Flag of Belgium
450px-Flag of Belgium
Adopted January 23, 1831
Designed by Lucien Jottrand and Edouard Ducpétiaux
Proportions 13:15

The flag of Belgium is a vertical tricolour of black, yellow, and red.


The colours of the Belgian flag derive from the historical coat of arms of the duchy of Brabant, which comprised of a golden lion with red claws and tongue on a black field and stretched from the modern Dutch province of North Brabant, through Antwerp and Flemish Brabant and Brussels to modern day Walloon Brabant. They were first used during a revolution against the Austrian Habsburgers in 1792, with the establishment of the short-lived United Belgian States in the Austrian Southern Netherlands (roughly the equivalent of modern day Belgium).[1]

Coats of arms of Belgium Government

The coat of arms of the Duchy of Brabant is also used as the coat of arms for the Kingdom of Belgium.

When Belgium revolted against the United Kingdom of The Netherlands in 1830 the Brabantic colours were again used, albeit in a horizontal tricolour of red, yellow and black. When actual independence was achieved a year later the colours were placed in the contemporary vertical pattern, inspired by the vertical French tricolore, which represented liberty and revolution[2], and possibly to differentiate from the horizontal tricolour of the Dutch.[3]


  • The rather odd proportions of the Belgian flag are of unknown origin. For simplicity's sake the Belgian flag for civil use has the more common 2:3 proportion.


  1. Grote geïllustreerde vlaggengids by William Crampton (nl)
  2. Complete Flags of the World
  3. 'Sire er zijn geen Belgen' at Belgische Politiek (nl)

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