The Belgian flag flies with black, yellow, and red vertical stripes. One popular variant of the national flag is the state ensign, which includes the black lion of Flanders.
The 184th Belgian National Day happened earlier this month, so let’s take a look at the history of the great country’s national flag. Though Belgium has a large history outside of the vexillological field, like being the country that brought us the snack inappropriately named “French Fries”, this post will focus on the history of the Belgium flag itself.
After Charlemagne passed, the Belgian territory moved from one allegiance to the next, from Lotharingia to Spain to Austria. Many different flags were tried, but none seemed to unite the Belgian people. Soon they rose to claim independence.
During the Belgian Revolution, the French flag was flown over the city of Brussels, but was soon replaced with a horizontal stripe version of the current flag colors. Because of this, the colors black, yellow, and red were designated the official colors of Belgium (Flag Fact: each color represents the lion crests from Luxembourg, Brabant, and Flanders).
On October 12, the modern version of the Belgian flag was first flown. This change was believed to be done in order to differentiate the flag more from the Netherlands flag.
Oddly, the official flag of Belgium is not the most common. This is because its dimensions are the unique ratio of 13:15. The more common flag found is the 2:3 variant, a much more common flag size.
They also have incorporated the traditional black lion crest within the state ensign, used by ships at sea.