Modern Lebanon is a thriving place. Lebanese people take great pride in their rich cultural heritage yet embrace all the present times have to offer. The current design of the Lebanese flag has existed since the independence of the country was established in 1943 and is a symbol of national pride and freedom.
Lebanon’s constitution specifically describes the design of the flag of Lebanon. A horizontal triband consisting of two red and one white stripe make up the background of the flag. In what is termed a Spanish fess, the center white stripe is two times the heighth of each of the red ones. A solid green cedar occupies the center of the flag. Spanning the entire height of the white stripe, its tip touches the edge of the upper red stripe and its roots touch the edge of the lower red stripe. The cedar’s width fills one third of the white stripe.
The area that is now modern Lebanon has been settled for thousands of years. Therefore, the region has seen many different incarnations of flags beginning with the blue and red flag of the ancient Phoenicians. The region has seen many different invaders and has adopted the flag of its conquerors throughout history. During the latter time of the Ottoman Empire, Lebanon flew the flag of the Chehab Emirate – a white crescent set on a blue background.
After the end of WWI, Lebanon was mandated to France. French colonization saw the introduction of the cedar tree symbol. However, the symbol was essential superimposed on a french flag consisting of a blue, white, and red vertical stripes. When Lebanon became an independent nation, the current Lebanon flag was adopted.
The cedar tree has long been a symbol of Lebanon. The stately trees were a source of pride and wealth for the region. Maronite Christians have used the cedar tree as a symbol for several hundred years. The green tree represents immortality, peace, and tolerance. The color red seen in the upper and lower stripes represents the blood shed by the people in efforts to ward off constant streams of invaders. The color white seen in the wide center stripe is an homage to the snowy mountains and represents purity and peace.