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The Kingdom of Belgium



In 1830, the Kingdom of Belgium was created out of the southern provinces of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands following a revolution in which the Catholic clergy opposed the Protestant Dutch king, William I. The national flag, adopted that same year, is a vertical tricolor of black, yellow, and red. On July 21, 1831, the first king of the Belgians, Leopold of Saxe-Coburg was inaugurated. This day is still the Belgian national holiday.

Belgium is a densely populated country not much larger than the state of Maryland. It is bounded on the north by The Netherlands, on the west by France, and on the east by Germany. The tiny nation of Luxembourg lies to the south. This strategic location has earned Belgium the nickname, “crossroads of Europe.” The Flemish, those residing in Flanders, the northern half of the country, speak Dutch. They make up the majority of Belgium’s population. Wallonia, the region closest to France, is occupied by the French-speaking Walloons. About 98 percent of Belgians are Catholic.


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The Kingdom of Belgium

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