Coremans-De Vriendt law

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Juliaan De Vriendt, who proposed the law with Edward Coremans

The Coremans-De Vriendt Law, also dubbed the Law of Equality (Dutch: Gelijkheidswet), was a Belgian law passed on 18 April 1898 which enforced formal legal equality of Flemish and French language in the country, and is seen as a landmark in the history of the Flemish Movement and of bilingualism in Belgium.[1]

The law was named after two Flemish deputies, Juliaan De Vriendt and Edward Coremans, who proposed the law. The law decreed equal validity for legal texts written in both French and Flemish, as well as decreeing bilingual signage in Flanders.[1] As a result, the passing of the law meant that henceforth all laws were voted, passed and published in legally equivalent French and Flemish versions. The law followed a period of greater official acceptance of Flemish, starting in around 1886 when coins became bilingual.[2] The law's passing, along with the introduction of universal male suffrage (but with plural voting) in 1893, caused the Flemish Movement to enter a "third stage" of mass-membership.[3]


  1. ^ a b Hensley 2004, p. 15.
  2. ^ McRae 1986, p. 25.
  3. ^ McRae 1986, p. 26.