“Poner una pica en Flandes” is a Spanish expression used to refer to something that has been hardly realized, and also with a huge amount of money.
The origin of this expression comes from the era of Charles V, when his possessions comprehended Netherlands, where there was a war for religious reasons.
In this period, Spanish Empire was involved in different conflicts (against Turkish, England, Portugal, France, Flanders…) and in this context it was difficult to form an army to reach the Flanders.
The trip was meant to go through Mediterranean territory, passing Italy and then reach the Flanders (the Flanders were only a province, but the term itself is supposed to comprehend all the territories included in it).
For this reason, to put a pike in the Flanders was extremely expensive and it meant a long trip and a lot of money.