The lion of Flanders, designed in 1162 and since adopted as a symbol of Flemish culture.

Flemings (Dutch: Vlamingen) are a Germanic ethnic group, who speak Flemish Dutch. They are mostly found in the contemporary region of Flanders. They are one of two principal ethnic groups in Belgium, the other being the French-speaking Walloons. The Flemings make up the majority of the Belgian population (about 60%). Historically, all inhabitants of the medieval County of Flanders were called Flemings, irrespective of the language spoken. The contemporary region of Flanders comprises a part of this historical county, as well as parts of the medieval duchy of Brabant and the medieval county of Loon.

Flemings in "Uncle Alf"Edit

Belgium, the homeland of the Flemings, was occupied by Germany during the Great War of 1914. So was France, in whose northern regions many Flemings lived.[1] Feldgendarmerie Feldwebel Adolf Hitler was pleased by the presence of Flemings in Lille, as he considered them of excellent Germanic stock, close to his own kind and far superior to the "degraded" French. Jean-Marie Gantois, a local priest, had views on the subject to Hitler's liking. Much to Hitler's disappointment, most Flemings were content to assimilate as Frenchmen.[2]

Hitler came to realize that his German accent could pass as Flemish. Thus, he assumed the persona of Koppensteiner, a Flemish merchant from Antwerp, when he went undercover in search of communist agitator Jacques Doriot.[3]


  1. "Uncle Alf", generally.
  2. Atlantis and Other Places, p. 348.
  3. Ibid., p. 351.

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