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Vexillopedia

Flag of Lebanon

Lebanon
Ratio 2:3
Adoption 1943
Design A horizontal triband of red, white (double height) and red; charged with a green Lebanon Cedar. [0]
Colors
#ED1C24
#FFFFFF
#00A651

History

The present Lebanese flag was adopted just prior to independence from France in 1943. Seeking independence, the actual flag was first drawn by member of parliament Henri Pharaon in the Chamber of deputies Saeb Salam's house in Mousaitbeh by the deputies of the Lebanese parliament. It was adopted on December 7, 1943, during a meeting in the parliament, where the article 5 in the Lebanese constitution was modified.

One theory is that since Henri Pharaon was a long-time consul in Vienna, Austria and was an avid friend and founder of the "Austro-Lebanese Association of Friendship", the colors could have been inspired by the red-white-red Flag of Austria, where the flag colors are based on the Lebanese geography and therefore, the first red represents the Mount Lebanon and the second red represents the Anti-Lebanon mountains and the white represents the Beqaa Valley, which is situated in the middle of the two mountain ranges on the map of Lebanon. And the green cedar (Lebanon Cedar) in the middle of the white part touches each of the red stripes is added because Lebanon is sometimes metonymically referred to as the Land of the Cedars. The Austrian flag is the second oldest in the world, dating to the 13th century when it first probably appeared after the Siege of Acre during the Third Crusade. The colors could have been inspired by the red-white-red Flag of Austria, but the white stripe (a Spanish fess) could have been inspired by the red-yellow-red Flag of Spain, where the flag structure is based on the Lebanese connection to the Mediterranean sea and its Phoenician past that reached to the Mediterranean shores of present-day Spain. [0]

Meaning

The white color on the flag represents the snow as a symbol of purity and peace. The two red stripes refer to the Lebanese blood shed to preserve the country against the successive invaders. The presence and position of the Cedar in the middle of the flag is directly inspired by the mountains of Lebanon cedar (Cedrus libani). The Cedar is a symbol of holiness, eternity and peace. As an emblem of longevity, the cedar of Lebanon has its origin in many biblical references. For the Lebanese, the cedar is a symbol of hope, freedom and memory. [0]