10 Lebanon Flag Symbolism, Meaning, History, Facts, and Trivia

Flag of Lebanon Symbolism Facts & Meaning: History & Trivia

Lebanon Flag History

The national flag of Lebanon, sometimes referred to as the “Cedar Flag,” is composed of red and white stripes with a green cedar tree in the center of it. The country had no recognized flag while under Ottoman administration. Its origins may be traced to the founding of Lebanon.

Lebanon adopted the French tricolor under the French Mandate. After gaining its independence in 1943, Lebanon adopted a flag with a cedar branch as a symbol of everlasting life. The flag’s design has undergone certain changes, but it is still well recognized in Lebanon and by the Lebanese diaspora across the world.

Lebanon First vs Present-Day Flag

The number of branches on the cedar tree in the middle of the flag differs significantly from the original flag design used during Lebanon’s early years of independence compared to the current flag design.

Lebanon’s first flag, established upon independence in 1943, had a white field with a green cedar tree in the center. The design was identifiable by its direct portrayal and simplicity, and the cedar tree usually had six branches.

The central cedar tree on Lebanon’s current flag, which has been in use since the late 1960s, is depicted in more detail. This upgraded flag often depicts the cedar tree with a larger number of branches, providing a more realistic and detailed representation.

Designer of Lebanon Flag

Shukri El Khoury and Naoum Labaki, two Lebanese Brazilian journalists, are credited with designing the first Lebanese flag, which was approved in 1943. They are generally accepted as having created the flag.

The designer of the more complex cedar tree structure now present on the flag of Lebanon as it is currently flown is not known. Over time, the modern flag’s complex depiction of the cedar tree changed as a result of the work of several painters and graphic designers.

Symbolic Meaning of Lebanon Flag Design

The Lebanese flag is full of symbolism, with important meanings attached to its design, colors, and figures:


The Lebanese flag is a simple tricolor with two red bands at the top and bottom and a white band in the center. A green cedar tree sits in the center of the white band, acting as the flag’s major emblem.


  • Red: The two red bands represent the Lebanese people’s sacrifice of blood in their fight for freedom and independence.
  • White: White stands for purity, tranquility, and harmony. It depicts Lebanon’s varied religious and cultural communities’ yearning for peace and tolerance.
  • Green: The green cedar tree is an image of Lebanon’s power, tenacity, and beauty in their natural state. The cedar tree is an iconic and historic emblem that is firmly ingrained in Lebanese history and culture.


  • Cedar Tree: The cedar tree is the flag’s most prominent symbol. It represents power, perseverance, and endless life. Native to Lebanon, cedar trees have long been prized and even referenced in the Bible. The prominence of the cedar tree on the flag symbolizes the Lebanese people’s significant historical and cultural ties to their home.

Lebanon Flag Symbolic Importance

The national flag of Lebanon is of great cultural significance. It represents the country’s identity, its independence, and the cedar tree’s significance in its history. The flag also reflects the Lebanese people’s resiliency and fortitude, showcases cultural past, and stands for peace and coexistence among varied cultures. It is well known on a global scale and stands as a potent symbol of Lebanon’s past, present, and future ambitions.

Lebanon Flag Raising Ceremony

Flag-raising ceremonies and the tradition of flying the flag of Lebanon at half-mast both historically displayed important significance:

On special occasions like festivals and Independence Day, flag-raising ceremonies occur in Lebanon to commemorate the nation’s important moments in history. The ceremonies entail raising the Lebanese flag and frequently feature patriotic performances, national anthems, and speeches, encouraging a sense of community and pride in one’s country.

In Lebanon, lowering the flag to half-mast is a serious and symbolic gesture that is used to express respect, remembrance, or solidarity following tragic occurrences. This custom is being performed to pay tribute to the memory of late national and/or world leaders, particularly illustrious Lebanese or global leaders with significant links to Lebanon. After major tragedies or catastrophes, flags are also lowered to show support for the involved citizens.

Government officials often decide when to fly the flag at half-mast, which usually coincides with a period of national mourning, along with postponing or reducing public activities.

Lebanon Flag Rules and Etiquette

Lebanese flag etiquette and rules guarantee that this national emblem is treated and flown in a dignified manner. These rules specify how the flag should be kept up, shown, and utilized while highlighting its significance and decency in various contexts.

  • Respectful Display: No tattered or faded flags are permitted.
  • Proper Lighting: If the flag is exhibited at night, it must be illuminated.
  • Positioning: The white band should center the green cedar tree when it is placed horizontally, with the red band at the top.
  • Preservation: The flag must not be modified by adding new marks or used in a disrespectful or derogatory way.
  • Private Homes: The red band should be placed at the top when displayed on private flagpoles.
  • Public Buildings: The flag should be prominently displayed on government buildings and establishments. It is usually flown at sunrise and dusk and being lit when flown continuously.
  • Parades and Processions: Respect must be shown for the flag while it is carried, and observers should salute when it passes.

Traditional Lebanon Flag Display Customs

A variety of cultural, patriotic, and joyful sentiments are included in traditional flag-display customs and rituals in Lebanon. These traditions are followed throughout numerous celebrations, festivals, and events to honor Lebanon’s history and promote an overwhelming sense of national pride.

The Lebanese flag is commonly utilized for festive decorations at national events, athlete displays at sporting competitions, inclusion in religious and cultural celebrations, prominent displays during Independence Day parades, as well as the affixing of small flags to vehicles to show pride in one’s country. These traditions foster unity among Lebanese citizens, honor heritage, and strengthen national pride.

Lebanon Flag Trivia

One of the few flags in the entire world with a tree as its primary emblem makes the Lebanese flag special. The Bible mentions the cedar tree more than 70 times, and it is a national emblem of Lebanon. It is also the first national flag in history to have a green tree, a symbol of new beginnings and optimism. The triangle trunk of the tree as seen on the Lebanese flag, which symbolizes Lebanon’s three main religious communities (Christians, Muslims, and Druze), is unique like no other national flag in the world.

Lebanon Flag in Legends and Mythology

The Lebanese flag’s cedar tree holds various symbolic meanings rooted in legends and folklore. One legend links it to the tree’s strength and resilience, symbolizing the Lebanese people’s ability to endure adversity. Another legend ties it to religious unity, as the cedar is sacred to Christians, Muslims, and Druze, representing harmony despite religious differences. Lastly, the cedar’s long lifespan reflects the Lebanese people’s hope for a prosperous future. These legends emphasize the flag’s significance in Lebanese identity and culture.

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