on Prussia, Germanic tribes and Immanuel Kant (who lived in Königsberg, which is no longer part of Germany). Just as we have in Wallonia, we should have a terminology section explaining clearly what the difference between the different meanings of the term is. Right now it is spread across two sections, the lead (which is a mess) and a shabby "The term "Flanders"" section, and it's not at all clear what the article is about until you're done reading it. For example, the current Geography, Climate and Demographics sections are only about the Flemish Region, which is normal, but not at all made clear. By streamlining the infobox and the lead, it would make it much more clear what the scope of the article is. As this article is clearly the main article on the Flemish Region, we should move that page to Flemish Region (federal region) for further information on the constitutional region itself and add a hatnote, just as we have for Wallonia, and make this page the one-stop shop for all information on Flanders. I really think this could work quite well. Thoughts? Oreo Priest talk 23:10, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

Dear, you did a great effort in analysing the situation and thinking about better ways of expalining to the readers what's Flanders. However, I think you make some findamental errors:
# Your comparison between Flanders and Wallonia is fundamentally flawd as Wollonia is always the region. Exceptionnnally, one sees, since a few years both french- and Ducth-speakers speak about Wallonbia, when they basically mean the French-speaking community. On the other hand, for Flanders, there is much more then just the region. Even more, the Flemish Region doesn't have a Parliament anymore, nor a governement. It has unanimously ceded all its competencies given to it by the Belgian constitution to the Flemish Community.
# That being said, you are right to move those informations that are only relevant for the Region to the section on the Region.
# —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rudi Dierick (talkcontribs) 12:04, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
You are right that the situation for Flanders has several differences from that of Wallonia. There are, however, many similarities, and the reference to Wallonia was as an example of a solution to a similar problem, not as an exact equivalent. Oreo Priest talk 06:31, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

Incorrect map[edit]

The current map of Flanders is incorrect. See File talk:Flanders in Belgium and the European Union.svg for details. If someone knows how to fix it, please do. Cheers, Van der Hoorn (talkcontribs) 19:36, 24 March 2010 (UTC)

Flanders lacks a little piece (Voeren) but Wallonia too (Comines). Is it absolutely important? These maps are something such an abstract? I think. Comines is in Flanders and Voren is in Wallonia but... I don't say that I am in favour of these locations! Hartelijk, José Fontaine (talk) 19:50, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
I'll ask the creator to deal with it. Oreo Priest talk 21:47, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
I think The Creator may be a little busy...Buster7 (talk) 04:04, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

Confusion[edit]

What is meant by this sentence: "The use of the name Belgium in the legal name of only one Community has led to enormous political discourse throughout Belgium". --78.21.166.174 (talk) 08:52, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

It was unclear to me too at first. It means one is called Flemish community (Vlaamse Gemeenschap) while the other is called of French community of Belgium (communauté française de Belgique). Correjon (talk) 00:08, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

Political 'cartel'[edit]

[Initial paragraph copied from my talk page -Oreo Priest talk 20:32, 2 February 2011 (UTC)]
Hi Oreo Priest. Sorry for again overthrowing your edit, but your wording would misleadingly have been interpreted as if two parties had contested the result of the election, perhaps a more often occuring or talked about possibility than forming a cartel before the elections, especially for readers from countries where such cartel never occurred in politics. That does not mean that the term 'cartel' is wrong in another context than the more common commercial cartel. I think that the Belgians and others may have been creating this political extension of 'cartel' not only in French and Dutch, but it is also dripping into the English language texts distributed e.g. in Britain. The context in the article 'Flanders' certainly does not allow the term to become misinterpreted, it can only make readers aware of the extended usage; and the nature of the before the elections publicly announced cartel (officially presenting both otherwise still autonomous parties together as a single election list and with a common programme, to act together in full agreement as if one party after the elections according to the preset agreement defending/fighting specific topics together be it in government or in opposition), constitutes a cartel, there is no short way to give that meaning accurately. See also e.g.:

While in 2004 a cartel was formed by CD&V-NVA, there already existed the cartel SP.a-Spirit (2003 federal election). The term was new in a political context then, also in Dutch and I assume in French. Though it might have been intentionally derogatory at first, it appears that the in both languages identical term for this rather recent political development, quickly became neutral and meanwhile established and has been taken into the English language, which like French and Dutch used to know that term limited to the economical meaning only.
Previously, there used to be many rumours about 'secret' pre-election agreements (demanding the other party to be also included in a coalition government before joining that coalition if one got the better negotiation handle, and consequently in one of Belgium's many parliaments voting along the same lines for specific themes); some of those unofficialized agreements had been rather confirmed afterwards; very rarely the existence (but not the precise contents) of such agreement had even been made public before an election.
For municipal elections, cartel lists had been created much earlier and often by a new list name, rather a local party formed by local candidates belonging to two or more different national or regional political parties, as far as I know not as top-level party decisions. These generally drew much less public attention, and probably enjoyed extremely little international exposure - though were not completely unnoticed, e.g.:

The term 'cartel' only showed up in the larger political arena, for the formal and by election law presented single list with candidates from two entire parties that formed a (temporary) specifically limited union only for a particular election and the government period that was to follow (though such cartel might have continued for later elections). During the cartels, each party held on to its own separate party structure and party meetings. It has the side-effect of not knowing how many voters backed each cartel party, making comparisons between consecutive elections of which some had the 'normal' separate lists a mere conjecture.
Hm, with a bit more decent fact verification and proper referencing, most of the above might become an article 'Cartel (politics)' with a link from Cartel (disambiguation) and from the term 'cartel' in article 'Flemish'. Unfortunately however, the political term 'cartel party' already has another established meaning:

This text and also the one by Blomme and Verstraete mention Katz and Mair’s (1995) theory of the "cartel party" that as I understand refers basically or simplistically to financing all parties with enough influence not to be overlooked, by state resources - a rather perverse self-sustaining trend or tendency with negative aspects similar to commercial cartels. There is no risk of anyone assuming this kind of cartel to be intended in the current context of the term in the article 'Flanders'.
Kind regards,​▲ SomeHuman 2011-02-02 13:18 - corrected, added, revised until 20:27 (UTC)

Hi. What you wrote is very interesting, and no doubt correct. While you've done a good job of justifying the use of the term to me, the problem is that the term's meaning will not be clear to the reader. It is clear that the cartel between the two parties is not a cartel like in commerce or a drug cartel, but it's not clear what it actually is. I think if you link the term to a meaningful, even if brief, Wikipedia or even dictionary entry, then that's fine and context enough. Until then, I think that we should avoid using what is essentially a neologism that the reader is unlikely to understand in favour of alternative wording. I'm going to revert again for now to the alternative wording, pending some sort of description in the namespace about what cartel means in this context. I hope that's OK with you. Oreo Priest talk 20:39, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
Indeed. As you've read here above, I had been thinking of a linked article for this kind of cartel, but could not immediately find a name that clearly distinguishes it from the 'cartel party' theory. I'm thinking of creating the stub 'Cartel (formal pre-election agreement)' with just enough references to warrant its acceptance in WP article space. The 'Flanders' article would then contain: " [[CD&V]] and [[N-VA]] (publicly having formed a [[Cartel (formal pre-election agreement)|cartel]]).".
Meanwhile, I'm rephrasing your "(who had formally contested the election together)", for the same reason I had to revert it earlier: the verb 'to contest' does not only mean 'to compete', but as 1st dictionary meaning 'to make the subject of dispute, contention, or litigation' ('to contend' has the same ambiguity) - while our context does not show whether 'the election' refers to 'presentation to the electoral' (the truth) or to 'declared outcome of the election' (a lie signifying that the parties together had subjected a formal complaint [as has occurred for some localities after municipal elections]). I assume you can agree with "(who had subjected themselves to the voters on a shared election list)".​▲ SomeHuman 2011-02-03 05:21 (UTC)
Generally you contest an election when you participate, but you contest the results of an election when you think there was fraud. Still, I think your criticism of what I wrote is reasonable. The catch is that to 'subject yourself' means to 'suffer' or 'endure'. I reworded it again, let me know what you think. May I also suggest you use the much simpler title cartel (electoral agreement) for the article you want to create? That it's formal and pre-election would be better explained in the article's body. Oreo Priest talk 10:55, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
'Political parties subject themselves to voters' does not mean that they will suffer, it means that they put themselves (as at times obliged by law in a democracy) vulnerable to the voters' will. But I understand what you imply, it sounds as if they had to fear losing because of something that had just happened and for which they might have been held responsible - nothing like that had been the case. I removed 'in that election' from your newest phrase: reading it in context makes that most obvious and it made a moment later 'electoral list' too repetitive - fine link there!
Article name: I prefer to prevent editors starting to use the coined 'cartel' also for secret agreements.​▲ SomeHuman 2011-02-03 12:59 (UTC)
Remember that the article title won't really show up anywhere. And if it were the case (and I'm not convinced that it would be) that sometimes it's used on Wikipedia to mean a secret agreement, the nuances would be better described in a single article, rather than two with separate titles. Still, suit yourself I guess. As for the article Flanders, I'm happy with the way that section is now. Oreo Priest talk 17:33, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
Were there two related meanings, a single article could be appropriate. The meaning I intend to exclude however, does not have that term coined - not even as neologism, for all I know. Therefore readers should be discouraged to insert their understanding of the related topic. I presume their undesired intention to appear more readily upon their reading the article from its beginning, not in the midst of an edit for another purpose; hence the then seen title may help. A link expectedly only showing 'cartel' will not directly entice anyone to an insertion about a topic that is not called 'cartel'.​▲ SomeHuman 2011-02-03 20:01 (UTC)
This rationale goes as well for excluding formal post-electoral agreements at the basis of coalition governments, and those are occasionally referred to as 'electoral agreements' [3][4] (be it far less often than pre-election agreements). The length (within reason) of the diambiguating element of the title is irrelevant: that should never show up where the article gets linked, as you realized.
The kind of agreement that is to be described in that 'cartel' article, is not necessarily unique to Flanders (e.g. assumedly slightly similar "The Labour Party is a membership organisation consisting of Constituency Labour Party’s, affiliated trade unions, socialist societies and the Co-operative Party, with which it has an electoral agreement."); the usage of this English language neologism however, appears still to be limited to Flemish cartels - though I'll be googling around before mentioning that in the (sandbox) article.
Apart from intricacies related to presenting an in English still rare and recent use of a term, I anticipate accusations of original research less I manage to find sources that allow sufficient statements for a fair description of the topic; the minor project might have to be put on hold because of it requiring a major investment of my time. Then I'm quite glad with your work-around in the article Flanders, and links from elsewhere can only be expected in articles about Belgian politics etc. On the other hand, a neologism used only in specialists' texts would not likely obtain Featured Article status anyway – and other editors might like to improve what I may present, to avoid deletion.​▲ SomeHuman 2011-02-05 07:13-07:21 (UTC)
Yeah, especially when you put it like that, it seems like it's best explained inline rather than creating an article. Oreo Priest talk 15:51, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
Preliminary research showed a few surprises on this WP (not to speak of a few other language WPs). E.g. electoral alliance, kartel (without links between those [I just linked the readily available term in each] and no link to 'kartel' from the cartel (disambiguation) [I took care of it, also for 'cartel party' theory]), nothing in 'electoral alliance' about Belgium (for which I privately prepared a short cartel article text with a different approach and information I did not find elsewhere, though it needs more referencing). Political alliance redirects to stub Political coalition wrong name, wrong redirect, or needs clarity about what one might interpret to be such alliance or coalition, not to be merged into Electoral alliance according to my own statement on the latter's talk page). The stub has a section for a list of 'political coalitions' while a list 'Political organizations' is a section of article 'Alliance' in general. Some work certainly needs to be done, I'm still figuring out by myself where I'd best go from here.​▲ SomeHuman 2011-02-06 15:30-16:18 (UTC)

Crossroads of civilisation?[edit]

What is this statement close to the start of the article supposed to mean: For centuries, Flanders has served as the crossroads between the French, German, and British civilizations. It seems very woolly. Would we be better without it? Van Speijk (talk) 14:35, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

It probably would be; it doesn't seem to have that much substance. Oreo Priest talk 19:23, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I agree. I'll remove it. Van Speijk (talk) 20:16, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

Louis XIV captured 'French-speaking' areas?[edit]

I think there are some errors in the following fragment, found in the subsection 'Historical parts of the County of Flanders': In 17th and 18th century, king Louis XIV of France captured more French-speaking areas in southern Flanders still referred to as French Flanders or la Flandre Lilloise. French Flanders contains the departements Nord and Pas de Calais), comprising the arrondissements of Lille and Douai. There are several errors here: Louis XIV captured of course areas that were Dutch-speaking at that time; the areas he occupied now make up the totality of French Flanders, not only Flandre Lilloise; and French Flanders is surely not the same as the two departements Nord and Pas de Calais. --Blancefloer (talk) 08:23, 16 September 2011 (UTC)

Flemish football teams[edit]

Club Brugge, Cercle Brugge, Kortrijk, Zulte Waregem, Oostende, Roeselare, Gent, Lokeren, Antwerp, Royal Antwerp, Beerschot AC, Mechelen, Lierse, Westerlo, Genk, Sint-Truidense, Lommel, Aalst, Denderleeuw, Leuven, Waasland-Beveren,(and in the past, Geel)... What else? What about Brussels-teams? What about Anderlecht? What about FC Brussels? Böri (talk) 10:45, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

Individual sports teams shouldn't be included at all. Oreo Priest talk 04:30, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

What does this mean?: "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." The words in question is a statement, which happens to come from the constitution, ie. is a quote from the constitution. Whether it has any legal effect - not value - that is an entirely different matterRoyalcourtier (talk) 04:30, 15 March 2014 (UTC)

Flanders is ....[edit]

Flanders is something isn't it? At the moment we have a WP:REFERS problem where Flanders today normally refers to this, and historically it referred to that. Usually only disambiguation pages, or articles about a term (such as Gay (term)) use "refers". I understand it has shifting boundaries, but all boundaries shift. The Poland article doesn't begin "Poland today refers to...".

Today Flanders normally refers to one thing, but neither officially so nor exclusively so. Though the many uses of the term are related, they are not so different as to justify dismissing them with a disambiguation link. Especially in their histories, they are intertwined, and this article addresses the shared history and present-day Belgian Flanders. I'm concerned that the language 'Flanders is a region in Belgium' not only fails to capture the nuance, but seems to actively exclude other things covered in this article. Oreo Priest talk 08:21, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
The point being made about WP:REFERS would imply splitting the article into different ones about the "different meanings", but the problem there is that the meanings never strictly split from each other, but rather merge into each other, and have evolved one from the other. They overlap, and to explain one, requires explaining the other, meaning that the resulting articles would cover very similar information. Indeed, one of the articles would effectively be the history article which we already have. I would also point out that the opening sentence has no "WP:REFERS" issue, and what is being pointed to is a later sentence in the lead which points to a broader historical context. So all in all I see no major actions necessary?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 05:19, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
Well put. I'd also like to emphasize that WP:REFERS is a sylistic guideline, which points out that it is usually poor style to use the word 'refers'. Here, there is not only a stylistic reason, but also an important semantic reason we use the word 'refers'. With this in view, non-conformity to the broad style suggestion should not be any reason for concern. Oreo Priest talk 08:40, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
Yes and that is a common misreading of such guidelines, indeed. But there are enough places in WP content guidelines where it is at least implied that having this type of situation might be a sign that an article could be improved by being split. So I was jumping directly to the question of whether this is such a case. At first sight, I do not believe it is.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 13:33, 18 June 2014 (UTC)