Flushing (Dutch, Vlissingen), a fortified town and seaport of Holland, in the island of Walcheren, province of Seeland, on the N. shore of the estuary of the W. Scheldt, 50 m. S. W. of Rotterdam; pop. in 1867, 11,521. It is well built, and contains several churches, schools, and charitable institutions, an academy of sciences founded in 1705, a school of navigation, five market places, extensive dockyards, a town hall, a theatre, and an exchange, near which is a statue of Admiral de Ruyter, who was born here. The principal manufactures are beer, soap, and oil; but the inhabitants are chiefly engaged in commerce, and branches of industry subsidiary thereto. The port of Flushing is formed by two moles which break the force of the sea. The town is connected with the sea by two large and deep canals, navigable for first-class merchant ships, which enter the town and unload at the quays close to the warehouses. The number of vessels entering and clearing is about 100 annually. Like Briel it was called a "cautionary town," having been given to Queen Elizabeth as security for the subsidy and soldiers sent to assist the Dutch, under Sir Philip Sidney. The French took possession of the town in 1795, and made it a principal station for their fleets.
In 1809 it was bombarded and taken by the British under Lord Chatham, but was soon after evacuated. The new docks, completed in 1873, have made Flushing a rival of Antwerp in maritime and commercial activity. It is the only continental port east of the English channel which will admit the largest ships at all seasons.