], former county in the Low Countries, extending along the North Sea and W of the Scheldt (Escaut) River. It is divided among East Flanders
and West Flanders
provs., Belgium; Nord and Pas-de-Calais depts., France; and (to a small extent) Zeeland prov., the Netherlands. The name Flanders is also used for all the Dutch-speaking areas of Belgium. Flanders varied considerably in size in the course of its history and at one time also included Artois and parts of Picardy. In Belgian Flanders, Dutch is spoken by the majority of the inhabitants.
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