Thursday, September 21, 2006

Happy Independence Day!

Today, the country of Belize celebrates its 25th birthday! This is the Belize flag and below you will find a description of the flag, if you are interested:

Description of the Belize Flag:
Royal blue background with two red horizontal borders; one top border runs horizontally across the top from left to right and one bottom border runs across the bottom (baseline ) from left to right. Embellished in the center of the flag is the coat of arms: a white, filled in circle bordered by a green, circular, garland flowing in a clockwise direction.

The coat of arms features:

1. A mahogany tree: the first European settlers in Belize became mahogany traders and the mahogany trade was once the economical backbone of the colony.

2. Two woodcutters, the one on the left holding an axe and the one on the right holding a paddle (rivers were the mode of transportation for getting cut logwood back to the settlement; the logwood cutters found themselves paddling further up stream to find fresh logwood areas).

3. A shield showing the tools of the mahogany trade including a paddle, squaring axe, beating axe, saw and ship (Most of the Mahogany was shipped to Great Britain where it was in much demand for creating fine furniture).

4. A flowing scroll bearing the Latin motto "sub umbra floreo", meaning "under the shade I flourish", or/and implying "under the shade of the mahogany tree we flourish".

The Blue is the dominant party colour for the People's United Party (PUP)

The Red is the dominant party colour for the United Democratic Party (UDP). The PUP was in power at the time of independence (Sept 21st 1981) and naturally their colours would dominate. However, a bi-partisan committee for the designation of the official flag of Belize, which included representatives of the UDP agreed to or rather compromised to include the red horizontal stripes (red being the dominant party color for the UDP). This in my opinion was a fair and sensible inclusion, since upon election, any self respecting UDP majority government's first order of the day would have been to change the flag to reflect their party colours. Thankfully the flag has been accepted and embraced by all Belizeans and remains the National Flag of Belize.


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