It all starts Friday, July 15. That day, the “KW”, the regional weekly “Krant van West-Vlaanderen“, publishes in its interior pages an editorial signed by a journalist from Kortrijk, Kurt Vandemaele, who notably worked for “Het Volk”, “De Morgen”, “Humo”. An editorial, it was not in his habits but the other usual incumbents were on vacation. His is going to make some noise…
Entitled “I’m Flemish and I’m not proud of that”. He therefore writes in particular that he is “glad that July 11 (Flemish Community Day) be finished”that he is not proud to be Flemish, “no more than being Belgian or Kortrijk […]. I don’t care: a person has to be born somewhere. Let’s say I’m lucky to be Belgian and live in the wealthiest part of the country.” Kurt Vandemaele therefore questions the Flemish celebrations of July 11, its flags, the commemoration of a battle of 1302 – “myth, fable, fairy tale” – and the political speeches that accompany it. “I have nothing to do with the Flemish identity. No question of carrying lion flags”. And to plead for a better way – one would say more social – to spend the money invested in these parties… A criticism of nationalism which obviously did not please and some therefore wanted to make it clear to this journalist.
On the morning of July 21, a national holiday this time, Kurt Vandemaele’s little garden in front of his house in Courtrai no longer looks the same. “I look out the window when I wake up and I see my garden full of Flemish nationalist flags. And… It was not pleasant to see”. He who said in his text that he wanted to replace this lion “who roars, has teeth and claws and who wants to fight”, on the Flemish flags, by “cats that meow or purr”feels this event as a form of intimidation. “It’s not like I was shocked. But in fact we understand that it’s a kind of intimation. People are breaking into my property anonymously and trying to tell me in an unfriendly way that “They can’t stand what I say. I’m aware that some people don’t like it when you talk about Flanders and they will let it be known. But I thought they would do it in a more proper way” .
Kurt Vandemaele wanted to file a complaint. The Kortrijk police came to his home. But according to the journalist, the police officers present did not consider that the facts were sufficiently “serious” to register his complaint.