The flag of Belize serves as a constant reminder to the people that unity among them is fulfilled. The colors red, blue and white are representatives of the two major political parties of the country – the People’s United Party and the United Democratic Party. It means that the people are unified regardless of their political affiliations. It was officially adopted on September 21, 1981 after it gained its independence from the United Kingdom.
The flag of Belize is composed of a royal blue background with two red horizontal stripes. In the middle of it is a white disc with the country’s coat of arms. Symbols in the coat of arms include 50 olive leaves, a mahogany tree, two woodcutters with different complexions and implements, a shield depicting the tools used for the mahogany trade and a merchant ship with the British ensign, and a flowing scroll inscribed with the country’s motto.
The 50 olive leaves represent the year 1950, when the country of Belize, which was then known as British Honduras, started its quest for independence from Britain. The mahogany tree on the other hand depicts the country’s economical backbone. The two woodcutters have different complexions and carrying different tools each. The mulatto man is carrying an axe, which symbolizes the mahogany trade, and the black man is carrying an oar paddle that depicts the history of the woodcutters, of how they traveled by river to find the best logs. Furthermore, all the tools depicted on the shield and merchant ship indicate the importance of the mahogany trade to the country and its people.
The most interesting symbol in all of the ones represented in the flag of Belize is the motto inscribed in the blue scroll – “Sub Umbra Floreo”. This motto literally means “Under the shadow we flourish”. It means that even if they lived under the shadow of a conquering giant, the country still managed to flourish and progress.