Nicholas I, Grand Duke of Flandrensis

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H.R.H. Nicholas de Merch d'Oyenberghe, Grand Duke of Flandrensis
Photo at the micronational conference in Vincennes (2018)
Grand Duke of Flandrensis
Assumed office
September 2008
Predecessor Throne established
Prince of Arkel
Assumed office
2012-2016
Predecessor Maarten of Arkel
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Flandrensis
Assumed office
15 October 2012
Predecessor Maarten of Arkel
Prime Minister of the Principality of Arkel
Assumed office
2009 - 2012
Prince Maarten of Arkel
Secretary-General of the Flandrensisian Commonwealth
Assumed office
2010-2016
Predecessor Function established
Secretary-General of the AMU
Assumed office
January–June 2010 & July–October2012
Successor James von Puchow & Daniel Morris
Commissioner of Foreign Affairs of the AMU
Assumed office
October 2011 - July 2012
Predecessor Federico Curridor
Vice Secretary of the AMU
Assumed office:
March 2013 - Augustus 2013
Administrative-General of the AMU
Assumed office:
Augustus 2013
Predecessor Travis McHenry
Personal information
Born 23 February 1988 (1988-02-23) (age 32)
Citizenship Flandrensisian
Nationality Belgian
Religion Roman Catholic

Nicholas of Flandrensis (aka Nicholas de Mersch d'Oyenberghe) is the founder and the head of state of the Grand Duchy of Flandrensis. He is one of the co-founders of the Antarctic Micronational Union and was elected as its first Secretary-General on January 15, 2010. Well-known for his disapproval toward micronational conflicts and the foundation of the Union Against Micronational War he was awarded with three micronational peace-awards. Transforming Flandrensis from a temporary hobby into a serious project he has been interviewed and mentioned in several international media (regional and national newspapers, television network channels, radio, books, scientific / cultural magazine, etc.) about Flandrensis or micronationalism in general.

Creating a new nation

Nicholas interest for micronationalism started when he discovered information about the Beauluna, Sealand and Molossia. Those days Nicholas was a student History and Religion, with a great interest in the medieval county of Flanders. On September 4, 2008 he official founded the Grand Duchy of Flandrensis, primarily inspired on the ‘Pagus Flandrensis’ (oldest Latin name of Flanders) and the Flemish history. Starting as a virtual micronation, he carefully searched unclaimed territory. On November 22, 2008 he transformed Flandrensis into an Antarctic micronation. The Antarctic Treaty prevented any new claims on Antarctica by countries. To get around this, he claimed the land as an individual and then founded a country, the Grand Duchy of Flandrensis, upon it.

Micronational influence

Contributions to micronationalism

Nicholas started Flandrensis in September 2008 but joined the micronational community at the end of that year. Between 2009 and 2011 he was mainly active in the MicroWiki community and represented Flandrensis in several micronational organisations (Grand Unified Micronational, Organisation of Active Micronations, League of Secessionist States, Antarctic Micronational Union, etc.). He became notorious in the community because of the diplomatic dispute with the micronation of Westarctica, which of course ended without any blood or violence. Nicholas is also one of the first who introduced the concept of ecological micronationalism. In 2009 he was one of the co-founders of the Antarctic Micronational Union and was elected as its first Secretary-General. He was later re-elected twice, until he left office in 2013. In 2016 he surprised the micronational community by leaving the AMU, also known as the FLEXIT. Very soon after, he launched the initiative for the “Micronational Declaration on Ecological Stewardship”. Together with 25 micronationalists he worked 6 months on the charter, the final result was presented and signed on June 23, 2017 at MicroCon in Atlanta (USA), a few weeks after President Trump withdraw the USA from the Paris Climate Accords. Nicholas also tried to develop micronationalism in Belgium and the Netherlands and helped several people with the foundation of their own micronation. Between 2010 and 2016 they cooperated together within the Flandrensisian Commonwealth with Nicholas as the Secretary-General. However, confronted with inactive citizens most of those micronations collapsed after a few years so Nicholas decided to disband the Commonwealth in 2016. Since 2016 he’s also involved in the Francophone micronational community and member of the MicroFrancophonie. At present day he spend most of his time dealing with Flandrensian affairs, contact with other micronations and raising awareness for climate change.

Micronational conflicts

Nicholas is great opponent of micronational wars and could be described as a micronational pacifist. Although, early 2009 he was involved in the Siple War with the Grand Duchy of Westarctica. Later he confessed he regret his decision to support Finismund in the conflict, a result of a lack of micronational experience. The dispute ended on September 24, 2010 with the signature of the ‘West-Antarctic Treaty’ between the AMU and Westarctica, a result of negotiations between Nicholas and Travis McHenry. Learning from his mistakes Nicholas changed the Flandrensian policy toward micronational conflicts, resulting in a permanent neutrality of the country. Considering that all wars are a failure of diplomacy, he founded the Union Against Micronational War on July 10, 2009. For his attitude toward micronational conflicts he was awarded with five micronational peace-awards. In 2014 the French newspaper “Le Journal du Dimanche” called him the “Woodrow Wilson of micronationalism”.

Titles

Flandrensian Titles and Orders

  • Vlag.jpg Grand Duke of Flandrensis
  • Vlag.jpg Grand Master in the Order of the Melting Mountain
  • Vlag.jpg Grand Master in the Order of Flandrensis

Awards and decorations

Non-Flandrensian Titles

  • Official Flag Westarctica.jpg Prince of Siple
  • ImvrassiaFlag.jpg Grand Duke of Imvrassia
  • ImvrassiaFlag.jpg Megas Domestikos of the Imvrassian Royal Guard
Defunct

Orders

Defunct

Awards

  • Slinky Empyre.pngOn 1 October 2009 the first Slinky Award of Appreciation for Peace was given to Nicholas for the formation of the Union Against Micronational War.
  • Flag of Calsahara Colony.jpgLegion of Peace
  • Archland.png The Invictus Cross (defunct)
  • Sqflag1.pngHero of the Republic of Subenia
  • Schneider Awards.pngSchneider Awards for promoting Peace
  • Yabloko flag.pngVision for Yabloko Award for promoting peace and unity among the micronational world
  • Uberflag.jpgChief Judge's Citation for Peace and Diplomacy

Nicholas was selected as DIME's "Micronationalist of the Month" for the month of August in 2019.[1]

Other functions

GAMA vlag.jpgAntarctic Micronational Union:

  • Secretary-General (15 January 2010 - 14 June 2010)
  • Secretary-General of the AMIS (1 January 2011 - 24 October 2011)
  • Commissioner of Foreign Affairs (17 October 2011 - 31 December 2011)
  • Commissioner of Foreign Affairs (1 January 2012 - 7 July 2012)
  • Secretary-General (8 July 2012 - 24 October 2012)
  • Vice-Secretary (1 March 2013 - 22 August 2013)
  • Administrative-General (22 August 2013- 18 September 2014)

COF.pngFlandrensisian Commonwealth:

  • Secretary-General (24 October 2010 - 11 April 2016)

Albion.pngKingdom of Albion

  • Prime Minister (12 July 2010 - 7 January 2012)

Flag of Arkel.pngArkel:

  • Prime Minister (14 January 2010 - 14 October 2012)
  • Prince (15 October 2012 - 11 April 2016)

Others:




Fleeuw.png

Website
People

Nicholas of Flandrensis | Maarten of Arkel | Hugo de Saint Paul

Regions

Carney Island | Cherry Island | Maher Island | Pranke Island | Siple Island

Commonwealth

Flandrensisian Commonwealth | Principality of Arkel | Grand Principality of Campinia

Misc

Flandri | National Anthem Flandrensis | Holy Military Order of Saint Polycarpus | Order of the Melting Mountain | Flandrensisian Coat of arms | Order of Flandrensis | Flag of Flandrensis | Gazet van Giddis | Flandrensis Times

References