Archive picture from previous 11 July celebrations.
© VRT

Why is 11 July the Flemish holiday?

11 July is the National Day of the people of Flanders. On Flanders Day we mark the anniversary of the Battle of the Golden Spurs in 1302 when an army of Flemish townspeople set to the flight the knights of the king of France.

The battle takes its name from the hundreds of knights' spurs that lay on the battlefield, the Groeningekouter, outside Kortrijk afterwards.

The victory was an important one as it prevented Flanders from being incorporated into the kingdom of France and allowed it to continue to develop as a separate entity.

Across Flanders festivities are being organised today - though this year this has been downsized due to obvious corona restrictions. For our political leaders it is also an occasion to dwell on nationhood. 

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