Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Feestdag van Vlaanderen

The Day of the Flemish Community of Belgium (Dutch: Feestdag van Vlaanderen) is celebrated every year on 11 July in remembrance of the Battle of the Golden Spurs (more on that in this post) and is observed only by the Flemish Community in Belgium.

Approximately €1,5 million was spent by the Flemish government on this year's celebration. All I saw was a few flags, but I suspect that there was much merriment and gaiety.

Following the establishment of the three cultural and linguistic communities of Belgium in 1970, a law was enacted prescribing the flag, the anthem and the national holiday day of the Dutch Cultural Community, as it was known then. Here's the flag...

...and here's the anthem, a battle hymn written in 1847 by Hippoliet Van Peene to music by Karel Miry. Happy (belated) Flemish Community Day!


  1. Not my cup of tea. To me Flanders is a region of Belgium just like the Ardennes or the Waasland are areas. Separatism and flemish-nationalism are total strangers to me. If we would stop seeing Belgium as a collection of semi-sovereign states but instead as one united country, a lot of problems would be solved. Bring on the Belgian national holiday! :)

  2. Well, you know I neither care for the Flemish nor the Belgian holiday ;) I feel like a stranger in my own country sometimes. But again, you wrote a great post! <3

  3. First and for all, I feel autistic. No matter where they're from, that common background to me feels so much stronger than any regional connection. It shaped my personality and has been a core part of the person I've become. So I don't get emotional about countries easily.

    If I must tag a citizenship, I have been born and raised in the country I got to know as Belgium. Flanders is a part of that, but so is Wallonia. If Flanders would one day separate from Belgium, I would consider what remains of Belgium to be my country of citizenship because it would be the separatist area who decided they wanted to no longer be Belgian. I hence disassociate myself from everything Flemish-nationalist.

    That said, I lived in Turkey and that country did get under my skin. I love life in Spain here, but my dream is to travel a lot first and then settle in Turkey. I must admit getting emotional when seeing the Turkish flag a tiny bit. But as said, first and for all, I am an autist. That feeling of identity is stronger than any country or area attached feeling.

    If one insists on tagging me, then call me --at this moment-- a Belgian expatriate in Spain. I don't like it when Spaniards ask if I am Flemish. My reply tends to be "I am Belgian" :)