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About the ancient territory of Flanders (1915)

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An ancient name is Flanders

Question: I sometimes read about Flanders in the war reports from Europe. What country or territory is meant by Flanders? Does it refer to Belgium? Will you tell me something about it? -T.M.

Answer: Way back in the ninth century that territory that extends along North Sea from the Strait of Dover to the River Scheldt was known as Flanders. It was ruled by France, but its government was directed by the counts of Flanders, who were famous for their wealth and political power.

In 1529, when Flanders was freed from homage to France, part of the country was claimed by Belgium, and part was acquired by France; the remainder became part of the Austrian Netherlands. When the new kingdom of Belgium was formed this later portion was divided into what is now known as East Flanders and West Flanders.

The cities of Bruges, Ypres and Ostend are located in West Flanders. Ghent is the capital of East Flanders. When you read about Flanders in the war reports, it’s doubtless these Belgian provinces that are referred to, though both Belgium and Holland, which were both part of the ancient Flemish principality, are sometimes called Flanders.

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