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Thursday September 21, 2017

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Flag of the Pirates


Flag of British Honduras 1870-1919 and 1919-1981


Unofficial civil flag of Belize 1950-1981 (This flag was the basis for the current national flag)


Flag of the Colonial Governor, 1870-1981


Standard of the Governor General of British Honduras before 1981

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Flags of Belize in History

The primary colours of the modern flag of Belize are Blue (Azure) and Red (Gules). The base section of the shield of the Coat of Arms represents a ship at sea under full sail. The upper two sections show tools of the timber industry: a paddle, a squaring axe and a saw. Supporting the shield is a Mestizo Belizean (left) holding a beating axe and an Afro-Belizean (right) holding a paddle. Above the shield is a mahogany tree. Below is a scroll with the motto written in Latin "SUB UMBRA FLOREO" (UNDER THE SHADE I FLOURISH). A wreath of 50 leaves (from the Scorn of the Earth plant) encircle the Coat of Arms, symbolizing the year 1950 when Belizeans began the struggle for independence.

The modern Belize flag was originally designed by Mr. Inez Sanchez and Mr. Everald Waight. Prior to Belize's independence, an open competition was held for the design of a new flag and coat of arms. The winning design was selected out of almost 80 entries. The flag was referred to as the "flag of unity". It was produced in Liverpool, United Kingdom. At midnight on 20 September 1981, the Union Jack was lowered and the new flag was raised over an independent Belize. This first flag is on display at The George Price Center, Belmopan.

"This flag was the very first hoisted over the independent Country of Belize. At midnight, September 20, 1981, the ground of the Government House in Belize City was plunged into darkness, The Union Jack was lowered. When the spotlight flooded the flagpole, there, flying proudly, was the Belize Flag. " - The George Price Center.

9/11 - This Belize flag was recovered from the World Trade Center site after it was destroyed on 11 September 2001. In early December 2001, an officer from the New York Police Department visited the Permanent Mission of Belize to the United Nations in New York. He handed over the Belize flag to Mission personnel. On 21 January 2002, the flag was donated to the Museum of Belize for display. It is now part of the Museum's permanent collection.

Here are the flags that have flown over Belize:

Top photo - The Flag of an Independent Belize, September 21st, 1981

(2) - The Skull and Bones ( Jolly Rogers ) was the Flag of the Pirates. (The Bucaneers who first invaded our shores pirating.

(3) - The British Honduras Flag, that included the Baymen's Coat of Arms, - 1862 to 1981.

(4) - The P.U.P. Proposed Belizean Flag of 1950 to 1981.

(5) - The " UNION JACK "( British Flag ) which the British Governor Flew at Government House. 1862 to 1981.

(6) - The Governor General Flag since 1981.

Click here for Early 1800s Merchant flags of Belize




The History and Evolution of the Belize Flag

The Belize History Association (BHA) in collaboration with the Institute for Social and Cultural Research and its partners proudly presents its Sixth Annual September Lecture as part of the 2019 September Celebrations. The lecture is entitled “The History and Evolution of the Belize Flag”. The lecture was held at the Bliss Center in Belize City on Tuesday, 17th September 2019, at 8:00 p.m. The lecture was delivered by Mr. Nigel Encalada, Director of the Institute for Social and Cultural Research of the National Institute of Culture and History.




Scouts Association of Belize - Flag Protocols

Evolution of Sub-Umbra Floreo

by Jeremy A. Enriquez

It might now remain hardly known that Belize’s Coat of Arms was emblazoned with two black men whose labor, blood, sweat and tears formed the foundation of Belize’s territory. Based on historical facts, these black men represented two groups of blacks in Belize. One represents the enslaved Africans who were forcefully made to harvest logwood and mahogany from the Sibun River all the way to the Rio Hondo.

In the late 1790s, there was a severe shortage of labor to harvest highly lucrative mahogany for the European market as a result of several incidents of riot and escape of enslaved people to neighboring territories. Consequently, with this shortage of labor threatening the stability of the settlement and with the stands of mahogany depleted in the legal territory the British forestocracy had to scheme to cut further south of the Sibun. To survive this dire economic situation, a decision was made by the leaders of the Settlement to import Garifuna laborers from Roatan.

Between August and December 1802, 150 Garifuna laborers were imported from Roatan to cut mahogany. The result soon thereafter was a sharp increase in mahogany exports, substantially benefitint the elites of the settlement. For well over a century, Garifuna woodcutters toiled through the deep forests of southern Belize to harvest mahogany. Both group of Blacks – Creole and Garifuna ancestors in Belize - established the economic foundation for the formation, expansion and survival of the territory.

Sub umbra floreo (under the shade I flourish) does not explain who remained in the shade to flourish from the brutal, strenuous labor of these groups but that’s for another discussion. While the Coat of Arms was adjusted to include others, it may have slightly distorted the historical intent. Ironically, after the tremendous toil and sacrifices of these groups of native Belizeans, their descendants continue to be discriminated against, marginalized and criminalized, perhaps not by coincidence.


Coat of Arms, 1829


Harvesting of mahogany was tremendously labor intensive, forced labor of enslaved Africans in Belize's early history, followed by imported labor of Garifuna men starting in 1802.




Former Coat of Arms of Belize showing the industrious labor of two black groups that harvested mahogany which formed the basis and survival of the early Settlement of Belize. Without their labor, there would most likely be no other way for Belize to sustain it settlement and likely have been no Belize as we know it.


A Felled Giant


Mahogany tree - felling operation nearly complete


Mahogany tree - wood cutter about to commence to fell. Garifuna men also served as woodcutters in Belize from 1802, for well over a century to enrich the British forestocracy, only to be discriminated and marginalized through laws that prevented them from even living within the settlement of Belize at the time. It is why even to today, Garifuna communities remain south of what was then the Sibun River border limits as it was designed to be. Sub umbra floreo (under the shade I flourish) does not signify who actually flourished from their labor.

True Story of the Belize Flag

by Hector Silva

NOW MY FELLOW BELIZEANS. As promised to you, here is the TRUE STORY of the Flag of Belize. - - I was there, when this story began.

Prior to 1950, when the PUP was founded, there was never in DREAMS the idea that there would be the need, for another flag of British Honduras. - - - Many British Hondurans proudly shouted,- " I was born under the British Flag and I will die under it. "

IN FACT, THERE ARE STILL MANY BELIZEANS WITH THIS IN MIND.

FAST FORWARD to January 1st, 1950,

When the British Honduras Dollar was devalued at Midnight, of December 31st, 1949, an urgent meeting was called at George Price residence, where a decision sprouted to break ties with the British Colonial Yoke.

At a historic public meeting held, at the Battle Field, on January 6th, 1950, young George Price in his powerful address, stated.

" PATRIOTS we are. Loyal citizens of this country. - We rise up to defend our God given rights against Economic slavery, human misery, and bodily starvation.

We defend these rights at this stage, by a constitutional and legitimate protest. "

FROM THIS DAY ONWARD, the peaceful Revolution began and the Movement of Independence began to prepare the way forward.

The People's Committee began making the preparations for this onward struggle. There was need for a proposed FLAG, a NAME for the future Nation, an Anthem and other trimmings.

BAM BAM, An old man in his 90's, by name Mr Bennet, came to Mr Price and told him a story, told to him by his Grandfather.

The Story.- " My grand father told me, that on the FLAG POLE behind the Supreme Court, there was another FLAG, called the BAYMEN FLAG. - It had a sail boat and working tools on the flag. "

George Price immediately called Mr Nacho Valdez, an artist and Cheorographer and asked him to dig into this Story.

Nacho found two evidences. -

1. - The Colonial Flag of 1862, which had the British Flag on a corner and an ensign with a Sail Boat and logging Tools on the other corner. )

2. -Then there was the Coat of Arms, of British Honduras, as granted by Royal Charter, on 28th January 1907.

WITH THESE INSTRUMENTS in hand, Mr Price then commissioned Mr Nacho Valdez and others ( I think Armando Diaz was among them ) to design a proposed FLAG.

SO WAS, A PROPOSED FLAG DESIGNED, BY ADDING, 50 green Leaves in a Corolla to signify 1950. This was handed over to Mama Jane Usher to sow on a Pale Blue Cloth.-This proposed FLAG was then passed on to the Angelus Press, owned by friendly Mr Andrew Burns, and POST CARDS were printed. ( I have one of the Originals. )

This proposed flag was presented to the people at many public meetings, all over the country for their approval.

AND SO THIS WAS BRANDED AS THE FUTURE FLAG OF BELIZE.

Foot note.- The UDP, at all their Public Meetings, REJECTED this Flag, as looking too much like the Guatemalan Flag.

IN TESTIMONY, - - - - I here bye declare that this is the TRUE STORY of the Flag of Belize

Evolution of Sub-Umbra Floreo:

by Jeremy A. Enriquez

It might now remain hardly known that Belize’s Coat of Arms was emblazoned with two black men whose labor, blood, sweat and tears formed the foundation of Belize’s territory. Based on historical facts, these black men represented two groups of blacks in Belize. One represents the enslaved Africans who were forcefully made to harvest logwood and mahogany from the Sibun River all the way to the Rio Hondo.

In the late 1790s, there was a severe shortage of labor to harvest highly lucrative mahogany for the European market as a result of several incidents of riot and escape of enslaved people to neighboring territories. Consequently, with this shortage of labor threatening the stability of the settlement and with the stands of mahogany depleted in the legal territory the British forestocracy had to scheme to cut further south of the Sibun. To survive this dire economic situation, a decision was made by the leaders of the Settlement to import Garifuna laborers from Roatan.

Between August and December 1802, 150 Garifuna laborers were imported from Roatan to cut mahogany. The result soon thereafter was a sharp increase in mahogany exports, substantially benefitint the elites of the settlement. For well over a century, Garifuna woodcutters toiled through the deep forests of southern Belize to harvest mahogany. Both group of Blacks – Creole and Garifuna ancestors in Belize - established the economic foundation for the formation, expansion and survival of the territory.

Sub umbra floreo (under the shade I flourish) does not explain who remained in the shade to flourish from the brutal, strenuous labor of these groups but that’s for another discussion. While the Coat of Arms was adjusted to include others, it may have slightly distorted the historical intent. Ironically, after the tremendous toil and sacrifices of these groups of native Belizeans, their descendants continue to be discriminated against, marginalized and criminalized, perhaps not by coincidence.

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