Flag of Belgium

Flag Belgium, Banner Belgium
Aspect ratio:
Vexillological symbol:
Civil flag and merchant flag
30.528 km²
Dutch (approx. 6.1 million), French (approx. 4.1 million),German (approx. 0.07 million)
Euro (EUR)
accepted at:

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Background knowledge

In the territories of today's Belgium that belonged to the Duchy of Burgundy since the 14th century (from 1383 Flanders, from 1436 Hainaut and Brabant, from 1477 Liège and Luxembourg), the red, lashed, Burgundian diagonal cross was displayed on white flags. After these territories fell to the Spanish Habsburgs in 1555 as the Spanish Netherlands, flags were used that combined the Habsburg colors (red and white) with the Spanish (red and yellow) in a flag horizontally striped in red, white and yellow. Sometimes the Burgundian cross appeared in the central white stripe, and this flag was maintained even after what is now Belgium fell to the Austrian Habsburgs. Emperor Josef II forbade the use of this flag on 09.03.1786. Only the red-white-red Austrian flag was allowed to be used. In protest, the population decorated their hats with red-yellow-black cockades, the colors of Brabant. In 1795 Belgium became part of France, and in 1815 it became part of the United Netherlands (Netherlands Belgium). During the uprising against the Dutch government in 1830, the French tricolor was used as a symbol of freedom, especially by supporters of France. The editors of a Brussels newspaper, Edouard Ducpétiaux and Lucien Jottrand, and Alexandre Van Hulst an official of the War Ministry favored a flag with three horizontal stripes of red, yellow and black, which eventually prevailed in the fighting in September 1830. The provisional Belgian government therefore recognized it as a state symbol, and hoisted it at the declaration of autonomy on 04.10.1830. From 23.01.1831, stripes of the flag were arranged vertically, but in the order red, yellow and black. After the election of Leopold I of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha as King of Belgium, the stripes were arranged in the current order from 12.10.1831. The national coat of arms was introduced in 1830. There is a large and a small national coat of arms. It shows in the black shield a golden Brabant lion with red reinforcement. The shield bears the royal crown, below the shield a red band with the French motto: "L'Union fait la force" and in Dutch "Eendracht maakt macht" => "Unity makes strong". Behind the shield two crossed scepters, representing the king as ruler (lion scepter) and highest judge (oath hand scepter). The shield is decorated with a chain of orders with the Grand Cross of the Order of Leopold.

The colors of the Belgian flag are those of the escutcheon of the former Duchy of Brabant, which, as long as it existed, were also those of the Province of Brabant and are still the small arms of Belgium.
It represented a golden lion (yellow) on a sandy ground (black), armed (claws) and languishing (tongue) Gules (red).
The same colors, arranged differently, were incidentally those of the County of Flanders, the first of the principalities of the "flat lands", which thanks to the marriage definitively belonged to the states of the Dukes of Burgundy of the House of Valois of Duke Philippe le Hardi with Margaret of Flanders (marriage was celebrated in 1369, but it was not until 1384 that Margaret became de proprio jure Countess of Flanders, Artois, Nevers, Rethel and the (Franche-)Comté of Burgundy Male after the death of her father Louis).

The County of Flanders bore and the current provinces of East Flanders and the Flemish Community still bears a lion with sable armor and langued gules, that is, the same coat of arms as Brabant by the permutation of yellow and black.
These colors mean "strength" (black), "wisdom" (yellow) and "courage" (red).

Officially, the dimensions of the flag were set at 2.60m high and 3m wide, giving an unusual ratio of 13:15. For civil use, a ratio of 2:3 is more common and, moreover, the exact ratio is not specified by the Constitution.
Above the Royal Palace in Brussels, one can find a flag with a 4:3 ratio, for aesthetic reasons, taking into account the perspective on the flag, which is viewed from below. A large flag of similar design is often found under the arcades of the Cinquantenaire .


Composer: François van Campenhout (1779-1849) Songwriter: Charles Rogier (1800-1885), R. Herrmann

Noble Belgium, eternally beloved land,
To you belong our hearts, our arms.
By the pure blood that has flowed for you, fatherland,
we swear to you with a unanimous cry: You will live!
Great and beautiful you will always live,
and the eternal motto of your
unbreakable unity will be:

For king, right and freedom!
For king, right and freedom!
For king, right and freedom!

Belgian flag color codes

0, 0, 0
0, 0, 0, 100
253, 218, 36
0, 6, 87, 0
Gelb 115
239, 51, 64
0, 86, 63, 0
Rot 32

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