As a Flemish (Dutch Vlamingen ) to denote the Dutch-speaking inhabitants of the Flemish Region of Belgium and part of the Dutch-speaking inhabitants of the Brussels -Capital Region. Flemings make up almost 60 % of all Belgians. Often meant by the term Flemish Dutch or Flemish all Belgian residents, even if do not understand all Dutch-speaking Brussels as Flemish.
Historically, Flanders and Flemish refers only to the provinces of West Flanders and East Flanders or to the former county of Flanders, which is the western part of present-day region of Flanders.
Even in the extreme north of France, near Dunkirk, live Flemings, though here mostly speak only the older " South " or " Westhoekflamen " their Flemish dialects, while the younger residents increasingly use only the French an official language, despite the proximity to the Belgian Flanders. However, the Flemish consciousness is not lost in spite of language change. The approximately 200,000 people see themselves as partly not as Frenchmen, but as " Flemish " of French nationality. In schools, where as before the French national language, Dutch is offered as an elective. For the so-called " Flemish French" it has economic benefits, being able to communicate in Dutch, especially in finding a job in Belgium.
Most Flemish people speak in addition to their Flemish dialect or her Dutch mother tongue at least one (often two or three ) other language like English, German or French.
In the 12th and 13th centuries many Flemings migrated from within the Holy Roman Empire and settled in newly developed areas east of the Elbe, which mainly reflects the name of the region flaming.