Meaning of the Flag
The national flag of Lebanon features a horizontal triband design of two colors. These colors are meant to represent purity, peace, and blood shed of the nation. However, the flag also prominently features a cedar tree directly in the center. The use of this design was inspired by Lebanon cedar.
In addition to being inspired by the landscape of the nation, cedar trees are also meant to symbolize eternity, peace, and holiness. The cedar of Lebanon was mentioned several times in the Bible.
Colors of the Flag
The two main colors of the Lebanese flag are red and white. The triband design features one red band at the top of the flag, one red band at the bottom of the flag, and a white band of double size in the center of the flag.
The red bands on the flag are meant to symbolize the blood that was shed by the Lebanese in defending the nation against enemies. The color white is used to represent snow, which symbolizes peace and purity.
The flag also features a green Lebanon cedar in the center of the white band.
History of the Flag
The current flag of Lebanon has a relatively short history, as it was adopted on December 7, 1943. However, the history of Lebanese flags dates back to approximately 3000 BC. This flag was significantly different than the one used today, featuring two vertical bands of blue and red. This wasn’t the only ancient flag that was used. The Achaemenid Empire, Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire, and Sasanian Empire each had their own flags. None of these flags were similar to the design used today.
The first flag that was closest to the modern national flag was used by the State of Greater Lebanon at the time of the French mandate in the 1920s. This flag featured the Lebanon cedar in the center. However, this flag had the vertical triband design of the French national flag.
The flag that Lebanon uses today was adopted right before the nation became independent from France. The flag was designed by Henri Pharaon, who was a member of parliament. The flag was officially adopted during a meeting of the parliament.
The Bible mentions the cedar of Lebanon – the symbol featured on the Lebanese flag – a total of 77 times.
Article 5 of the nation’s constitution outlines the specifications for the flag.