Niels I, Grand Duke of Flandrensis

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H.R.H. Grand Duke Niels 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
Personal information
Born 23 February 1988 (1988-02-23) (age 30)
Citizenship Flandrensisian
Nationality Belgian
Religion Roman Catholic

Niels of Flandrensis (aka Niels de Saint Gilliens) 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 15th, 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

Niels interest for micronationalism started when he discovered information about the Beauluna, Sealand and Molossia. Those days Niels was a student History and Religion, with a great interest in the medieval county of Flanders. On September 4th, 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 22nd, 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

Niels is considered an expert of Antarctic micronationalism and an innovator in Belgian micronationalism. As one of the three founding fathers of the first Antarctic micronational organization; GAMA (Grupo Del Acuerdo Micronational Antartico) and being its first Secretary-General he reorganized the organization into the Antarctic Micronational Union. During his reign as Secretary-General the concept of Antarctic micronationalism and the AMU has been heavily criticized by Gordon Freeman, Secretary-General of the OAM. But he defended the concept and his believe in Antarctic micronationalism.

Micronationalism isn’t well-known in Belgium, except some Dutch-speaking micronations from the Micras Sector. Unfortunately, most of them consider Flandrensis as secessionists and they want nothing to do with Flandrensis. In December 2010 he made an attempt to establish informal relations between all Dutch-speaking micronations by publishing an open letter, but there was no response from the Micras Sector. Although, he developed Flandrensis into the biggest territorial micronation in Belgium. Meanwhile, he helped with the foundation of three other Dutch-speaking micronations: the Principality of Arkel (disbanded in 2016), Kingdom of Albion (disbanded in 2012) and the Principality of Campinia (disbanded in 2017). Between 2010 and 2016 they cooperate together inside the Flandrensisian Commonwealth with Niels as the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth.

After the participation of Flandrensis in PoliNation 2012 (2nd International Conference on Micronations on July 14th, 2012 at London) the Belgian newspapers Het Belang van Limburg and Gazet van Antwerpen published an interview about Flandrensis as part of a reportage on European micronations. During the next years he had been interviewed by several newspapers, radio and television. Niels is highly involved in the international community of micronations and he’s a frequent guest at meetings and international conferences of micronations.

Micronational conflicts

Niels 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 24th, 2010 with the signature of the ‘West-Antarctic Treaty’ between the AMU and Westarctica, a result of negotiations between Niels and Travis McHenry. Learning from his mistakes Niels changed the Flandrensisian 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 10th, 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

Awards and decorations

Titles

Awards

Other functions

GAMA vlag.jpgAntarctic Micronational Union:

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

COF.pngFlandrensisian Commonwealth:

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

Albion.pngKingdom of Albion

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

Flag of Arkel.pngArkel:

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

Others:




Fleeuw.png

Website
People

Niels of Flandrensis | Hein of Giddis | Jürgen of Bruggia | Maarten of Arkel

Regions

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

Overseas territory

Duchy of Caledon | Duchy of Saeftinghe | Duchy of Snow Hill

Government

DRP | NPF | FP | MPF | FRVV

Commonwealth

Flandrensisian Commonwealth | Principality of Arkel | Grand Principality of Campinia

Media

Gazet van Giddis

Misc

Flandri | National Anthem Flandrensis | Holy Military Order of Saint Polycarpus | Flandrensisian Coat of arms | Order of Flandrensis | Flag of Flandrensis