View Full Version : The Battle of the Golden Spurs

Friday, December 29th, 2006, 11:52 AM
The National Holiday of the Flemish Community in the European country known as Belgium is held every year on the 11th of July. Most of the people in our country hardly know why this particular day was chosen. When they were at school they might have learned about the Middle Ages and this one battle in which the Flemings once, long ago, won on the French. But it stops there most of the time. Very few people realise the importance of this battle, to which they owe the fact that they still talk Dutch and our country does not make part of France. That distant battle from long ago was the Battle of the Golden Spurs!

Early morning July 11th 1302, some 9.000 Flemish soldiers wait for the attack of a French army of knights. Most of these soldiers are simple commoners, workmen and farmers. France annexed Flanders two years before and tried to submit the Flemish towns. The Flemish people however, conscious of their own valour, resisted and stood up against the French aggressor. That struggle in 1302 is remarkable for two specific reasons: from a social and from a military point of view.

The uprising originated from the people themselves, without being provoked by a lord (the Flemish count and his most important lords were in French captivity). Only when the uprising became widespread, the count's relatives who still were free rushed in to aid. But in the first place this was a struggle of people against a lord (the French king), not the struggle between two lords.

The battle itself was extraordinary too. For the very first time in recorded history an army of footmen will beat an army of knights. The Flemings got a victory nobody would have dreamt of. Warfare would never be the same since that day.

Read on:

Friday, December 29th, 2006, 04:04 PM

A poem written by Guido Gezelle about this important battle!
It warms my hart inside.:)

Sadly enough, more than 700 years later, we´re still under Belgian rule!

Friday, December 29th, 2006, 05:14 PM
Thank you both for the posts. I am having trouble finding an english traslation of the poems. Are you aware of any that I can read?

Saturday, December 30th, 2006, 02:43 PM
No, I don´t think those poems ever got translated. The "Groeninge" poems are not that known among the masses nor they are easy to find on the worldwide web. Besides, a translated poem never gives the same feeling as a poem in the original language. But that´s just my opinion.;)