All about the Flag of Belgium

flag of belgium

The flag of Belgium is unusual, as it is an almost square flag. While no one knows the origin of this size, its dimension ratio is 13 in height and 15 in width and it displays three vertical stripes of equal size.

The Belgian flag is modeled after the French tricolor flag, the flag’s vibrant colors of black, yellow, and red stand for freedom and revolution.

The left or hoist side of the flag of Belgium has a stripe in black, the center stripe is yellow, and the right side stripe is red.

The Belgian national flag is hoisted on public buildings on any of their seventeen official days or holidays.

It can also be hoisted for their five important local ceremonies or for any visit to their country from any head or leader of any foreign state or country.

For parade use, the flag of Belgium will also display a yellow fringe on all three sides.

The same yellow-fringed flag is displayed at all of Belgium’s government buildings and to represent Belgium at the UN Headquarters in New York City.

History of the Belgium Flag

Belgium is a very ancient nation.

It was even mentioned by Julius Caesar about 2,000 years ago in his writings on the Gallic Wars.

For centuries, Belgium was part of a larger state structure of The Netherlands.

Colors for the Belgian flag were taken from the flag of Brabant, which was a province in what was called the Low Countries.

These were the Netherlands and Belgium and extended from Wallonia province Brabant Wallon, over Vlaams Brabant and Brussels and Antwerpen in Flanders and in the Netherlands the province of Noord-Brabant.

The flag of Brabant was a golden or yellow lion climbing the hoist and was displayed on a black surface. The tongue and nails of the lion were red. It also featured the arms of the Kingdom of Belgium.

In 1815 a Congress was held in Vienna and Belgium and the Northern Netherlands were united to form one state.

King William I ruled this new country. His policies were beneficial to the Belgians but he was a Protestant king.

The Catholics objected to what they considered his interference.

The Liberals of Belgian demanded more freedom.

Together the Catholics and the Liberals formed an association that was called unionism and presented a list of demands to the King.

King William sent his troops to squelch the disagreement.

Volunteers flooded into the city to support the rebels and were victorious in overcoming the Belgian King's forces.

Prior to the Netherlands gaining control of Belgium, the country had a flag with horizontal rather than vertical bands.

This black, yellow, and red flag had been the colors of Belgium since the late 1700’s.

This symbolic horizontally banded flag was carried during this revolt as an important symbol of why they fought – for independence.

Independence &... a new Belgian flag

King William’s troops were expelled from Belgium in September 1830, and in October 1830, Belgium became a separate country from the Northern Netherlands.

In November of that year, a National Congress was elected.

The newly designed flag of Belgium, with the same colors but in a vertical striped pattern was finally introduced and officially adopted as the Belgian flag in January 1831.

The original vertical banded design was modeled after the French tricolor flag. The flag’s colors were taken from the colors of the Duchy of Brabant.

The newly designed flag of Belgiumwas a symbol to show their actual separation from the Netherlands.

An important Belgium holiday called National Day is celebrated on July 21.

This is their Flag Day and marks their national independence.

It commemorates the day when Leopold I first took the constitutional oath as the first King of Belgium on July 21st 1831.

Belgium’s national motto is “Strength lies in unity.”

Know all about the flag of Belgium now? Find more facts on Belgium and learning French there.


Information on Belgium Newspapers | Belgian Radio

More about Flags of Francophone Countries
Flag of Belgium | Flag of Benin | Flag of Burkina Faso | Flag of Burundi | Flag of Cameroon | Flag of Canada | Flag of Central African Republic | Flag of Chad | Flag of Congo | Flag of Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire) | Flag of Djibouti | Flag of France | Flag of French Guiana | Flag of French Polynesia | Flag of Gabon | Flag of Guadeloupe | Flag of Guinea | Flag of Haiti | Flag of Laos | Flag of Lebanon | Flag of New Caledonia | Flag of Niger | Flag of Zaire


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