Flag Of Belize: History And Meaning

The flag of Belize is the official flag that identifies this nation and acts as a symbol of union, since there are different elements that represent the political parties that made history in Belize.

The royal blue background represents the United People’s Party and the red stripes symbolize the United Democratic Party. The white disk that contains the Coat of Arms in the center of the flag has undergone repeated modifications since it was established in 1907.

The olive leaves form a circumference around the shield. Since before its independence, the flag of Belize has a coat of arms. Over the years, the shield was modified to obtain the one that is known today.

The coat of arms represents part of the history of Belize. In addition, the significance of the nation’s economic base resides in it: wood.

In addition to this flag, when Belize was a colony called British Honduras, it had other banners. They had the Union Jack in their upper left corner, as did other UK dependent nations.

History

The blue flag with the white disc was adopted on February 2, 1950. This was at the same time that British Honduras began its arduous path to independence.

When the nation achieved its independence in 1981, the red stripes were added to the upper and lower side of the flag on September 21 of that same year.

Before national emancipation, in 1950, the United People’s Party proposed a blue-background pro-independence insignia. This would have the one that became a shield in the central part, enclosed in a white circle.

Division over the flag

Due to the close relationship of the flag with the United People’s Party, Belizean society was divided regarding the appropriateness of the banner to symbolize “unity.”

The United Democratic Party clashed but did not design or indicate what the flag should look like. However, he requested a symbol that all Belizeans, regardless of their political ideals, could identify with.

After that, the bipartisan Committee on National Symbols invited Belizeans to submit designs for a new flag of the country. The chosen one is the current one, composed of a royal blue, two thin stripes on the top and bottom and a white disk with the shield of Belize.

Old flags

In British Honduras, from 1870 to 1919, the current flag consisted of a dark blue rectangle with the Union Jack in its upper left corner. On the right side the shield was located in a small white circle.

The colonial flag used since 1919 was almost the same as the previous one, with the exception that the blue color was less bright. Furthermore, in this pavilion the shield was not framed in a white circle, but was delimited by its golden border.

Between 1950 and 1981 an unofficial flag was used with a blue background much more opaque than that used in the previous flags. The Union Jack was removed and the new one contained a large white disc covering the entire center of the rectangle.

Inside this disk there was a coat of arms totally different from the previous ones. This symbol involved olive leaves and Belizean men.

In 1981 Belize became independent and began a competition to design the country’s flag. The winner was the unofficial flag worn by the People’s United Party (PUP), with a red border on each of the four sides. Later the red border was located only on the upper and lower border.

In addition, there is the Governor’s flag in force since 1981. It consists of an opaque blue rectangle containing a crown with a lion on top of it. Under the crown there is a band that says “BELIZE”. The lion has the same crown on his head.

Meaning

The national flag of Belize is a symbol of union in the nation. The blue color of the flag represents the People’s United Party (PUP), of social democratic tendency. This party obtained power after granting autonomy to British Honduras.

The thin red stripes symbolize the then opposition United Democratic Party (UDP). Instead, the fifty leaves of the shield represent the United People’s Party.

The white disc in the center of the flag is the emblem of Belize. This contains different elements that tell the history of the nation and show its economic sustenance.

The white disc

In the center of the flag is a white disk containing the shield of Belize, surrounded by 50 olive leaves that form a circumference. They symbolize the year 1950, when British Honduras began its struggle for independence from the United Kingdom.

In the center of the disk there is a coat of arms divided into three sections. He is surrounded by plants and by two men.

Each of these elements refers to important aspects of the history of Belize and the mahogany industry. This sector was the base of the economy in the nation in the 18th and 19th centuries.

History

The coat of arms is the most important part of the flag of Belize. It was awarded to British Honduras on January 28, 1907. This shield was divided into three parts and contained the ship and the symbols of the timber industry.

It was modified in 1907 and 1967. Since the creation of the flag in 1950, the Belizean coat of arms was present on it.

The current shield dates from 1981, the year of the independence of Belize. This is very similar to the 1967 version, which featured a crown of leaves on the outside and a terrace of vegetation under the two men. In addition, the size of the tree that rings the shield has been increased.

The coat of arms was slightly modified in 1981, so the flag was modified, since in the previous flag the saw was made of blade and the men were standing on the motto. Instead, in the current design, the saw is bow, the men are on the ground, and the motto is smaller.

Shield composition

On the left side of the small shield there is an oar and a mallet, while the right side has a saw and an ax. The background contains a sailboat with a red flag flying, which could symbolize the British Red Ensign.

Above the coat of arms there is a tree and below you can see the emblem of Belize: Sub umbra floreo (I flourish in the shade). There is also a mulatto man holding an ax on the left side of the shield. On the left side, a black man holds an oar.

References

  1. Antonuccio, P. (1991). Belize: independence and regional insertion. (1981-1991). Caracas, Venezuela: Simón Bolívar University.
  2. DK Publishing (2008). Complete Flags of the World . New York, United States: DK Publishing. Recovered from books.google.co.ve
  3. Belize Embassy. (sf). National Symbols of Belize. Belize Embassy . Recovered from embassydebelize.org.
  4. Gargallo, F & Santana, A. (1993). Belize: its borders and destinations . Mexico City, Mexico: National Autonomous University of Mexico.
  5. Hennessy, H. (sf) Belize . APA Publications. Recovered from books.google.co.ve
  6. Leslie, R. (1997). A History of Belize: Nation in the Making . Cubola Productions. Recovered from books.google.co.ve

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