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Grand Duchy of Flandrensis
Flandrensis, domi nostrae
Long live Flandrensis
|Official language(s)||Dutch (Belgian)|
|- Grand Duke||Niels I|
|- Prime Minister||Hein of Giddis|
|Legislature||State-General of Flandrensis|
|- Type||- Unicameral|
|Established||4 September 2008|
|Area claimed||>14890 km²|
|Time zone||(UTC -8)|
|This nation is a member of AMU, UAMW and the Flandrensisian Commonwealth|
Flandrensis, officially the Grand Duchy of Flandrensis (Dutch: Groothertogdom Flandrensis), is a Belgian Antarctic micronation located in western Antarctica, but with its government headquartered in the Flanders region, in Belgium. A representative constitutional democracy with a monarch founded on September 4, 2008, it is ruled by a Grand Duke, presently Niels of Flandrensis, who is also its founder.
A highly-respected micronation in Antarctic micronationalism and the MicroWiki community, Flandrensis is a member of the Antarctic Micronational Union (founding nation) and the Union Against Micronational War (founder), reflecting the political consensus in favor of secessionism and its negative stance towards micronational warfare. Flandrensis is also the leading nation of the Flandrensisian Commonwealth, an intergovernmental organisation formed together with Arkel and Campinia.
Despite the current impossibility of visiting the Flandrensisian claims, the Grand Duchy identifies itself as a "sovereign, independent micronation", an "Antarctic territorial micronation" and as a "new nation project", and has appeared on the Belgian television and several newspapers. The Russian newspaper Chaskor described Flandrensis in 2010 as one of the most resonant micronations on Antarctica.
The origins of the nations name lay in the pagus Flandrensis, an area composed of Brugge (Bruges) and its immediate environs under the administration of the Frankish empire at the 9th century. Flandrensis is one of the oldest Latin forms of Flanders.
Flandrensis was created on September 4, 2008 as a virtual micronation, but later asserted territorial pretensions to five offshore islands located in the south western part of Antarctica: Carney Island, Cherry Island, Maher Island, Pranke Island and Siple Island.
Flandrensis was an innovator of Antarctic micronationalism in the community and is one of founding fathers of the Antarctic Micronational Union. Flandrensis became noticeable after their territorial conflict with the Grand Duchy of Westarctica and on September 24, 2010 Niels of Flandrensis and Travis McHenry, the founder of Westarctica, signed the West-Antarctic Treaty. This conflict was even mentioned in a Dutch travel magazine. After the conflict, Flandrensis changed its foreign policy toward micronational wars drastically. In 2009, Niels of Flandrensis founded the Union Against Micronational War and was rewarded with the first micronational peace award, the Slinky Award of Appreciation for Peace, and on April 12, 2011, received the Schneider Award for Promoting Peace.
On April 21, 2010, a story about the Belgian nobility and related subjects including a short segment about micronations and Flandrensis was aired on Questions à la Une, a programmed broadcast on Belgian national television network RTBF. In March 2011 Flandrensis was the subject of a documentary segment broadcast on West-Flemish regional channel, TV-Roeselare. On June 14, 2012 the West-Flemish regional newspaper De Weekbode published an article about Flandrensis.
States-General of Flandrensis
Founded as an absolute monarchy Flandrensis had seven constitutional reforms in almost three years. After the political crisis in May 2011 the government has fallen and had been replaced on May 21, 2011 by the States-General of Flandrensis (Dutch: Staten-Generaal van Flandrensis). This political form is mainly based on the States-General of the Netherlands (1464-1790), but modified it in a more modern version. The States-General exist out the Senate and House of Representatives.
The Senate is the legislative power and consists of five political factions, Flandrensisians who show interest and put effort in the management of Flandrensis:
- NPF (Nationalist Party of Flandrensis)
- DRP (Democratic Royalist Party)
- APPF (Antarctic Pirate Party of Flandrenis)
- Independent politicians (not bounded to a party)
The chairman of the Senate is the current head of state, Niels of Flandrensis. The Senate is further divided into two groups that form the executive power: Ministers and Secretaries of State.
- Prime Minister & Minister of General Affairs: Hein of Giddis
- Minister of Foreign Affairs: Maarten of Bruggia, Prince of Arkel
- Minister of Media & Communication: Lyam Desmet
The offices of Secretary of State (Defense, Culture, Economy, Justice) are temporary positions that are always associated with a task.
House of Representatives
The House of Representatives (Dutch: Kamer van Volksvertegenwoordigers) consist theoretically out all Flandrensisian citizens. Here, citizens can make proposals and give their opinions on certain subjects, and they are welcome at all meetings of the Senate. They will also be eligible for the office of Secretary of State. The House of Representatives is mainly a consultative body, the voice of the people.
Micronations are not well-known in Belgium, except the Flemish TV-micronation Robland (2006). Because of that program many Belgians considered micronationalism as a childish game (result of an survey by the Flandrensisian media). Although, Niels of Flandrensis succeeded to develop Flandrensis into the biggest territorial micronation in Belgium. Flandrensis helped with the foundation of the Dutch micronation Arkel (June 2009-vassal) and the Belgian micronation Albion. Those two nations wanted to use of all Flandrensisian institutions, until they would be strong and developed enough but they would remain full sovereign nations. On October 24, 2010 the Flandrensisian Commonwealth was founded with Flandrensis as the leading nation of it. In December 2011 the Kingdom of Albion left the Commonwealth and was disbanded, but in February 2012 another Belgian micronation, the Grand Principality of Campinia joined the Commonwealth.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
With the foundation of the Flandrensisian Commonwealth in October 2010, Flandrensis decided to share a common foreign policy with the other members of the Commonwealth. In other words, nations who recognize Flandrensis will also recognize the Commonwealth and its members. When a micronation offers diplomatic relations, Flandrensis will first investigate the micronation because Flandrensis follow and respect some criteria:
- The micronation must be at least 3 months old
- The micronation must have a website with clear and truthful information (population, territory, goals, etc.)
- The micronation should not be involved in a micronational war
- The micronation must meet the conditions of the Flandrensisian Constitution
Micronations can contact the Department of Foreign Affairs on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here for the list with recognized nations.
- Art 14.2: When a nation offer diplomatic relations to Flandrensis, they must prove that they already exist three months and that they are not involved in a micronational war.
- Art. 14.3: If a micronation interfering in the internal affairs or government in Flandrensis, the Flandrensisian government can take measures, or in worst case the withdrawal of recognition.
- Art. 14.5: Flandrensis don’t recognize nations who claims territory from already recognized nations by Flandrensis.
- Art. 14.6: Flandrensis is a neutral nation, no other nation can force Flandrensis to join a conflict.
- Art. 14.7: If Flandrensis discover that a recognized micronation violating human rights, than Flandrensis will immediately withdraw its recognition of that nation.
- Art. 14.8: If Flandrensis discover that a recognized micronation is guilty to the use of illegal internet activities (hacking and viruses), than Flandrensis will immediately withdraw its recognition of that nation.
- Art 14.10: Flandrensis only recognize Antarctic micronations who are member of the AMU.
The Flandrensis National Army Forces (FNAF) and the Flandrensis Security Intelligence Service (FSIS) are subordinated to the Department of Defense. After their involvement in the Great Micronational Antarctic War Flandrensis changed its policy on micronational conflicts. Grand Duke Niels of Flandrensis regret his involvement, he blames this to lack of micronational experience on that moment. Since then Flandrensis followed a strict neutrality, based on the model of Swiss. Hereby Flandrensis remain neutral in the Rhodesian War and the New Euro-Erusian War - two conflicts who tried to involved Flandrensis – and refused in 2009 a declaration of war by the Principality of Oud-Saeftinghe, also known as the Poaching Conflict. On July 10, 2009 Niels of Flandrensis founded the Union Against Micronational War, therefore Flandrensis was awarded with the first micronational peace award, the Slinky Award of Appreciation for Peace and several other awards and nominations, including the Schneider Awards for promoting peace. On July 6, 2011 Flandrensis broke all their alliances and announced neutrality in all micronational conflicts.
"Playing war has nothing to do with the true micronational spirit..."
(Niels of Flandrensis)
The Grand Duchy of Flandrensis is an Antarctic micronation and exist out 5 small islands: Siple Island, Cherry Island, Maher Island, Pranke Island and Carney Island. These islands are located in West-Antarctica, an unclaimed area. The ‘Antarctic Treaty’ (1959) prevented any new claims on Antarctica by countries. To get around this, Niels of Flandrensis claimed the land as an individual and then founded a country, the Grand Duchy of Flandrensis, upon it. He sent letters to the U.N., the E.U. and to the nations who signed the 'Antarctic Treaty' to inform them of his claim. All of these countries ignored Niels and his claim.
Although Flandrensis is primarily an West-Antarctic micronation, Flandrensis has a few small claims in Europe. These are personal property, or given by other micronations. These areas are transformed into small duchies and have a form of autonomy, but loyal to the Grand Duchy of Flandrensis.
Geography and climate
The geography of Flandrensis is dominated by its south polar location and, thus, by ice. Some 98% of Antarctica is covered by the Antarctic ice sheet, the world's largest ice sheet and also its largest reservoir of fresh water. Averaging at least 1.6 km thick, the ice is so massive that it has depressed the continental bedrock in some areas more than 2.5 km below sea level; sub glacial lakes of liquid water also occur. Geographically, Flandrensis is located in the West Antarctica region, also known as Lesser Antarctica. Lesser Antarctica is one of the two major regions of Antarctica, a part of the continent that lies within the Western Hemisphere.
Flandrensis is located in the largest volcanic region in Antarctica, covering a length of almost 960 km along the Pacific coast. One volcano, Mount-Siple is situated on one of the Flandrensisian islands. The volcanism is the result of rifting along the vast West Antarctic Rift, which extends from the base of the Antarctic Peninsula to the surrounding area of Ross Island, and the volcanoes are found along the northern edge of the rift.
Fauna and flora
The climate of Antarctica does not allow extensive vegetation. A combination of freezing temperatures, poor soil quality, lack of moisture, and lack of sunlight inhibit plant growth. As a result, plant life is limited to mostly mosses and liverworts. The flora of Flandrensis largely consists of lichens, bryophytes, algae, and fungi. A variety of marine animals exist and rely, directly or indirectly, on the phytoplankton. Antarctic sea life includes penguins (national animal), blue whales, orcas, colossal squids and fur seals. The Flandrensisian Constitution contains environmental laws to protect the fauna and flora in case that a Flandrensisian citizen would visit the territory.
Flandrensis works together with Arkel and Albion for all economic issues and by the Flandrensisian Commonwealth they share since November 2011 the same bank. The Commonwealth works with real micronational corporations, Flandrensis has on this moment two active companies: the Black Sun Corporation and the Gazet van Giddis, formerly the Flandrensis Times.
Despite the economic corporation in the Commonwealth, Flandrensis remains its national currency: the Flandri. The bills of the Flandri were designed in 2009 by Baron Frank Verkerk de Beauville, who've already designed the Lunar for the Principality of Beauluna. At the moment many micronations request the designer for develop their currencies he get ill and stopped to design. Hereby Flandrensis and Beauluna are the only micronations with a design from his hand.
Flandrensis has no citizens on their Antarctic territory, but it is certainly not a virtual nation on the internet. The first Flandrensisians were a group of friends of the founder who lived in the same area in West-Flanders, Belgium. Later more friends and family joined Flandrensis, with result that almost 70% of all Flandrensisians know each other in real life. Through this opportunity, Flandrensis developed a strong micronational-cultural identity with real-life meetings and cultural activities. Flandrensis has its own national food, drank, stamps and a festival.
Flandrensis had two media companies and three newspapers. The first company was Caravan Experience and they owned the Dutch newspaper Flandrensis Nieuws, in April 2010 the company became inactive. The second company is the Black Sun Corporation, they made several propaganda movies for Flandrensis and in October 2010 they took the Flandrensis Times over, the same day reformed into the Gazet of Giddis. Current Minister of Media is Lyam Desmet, CEO of the Gazet of Giddis.
But Flandrensis had also experience with macronational media. In 2010 the Russian online newspaper Chaskor published an article about the Antarctic micronationalism and described Flandrensis as one of the most resonant Antarctic micronations. On 21 April 2010 a story about the Belgian nobility and related subjects - including a short segment about micronations and Flandrensis - was aired on Questions à la Une, a programmed broadcast on Belgian national television network RTBF. In March 2011 Flandrensis was the subject of a documentary segment broadcast on West-Flemish regional channel, TV-Roeselare.
On June 14, 2012 the West-Flemish regional newspaper 'De Weekbode' published an article about Flandrensis, smaller versions of that article were published on the website of the media company Knack and the regional channel Focus/ WTV. After Polination - an international conference of micronations at London - Belgian media showed interest in Flandrensis. The 'Belang van Limburg' and 'Gazet van Antwerpen' published articles about the micronation in July 2012.
- Principality of Arkel
- Grand Principality of Campinia
- Flandrensisian Commonwealth
- Antarctic Micronational Union
- Union Against Micronational War
- Website of the Grand Duchy of Flandrensis
- Flandrensis on Wikipedia
- Official Facebook-page of Flandrensis
- Documentary about Flandrensis on Roeselare TV
- Columbus Magazine: Dutch travelmagazine who mentioned the conflict between Flandrensis and Westarctica
- Chaskor: Russian online newspaper who published an article about Flandrensis and other Antarctic micronations
- Weekbode: Article about Flandrensis in West-Flemish regional newspaper
- Knack: Article about Flandrensis on website of West-Flemish regional news company
- Focus/ WTV: Article about Flandrensis on website of West-Flemish regional Channel Focus/ WTV
- Belang van Limburg: Article about Flandrensis in Belgian newspaper
- Gazet van Antwerpen: Article about Flandrensis in Belgian newspaper
- Interview with Niels of Flandrensis on the Belgian Radio 2 (last 10 min)
- Flandrensis in Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad (short version)