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|Day of the Flemish Community|
|Also called||Feestdag van Vlaanderen|
|Observed by||Flemish Community, Belgium|
|Next time||11 July 2019|
|Related to||French Community Holiday, Day of the German-speaking Community of Belgium|
The Day of the Flemish Community of Belgium (Dutch : Feestdag van de Vlaamse Gemeenschap) is an annual commemoration in the Flemish Community in Belgium on 11 July which marks the anniversary of the Battle of the Golden Spurs (Guldensporenslag) in 1302.
The term Flemish Community has two distinct, though related, meanings:
Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a sovereign state in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the southwest, and the North Sea to the northwest. It covers an area of 30,688 km2 (11,849 sq mi) and has a population of more than 11.4 million. The capital and largest city is Brussels; other major cities are Antwerp, Ghent, Charleroi and Liège.
In 1302 the French king Philip IV sent an army to punish the Flemish citizens of Brugge, who earlier that year rebelled against the king and attacked the French governor of Flanders (the so-called Good Friday of Brugge).
Philip IV, called Philip the Fair, was King of France from 1285 until his death. By virtue of his marriage with Joan I of Navarre, he was also King of Navarre as Philip I from 1284 to 1305, as well as Count of Champagne. Although Philip was known as handsome, hence the epithet le Bel, his rigid and inflexible personality gained him other nicknames, such as the Iron King. His fierce opponent Bernard Saisset, bishop of Pamiers, said of him: "he is neither man nor beast. He is a statue."
The French army was composed of about 2,500 knights and squires, supported by about 5,500 infantry. The Flemish, in contrast, fielded a town militia force of 9,000 consisting mostly of infantrymen.
The two forces clashed on 11 July in an open field outside the Flemish city of Kortrijk and the battle ended with the overwhelming victory of the Flemish militia. The commander of the French army, Robert II of Artois was surrounded and killed on the battlefield. At least a thousand French cavaliers were also killed in the battle and the large number of the golden spurs collected from the field gave the battle its name.
Kortrijk is a Belgian city and municipality in the Flemish province of West Flanders.
The battle was romanticised in 1838 by Flemish writer Hendrik Conscience in his book De Leeuw van Vlaanderen (English: The Lion of Flanders).
Henri (Hendrik) Conscience was a Belgian author. He is considered the pioneer of Dutch-language literature in Flanders, writing at a time when Belgium was dominated by the French language among the upper classes, in literature and government. Conscience fought as a Belgian revolutionary in 1830 and was a notable writer in the Romanticist style popular in the early 19th century. He is best known for his romantic nationalist novel, The Lion of Flanders (1838), inspired by the victory of a Flemish peasant militia over French knights at the 1302 Battle of the Golden Spurs during the Franco-Flemish War.
Following the establishment of the three cultural and linguistic communities of Belgium in 1970, the Dutch Cultural Community (as it was known then) enacted a law on 6 July 1973, which prescribes the flag, the anthem and the day of the Dutch Cultural Community.
Belgium is a federal state comprising three communities and three regions that are based on four language areas. For each of these subdivision types, the subdivisions together make up the entire country; in other words, the types overlap.
Ever since then the Day of the Flemish community is observed in Flanders. Private employers are not required to award a day's holiday; however the institutions of the Flemish Government and public employers observe this holiday.
The Flemish Government is the executive branch of the Flemish Community and the Flemish Region of Belgium. It consists of a government cabinet, headed by the Minister-President and accountable to the Flemish Parliament, and the public administration divided into 13 policy areas, each with an executive department and multiple agencies.
Flanders is the Dutch-speaking northern portion of Belgium and one of the communities, regions and language areas of Belgium. However, there are several overlapping definitions, including ones related to culture, language, politics and history, and sometimes involving neighbouring countries. The demonym associated with Flanders is Fleming, while the corresponding adjective is Flemish. The official capital of Flanders is Brussels, although the Brussels Capital Region has an independent regional government, and the government of Flanders only oversees the community aspects of Flanders life in Brussels such as (Flemish) culture and education.
The Battle of the Golden Spurs was a military confrontation between the royal army of France and rebellious forces of the County of Flanders on 11 July 1302 during the Franco-Flemish War (1297–1305). It took place near the town of Kortrijk (Courtrai) in modern-day Belgium and resulted in an unexpected victory for the Flemish. It is sometimes referred to as the Battle of Courtrai.
De Vlaamse Leeuw is the official anthem of Flanders, a region and community in the federal Kingdom of Belgium.
The Flemish Movement is the political movement for greater autonomy of the Belgian region of Flanders, for protection of the Dutch language, for the overall protection of Flemish culture and history, and in some cases, for splitting from Belgium and forming an independent state.
John II of Avesnes was Count of Hainaut, Holland, and Zeeland.
The Battle of Mons-en-Pévèle was fought on 18 August 1304 between the French and the Flemish. The French were led by King Philip IV "the Fair" in person.
Pieter de Coninck was a weaver from Bruges well known for his role in the events surrounding the Battle of the Golden Spurs. He was not the head of the weavers' guild as is popularly believed. Together with Jan Breydel, a butcher, he was in the forefront of the popular uprising that led to the Battle of the Golden Spurs. Right before that battle he was knighted together with two of his sons.
Jan Breydel is credited with leading the Bruges Matins, a violent uprising against Philip the Fair.
The flag of Flanders, called the Vlaamse Leeuw or leeuwenvlag, is the flag of the Flemish Community and Flemish Region in Belgium. The flag was officially adopted by the Cultural Council for the Dutch Cultural Community in 1973, and later, in 1985, by its successor, the Flemish Parliament. In 1990, also the coat of arms was adopted as an official symbol.
The Belgian French Community Holiday is a holiday on 27 September, held only in the French Community of Belgium. It is also variously translated as Day of the French Community, French Community Day, Feast Day of the French Community , Festival of the French Community or other variants.
The Arms of the Flemish Community are: Or, a lion rampant sable, armed and langued gules. Although the lion has been in use for almost nine hundred years as the arms of the Count of Flanders, it only became the official symbol of the Flemish Community in 1973. At present its form and use is subject to the Decree of 7 November 1990.
The Flemish or Flemings are a Germanic ethnic group native to Flanders, in modern Belgium, who speak Flemish, but mostly use the Dutch written language. They are one of two principal ethnic groups in Belgium, the other being the French-speaking Walloons. Flemish people make up the majority of the Belgian population. Historically, all inhabitants of the medieval County of Flanders were referred to as "Flemings", irrespective of the language spoken. The contemporary region of Flanders comprises a part of this historical county, as well as parts of the medieval duchy of Brabant and the medieval county of Loon.
The Chest of Courtrai is a medieval oak chest that bears a carving depicting scenes from the Franco-Flemish War, including the 1302 Battle of the Golden Spurs at Kortrijk, Flanders, between Flemish citizen foot-soldiers and French Knights. The chest is among the few surviving contemporaneous depictions of those historically significant events.
On 23 August 1328, the Battle of Cassel took place near the city of Cassel, 30 km south of Dunkirk in present-day France. Philip VI, fought Nicolaas Zannekin, a wealthy farmer from Lampernisse. Zannekin was the leader of a band of Flemish independence rebels. The fighting erupted over taxation and punitive edicts of the French over the Flemish. The battle was won decisively by the French. Zannekin and about 3200 Flemish rebels were killed in the battle.
The Lion of Flanders, or the Battle of the Golden Spurs is a major novel first published in 1838 by the Belgian writer Hendrik Conscience (1812–83). An early example of the historical fiction genre, the Lion of Flanders focuses on the medieval Franco-Flemish War and the Battle of the Golden Spurs of 1302 in particular. It is written in Conscience's typical stylistic romanticism and has been described as the "Flemish national epic".
The Battle of Arques was fought on 4 April 1303 in the French city of Arques between the County of Flanders and the Kingdom of France.
The Franco-Flemish War was a conflict between the Kingdom of France and the County of Flanders between 1297 and 1305.
Willem van Saeftinghe was a lay brother in the Cistercian abbey of Ter Doest in Lissewege, West Flanders, Belgium. He fought at the Battle of the Golden Spurs, and became a Flemish folk hero.
The Yser Testament, officially the Open Letter to the King of Belgium Albert I, was an 11-page open letter addressed to King Albert I and published on 11 July 1917 during World War I. The letter's author, the philologist Adiel Debeuckelaere, set out a number of grievances relating to the treatment of the Flemish within the Belgian Army fighting on the Yser Front during World War I, especially concerning the perceived inequality of French and Dutch languages. It demanded that new legislation to equalise the status of the two languages be introduced after the war. The letter was the most famous action of the Frontbeweging and is considered an important moment in the history of the Flemish Movement.