LebanonLubnan, Republic of Lebanon, Al-Jumhuriyya al-Lubnaniyya
2:3 | stripes 1+2+1 |
Flag and coat-of-arms adopted 7th December 1943
The tree is the cedar traditionally connected with Lebanon. In the 18th century the Maronite Christians used a white flag with the cedar tree, with reference to the Bible (Psalms 92:12, “the righteous flourish like the palm tree, and grow like a cedar in Lebanon”). Later, when Lebanon was under French mandate, the French tricolour was used with a cedar tree in the middle. There is a reference to the colors, “The red and white colours are those associated, respectively, with the Kayssites and Yemenites, opposing clans that divided Lebanese society between 634 and 1711”..
The Constitution of Lebanon promulgated on 23rd May 1926 said, “Article 5: The Lebanese flag is blue, white, red with a cedar in the white part”. This article was changed on 7th December 1943, “The Lebanese flag is made of red, white and red horizontal stripes, with the cedar in green in the centre of the white stripe”. The cedar was and is therefore officially green. As a whole green cedar is quite strange, some flag manufacturers have certainly made it green and brown — which is unconstitutional.
Red symbolizes the blood of martyrs who died trying to free the country from outside forces. White is a symbol of purity of course but is here connected with the snow-capped Lebanese mountains.
The official explanation of the colors’ meaning is:
* White is snow, where cedars are, on snowy mountains, which symbolize purity.
* Red is the blood of the victims of independence against Ottomans, French and the rest of colonizers.
The Lebanese Flag consists of three horizontal bands, red, white, and red, with a green cedar in the center, i.e. the white band that amounts to the size of both red bands put together. The tip and root of the green Cedar both stretch towards the edge of the red areas. The red bands symbolize the pure blood, shed in the aim of liberation. The white band symbolizes peace. As for the green cedar, it symbolizes immortality. The Lebanese flag was raised in Bshamoun on the 21st of November 1943 at 11:20 pm. It is believed that this same flag is now kept in the National Museum, although it may have been transported to the Governmental Palace in Beiteddine.
In 1979, the Minister of National Education, Boutros Harb, decided that 21 November should be the National Flag Day.
The Lebanese Constitution article prescribing the flag says:
Part I – Fundamental Provisions
Chapter I – The State and its Territory
Article 5 – The Lebanese flag is made of red, white and red horizontal stripes, with the cedar in green in the centre of the white stripe. The size of the white stripe is equal to the size of the two red stripes together. The cedar is in the middle, its apex touching the red upper stripe and its base touching the lower red stripe. The size of the cedar shall be equal to one third of the size of the white stripe.
~5:2 | stripes 1+2+1 |
For special festive occasions, such as Independence Day, a Lebanese flag which is a variant on the horizontal flag is hoisted typically along light and telephone poles. It is a long vertical flag with vertical color fields, red-white-red, with the green cedar in the center, touching both reds. Most probably it is 5:2.
French newspaper Courrier International, in its Summer Supplement sold with #613, 1
August 2002, shows a picture of young Lebanese soldiers with flags in the background. The flags are a triangular version of the national flag, with the cedar slightly skewed to the hoist. The flags are attached to a metallic staff with an arrow-head as finial. From the scale of the picture, my guess is that these flags are lance pennants, or pennants attached to something similar to a lance.