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Niels of Flandrensis
|H.R.H. Grand Duke Niels of Flandrensis|
15 October 2012
|Predecessor||Maarten of Arkel|
15 October 2012
|Predecessor||Maarten of Arkel|
2009 - 2012
|Prince||Maarten of Arkel|
January-June 2010 & July-October2012
|Successor||James von Puchow & Daniel Morris|
October 2011 - July 2012
March 2013 - Augustus 2013
|Born|| February 23, 1988|
Niels of Flandrensis (born February 23, 1988) is the founder and the head of state of the Grand Duchy of Flandrensis and the Principality of Arkel. 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. Developed Flandrensis as the biggest territorial micronation in Belgium, Niels has been interviewed in Belgian regional media like the Krant van West-Vlaanderen, Radio 2, Belgian national television network RTBF and Roeselare TV. After the participation of Flandrensis in PoliNation 2012 the Belgian newspapers Het Belang van Limburg, Gazet van Antwerpen and Het Nieuwsblad published an interview about Flandrensis as part of a reportage on European micronations.
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.
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, Kingdom of Albion (disbanded in 2012) and the Principality of Campinia. Since October 24th, 2010 they cooperate together inside the Flandrensisian Commonwealth with Niels as the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth.
Niels has been interviewed in Belgian regional media like the Krant van West-Vlaanderen, Belgian national television network RTBF and Roeselare TV. 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.
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.
During communication with other micronations, he uses only titles of micronations which he is a citizen:
H.R.H. Grand Duke Niels I of Flandrensis, Grandmaster of the Order of Flandrensis, Grandmaster of the Order of Saint Polycarpus, Prince of Arkel, Prince of Siple, Viscount of Campinia, Laird of Lochaber, Knight Grand Cross in the Order of the Ladder, Grand Cordon in the Order of the Lion, Grand Commander in the Order of Beauluna, Secretary-General of the Flandrensisian Commonwealth
Awards and decorations
- Prince of Siple
- Baron of Leerdam
- Count of Nieuw-Vlaanderen
- Earl of Francisville
- Viscount of Greater Dorzhabad
- Viscount of the Grand Principality of Campinia
- Baron of Snow Orange
- The Invictus Cross
- Knight Commander of the Austenasian Order
- Officer in the Order of A1
- Knight Grand Commander in the Order of Beauluna
- Officer of the Order of the Blue Star
- Knight Grand Cross in the Order of the Ladder
- Knight in the Order of the Dragon
- Knight of the Order of the Sovereign Eagle
- Grand Officer in the Order of Merit of the Republic of Atlantis
- Member of the Order of Parsons
- Member of the Order of Lenin and the June Revolution
- Knight Companion of the Community of Landashir
- Grand Cordon in the Order of the Lion
- Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Hawk
- Knight in the Order of the Wyvern
- Count-Palatine of the Imperial Order of Reyla
- Knight in the Order of the Southern Cross
- On 1 October 2009 the first Slinky Award of Appreciation for Peace was given to Niels for the formation of the Union Against Micronational War.
- Legion of Peace
- Hero of the Republic of Subenia
- Schneider Awards for promoting Peace
- Vision for Yabloko Award for promoting peace and unity among the micronational world
- Chief Judge's Citation for Peace and Diplomacy
- Order of the People's State as recognition for his efforts to eliminate micronational warfare through the Union Against Micronational War.
Noble titles from defunct micronations
- Count of Ypresen
- Duke of Carney
- Tiarna of St George
- Lord in the Royal Order of Saint Christopher
- Knight in the Order of St. Edward the Confessor
- Count of Westcliff
- Member of the Order of Yabloko
- 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- ...)
- Secretary-General (24th October 2010 - …)
- Prime Minister (12th July 2010 - 7th January 2012)
- Prime Minister (14th January 2010 - 14th October 2012)
- Prince (15th October 2012 - ...)
- League of Secessionist States: Third Chief Justice (August 2011 - September 2011)
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