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Much of the mythology in Flanders involves the Lion of Flanders.The lion has been the symbol of the counts of Flanders since the Crusades, and became the symbol of Flemish emancipation since independence.It was later changed to a milder version that placed obedience to king and law on the same footing as liberty.Symbols are more numerous and more powerful in the Flemish political culture than in the other parts of the country or the nation as a whole.
Because of the Christian roots of the Flemish movement, the main slogan associated with this has a strong religious connotation.After the 1830 revolution and the establishment of an independent kingdom, Belgium became the official name of the country. The country is located at the western end of the northern European plain, covering an area of 11,780 square miles (30,510 square kilometers); the neighboring states are France, Luxembourg, Germany, and the Netherlands.The two main rivers are the Schelde and the Meuse, both of which begin in France and flow toward the Netherlands. Flanders (northern part of the country) is less hilly than Wallonia (southern part).There is a great diversity of Flemish dialects which differ in vocabulary and pronunciation.
French is still spoken in Flanders by some people in the upper and upper middle classes as well as along the linguistic border and around Brussels.Brussels, the capital, has approximately 1 million residents, and the second city, Antwerp, has half a million.