The Frisian people in the Seafaring Confederation is an ethnic group located mainly around the North Sea, there especially surrounding the Heligoland Bight. It is an officially recognized people in the Seafaring Confederation, as well as having one official Frisian tribe: the Halunder Tribe living on Heligoland with approximately 1,400 members.
In the 2014 census, it was estimated that there were 2,133,978 Frisians, which constitutes approximately 4.8% of the total population.
The Frisian people are recognized by the Seafaring Confederation as an ethnic nation rather than a physical nation. This means that they are granted their own government and that they are not considered a minority in any of the nations that they live in; however, they do not own a physical nation, instead using the land provided to them by the nations to which they are native.
In Saxony, the counties of Frisia, Landkreis Leer, Landkreis Aurich, Emden, Landkreis Wittmund, Landkreis Friesland, Wilhelmshaven, Landkreis Ammerland, Landkreis Wesermarsch, Oldenburg Stadt and Kreis, Delmenhorst, Bremen, Landkreis Cuxhaven and Landkreis Osterholz, as well as the northern parts of Landkreis Cloppenburg, Landkreis Diepholz, Landkreis Rotenburg (Wümme) and Landkreis Stade, are recognized as official Frisian territory. There are also several small Frisian communities located in the counties of Groningen, Landkreis Emsland, Landkreis Vechta and Landkreis Verden. There is also a significant Frisian residence in Hamburg.
In Schleswig-Holstein-Jutland, the counties of Landkreis Dithmarschen, Landkreis Nordfriesland and Amt Jyllandske Østkyste are recognized as official Frisian territories. There are also several smaller Frisian communities located across the peninsula.
On Dogger, the Frisian have taken major residence in the Dunes of Idunna located on the southern half of the island. The municipalities of Suðurland, Viðirstómur, Sjóhus, Jæskur and Röfnaðstaður in Vestkystin and Svartháfnað, Gellhæðinni, Æskurdalur, Hæð and Jystir in Vittastrandinn are officially recognized as Frisian territory.
The island of Heligoland is also natively Frisian.
The Frisian people are divided amongst 4 communities and one tribe. These communities are the Dutch Low Saxon Frisians, the German Low Saxon Frisians, the Slesian-Holsteinian-Jutlandic Frisians and the Dogric Frisians; the tribe is the Halunder Tribe of Heligoland. All of these communities have their own flag and their own language.
The communities are the remnants of the historic Frisian tribes living in the various areas along the Wadden Sea coast, the oldest of which is the Dutch Low Saxon Community, also known as West Frisia, which became independent in 1581 and gave it up again in 1795 to become part of Saxony.
The German Low Saxon Community, also known as East Frisia, became separated from West Frisia when the county of Groningen became fully Saxon with the exception of a few villages bordering West Frisia. The territory of East Frisia decreased quickly until in 1785 most of East Frisia had become Saxon save for the several villages in Saterland, the peninsula of Butjadingen, and the Wadden Islands. This was then reversed and nowadays East Frisia is the largest Frisian community with the presence of Bremen within its part of the territory.
The Slesian-Holsteinian-Jutlandic Community, also known as North Frisia, is located along the west coast of the Jutland peninsula. It has historically been part of both Germany and Denmark, until Schleswig-Holstein-Jutland became independent in 1732. Under this new independence, the North Frisians spread along the entirety of the coast right up to the border with the Kingdom of Denmark.
The Dogric Community was created relatively recently due to mass emigration from the Frisians to Dogger after the take-over of Saxony by Nazi Germany. It adapted to the local culture, although they did create their own distinctive dialect from the Dogrish language as well as retained many aspects of their Frisian heritage. In the 1980s they acknowledged their roots and were accepted as a seperate community within the Frisian communities.
The Halunder Tribe of Heligoland are a group of people living on Heligoland between Schleswig-Holstein-Jutland and Dogger. Although administratively a part of Dogger, they have their own Tribal Council and are de facto independent and self-sufficient.
The Frisian people speak a distinct language belonging to the Anglo-Frisian languages.
The Dutch Low Saxon Frisians speak Westlauwers Frisian, the German Low Saxon Frisians speak East Frisian and Saterland Frisian, the Slesian-Holsteinian-Jutlandic Frisians speak North Frisian, the Dogric Frisians speak a dialect of Dogrish known as Dynninnarspróg, and the tribe of the Halunder of Heligoland speaks Halunder, which is a dialect of North Frisian. There are also several Low Saxon dialects spoken by several of the Frisians.
The presence of Saterland Frisian is a linguistical oddity, but came into existence due to the declining presence of Frisian in German Lower Saxony all the way up to 1785, when Frisian presence was practically non-existent except in Butjadingen, on the Wadden Islands, and in the small region of Saterland. After the return of the Frisians to the area, the Frisians started picking up onto the current East Frisian language, but the Saterlanders stuck to their version, which is still in use today.
West Frisian Flag
The West Frisian Flag consists of four blue and three white diagonal stripes; in the white stripes are a total of seven red pompeblêden, leaves of yellow water-lily, that may remind of hearts, but according the official instructions "should not be heart shaped". It is used by the Dutch Low Saxon Frisian community.
East Frisian Flag
The East Frisian Flag is a bannered flag with the upper banner black, the middle banner red and the lower banner blue. It is used by the German Low Saxon Frisian community.
North Frisian Flag
The North Frisian Flag is a bannered flag with the upper banner yellow, the middle banner red and the lower banner blue. It is used by the Slesian-Holsteinian-Jutlandic Frisian community.
Dogric Frisian Flag
The Dogric Frisian Flag is a bannered flag with the upper banner blue, the middle banner yellow and the lower banner green. It is used by the Dogric Frisian community in the Dunes of Idunna, by which it was officially accepted in 1983 in an inter-territorial attempt to recognize the different communities.
Flag of the Halunder Tribe of Heligoland
The Flag of the Halunder Tribe of Heligoland is a bannered flag with the upper banner green, the middle banner red and the lower banner white. It was accepted as the official flag upon the recognition of the tribe in 1845.
Attempts to create an inter-Frisian Flag
There have been attempts to create a flag to be used by the entirety of the Frisian territory, but these attempts have been met with public resistance. Most Frisians believe that, despite the fact that they do consider other Frisian areas as their equals, that they do not belong under one flag, even though there does exist an inter-Frisian Government.
Most inter-Frisian flags have featured a Nordic Cross, which has also been controversial, since most Frisian have started regarding themselves as completely independent from any possible inter-ethnic communities.