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The national flag of the kingdom of Belgium
Belgium
(Dutch: Vlag van het koninkrijk België, French: Drapeau de la Belgique, German: Flagge Belgiens) is a tricolour of three bands of black, yellow, and red. The colours were taken from the coat of arms of the Duchy of Brabant, and the vertical design may be based on the flag of France. When flown, the black band is nearest the pole (at the hoist side). It has the unusual proportions of 13:15.

Contents

1 Previous flags 2 Independence and adoption of current flag 3 Design and specifications 4 Variants

4.1 National flag
National flag
and civil ensign 4.2 Naval ensign
Naval ensign
and jack 4.3 Royal standard and flags on the royal palaces

5 Protocol 6 Related flags 7 See also 8 References 9 External links

Previous flags[edit] After the death of Charlemagne, the present-day territory of Belgium (except the County of Flanders) became part of Lotharingia, which had a flag of two horizontal red stripes separated by a white stripe.[1] The territory then passed into Spanish hands, and after the coronation of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
yellow and red, the colours of Spain, were added. From the 16th century to the end of the 18th century, the colours of what is now Belgium
Belgium
were red, white and yellow.[1] Occasionally the red cross of Burgundy was placed on the white section of the flag.[1] During the period of Austrian rule, a number of different flags were tried, until the Austrian Emperor imposed the Austrian flag. The population of Brussels
Brussels
was opposed to this, and following the example of France, red, yellow and black cockades began to appear; those being the colours of Brabant.[1] The colours thus correspond to the red lion of Hainaut, Limburg and Luxembourg, the yellow lion of Brabant, and the black lion of Flanders and Namur.[1] Independence and adoption of current flag[edit]

Flag of the Brabant Revolution
Brabant Revolution
(1789–1790)

Flag of the Belgian Revolution
Belgian Revolution
(1830–1831)

The early revolutionary variations of the Belgian tricolour

On 26 August 1830, the day after the rioting at the Brussels
Brussels
Opera and the start of the Belgian Revolution, the flag of France flew from the city hall of Brussels. The insurgents hastily replaced it with a tricolour of red, yellow and black horizontal stripes (similar to the one used during the Brabant Revolution[1] of 1789-1790 which had established the United States of Belgium) made at a nearby fabric store. As a result, Article 193 of the Constitution of Belgium describes the colours of the Belgian nation as Red, Yellow
Yellow
and Black instead of using the order shown in the official flag.[2] On 23 January 1831, the stripes changed from horizontal to vertical, and on 12 October the flag attained its modern form, with the black placed at the hoist side of the flag.[1] Design and specifications[edit] The official guide to protocol in Belgium
Belgium
states that the national flag measures 2.6 m (8.5 ft) tall for each 3 m (9.8 ft) wide,[1] giving it a ratio of 13:15. Each of the stripes is one-third of the width of the flag. The yellow is in fact yellow and not the darker gold of the flag of Germany, which is a black-gold-red tricolour, but striped horizontally, not vertically.

Colour scheme Black Yellow Red

Pantone[1] Black Yellow
Yellow
115 Red
Red
32

CMYK[1] 0-0-0-100 0-6-87-0 0-86-63-0

RGB[3] 0-0-0 253-218-36 239-51-64

Hex triplet #000000 #FDDA24 #EF3340

Variants[edit]

The flag on the Royal Palace of Brussels.

National flag
National flag
and civil ensign[edit] The national flag has the unusual proportions of 13:15. The 2:3 flag is the civil ensign, the correct flag for use by civilians at sea.[4] Naval ensign
Naval ensign
and jack[edit] The naval ensign of Belgium
Belgium
has the three national colours in a saltire, on a white field, with a black crown above crossed cannons at the top and a black anchor at the bottom. It was created in 1950, shortly after the Belgian Navy
Belgian Navy
was re-established, having been a section of the British Royal Navy
Royal Navy
during World War II, and it is reminiscent of the white ensign of the Royal Navy.[5] There is also an official Belgian naval jack, which is the same as the national flag, except in a 1:1 ratio, making it square.[5] Royal standard and flags on the royal palaces[edit] The royal standard of Belgium
Belgium
is the personal standard of the current king, Philippe, and features his monogram, an 'F' (for the Dutch 'Filip'), crossed with a 'P' in the four corners. The designs of royal standards of past monarchs have been similar.[6] Notably, the flag of Belgium
Belgium
flown on the Royal Palace of Brussels
Brussels
and the Royal Castle of Laeken
Royal Castle of Laeken
is in none of the proportions above. It has the irregular 4:3 ratio, making it taller than it is wide.[6] The stripes remain vertical. These proportions are explained as an aesthetic consideration, as the palaces are large, and the flags are thus viewed from far below, which makes them look more normal due to foreshortening.[6] The flags are flown above the palaces when the king is in Belgium, not necessarily just in one of the palaces. The flags are not flown if the king is on a state visit to another country or on vacation outside Belgium,[6] There have been exceptions to this rule, but in general presence or absence of the flag is a reasonably reliable indicator of whether or not the king is in the country. Protocol[edit]

The flag on the Belgian Senate
Belgian Senate
building.

As Belgium
Belgium
is a federal state, the flag of Belgium
Belgium
and the flags of the communities or regions in principle occupy the same rank.[1] Nonetheless, when flags are raised and lowered or carried in a procession, the national flag takes precedence over all the others.[1] The order of precedence is:[1]

The national flag of Belgium The flag of the community or region of Belgium The European flag The flags of the provinces of Belgium, in alphabetical order in the local language, if more than one is flown The flag of the municipality

If there is a visiting head of state, that country's flag may be set second in precedence, all other flags dropping a rank.[1] Related flags[edit]

Flag of the Austrian Netherlands 

Flag of the United Belgian States 

Flag of Belgium
Belgium
(1830) 

Flag of the Netherlands 

Flag of France 

Flag of Benelux 

See also[edit]

Belgium
Belgium
portal

Flag of Flanders Flag of Wallonia Flag of Brussels Driekleur trikot

References[edit]

^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Van den Bussche, E., Chief of Protocol, Belgian Federal Department of the Interior (2008). Noble Belgique, ô Mère chérie - LE PROTOCOLE EN BELGIQUE (PROTOCOL IN BELGIUM) (in French). Heule: Editions UGA. ISBN 978-90-6768-935-9.  ^ "Belgium". Flags of the World. June 6, 2009. Retrieved October 3, 2009.  ^ Converted from CMYK
CMYK
using an online colour converter. ^ "Civil flag and Ensign of Belgium". Flags of the World. April 17, 2009. Retrieved November 3, 2009.  ^ a b "Belgium: Naval ensign
Naval ensign
and jack". Flags of the World. July 7, 2006. Retrieved November 3, 2009.  ^ a b c d "Belgium: Royal standard". Flags of the World. Retrieved July 3, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Flags of Belgium.

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