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Flags, Symbols & Currency of Belize

The National flag of Belize features a royal blue field with two narrow red stripes along the top and bottom edges, with the coat of arms on a central disc on the blue field;

The flag of Belize was officially adopted on September 21, 1981.

The national flag of Belize features a royal blue field with two narrow red stripes along the top and bottom edges. Centered on the flag is a large white disk bearing the coat of arms which is held by a mestizo and a man of African descent. The colors on the flag represent the country’s political parties. The blue color is the color of the People’s United Party (PUP). The red stripe color recognizes the colors of the opposition party – the United Democratic Party (UDP). The centered coat of arm features a shield flanked by two workers in front of a mahogany tree with the related motto SUB-UMBRA FLOREO (I Flourish in the Shade) on a scroll at the bottom. It is encircled by a green garland of 50 mahogany leaves, symbolizing the year 1950 in which PUP (People's United Party) came into power. The various elements of the coat of arms - the figures, the tools, the mahogany tree, and the garland of leaves - recall the logging industry that led to the British settlement of Belize. The flag has a width-to-length proportion ratio of 3:5.

History of the Flag of Belize

Being a British colony, the colonial flag of Belize displayed the Union Jack in the canton of a blue field along with the nation’s coat of arms. Until 1981, this was the official flag of Belize. An unofficial national flag of Belize was used by its citizens since 1950. It displayed the country’s coat of arms in a white disc on a solid blue field without the Union Jack. It was also the first flag that the government had planned to adopt when the country gained independence. But due to complaints from the opposition party, the ruling party changed the design to the modern one to also include the colors of the opposition party.

Historical Flags Of Belize

Flag of British Honduras/Belize

Flag of British Honduras/Belize used from 1919 to 1981
Flag of British Honduras/Belize used from 1919 to 1981

Symbols of Belize

The National Coat of Arms of Belize

National Coat of Arms of Belize

    The Coat of Arms of Belize was adopted in 1981 upon independence. The shield of the Coat of Arms is divided into three sections by a vertical line and an inverted V. The base section represents a ship in full sail on waves of the sea. The two upper sections show tools of the timber industry in Belize: a paddle and a squaring axe in the right section; and a saw and a beating axe in the left section. Supporting the shield are two woodcutters, the one on the right holding a beating axe over his shoulder in his right hand, and the one on the left holding a paddle over his shoulder in his left hand. A wreath of 25 leaves encircles the Coat of Arms. Above the shield rises a mahogany tree. Below the shield is the motto scroll: SUB UMBRA FLOREO (I Flourish in the Shade). The Coat of Arms embodies an important aspect of the history of Belize, as the mahogany industry formed the basis of the Belizean economy in the 18th and 19th centuries. 

    National Motto:

    "Sub Umbra Floreo" " Under the shade (of the mahogany tree) I flourish. "

    National Anthem

    • Anthem Title: "Land of the Free"
    • Music Composer: Selwyn Walford Young
    • Lyricist: Samuel Alfred Haynes
    • Date of Adoption: September 21, 1981.

    "Land of the Free" is the national anthem of Belize. The music of the anthem has been composed by Selwyn Walford Young. The lyrics has been authored by Samuel Alfred Haynes - a Belizean soldier. The anthem was officially adopted on September 21, 1981 upon Independence from Great Britain. The British anthem "God Save the Queen" is still retained as the "Royal Anthem" in Belize, as the British Royal Monarch is the Head of State of Belize. 

    Land of the Free

    O, Land of the Free by the Carib Sea,

    Our manhood we pledge to thy liberty!

    No tyrants here linger, despots must flee

    This tranquil haven of democracy

    The blood of our sires which hallows the sod,

    Brought freedom from slavery, oppression's rod

    By the might of truth, and the grace of God, 

    No longer shall we be hewers of wood.

    Arise! ye sons of the Baymen's clan,

    Put on your armour, clear the land!

    Drive back the tyrants, let despots flee -

    Land of the Free by the Carib Sea!

    Nature has blessed thee with wealth untold,

    O'er mountains and valleys where prairies roll;

    Our fathers, the Baymen, valiant and bold

    Drove back the invader; this heritage hold

    From proud Rio Hondo to old Sarstoon,

    Through coral isle, over blue lagoon;

    Keep watch with the angels, the stars and moon;

    For freedom comes tomorrow's noon.

    (Chorus)

    The Currency of Belize is the Belize dollars

    The official currency of Belize is Belize dollars ($, BZ$). Its smallest division is 100 cents it. It is pegged at 2 BZ$ to one US$.

    Coins

    The introduction of one cent bronze in the year 1885 led to the issuance of other denominations during 1894; which are 50, 20, 10, and 5 cents. All these coins were produced at Royal Mint matching the design of another dollar in British colonies notably Canada and Hong Kong. The one-cent coin assumed the shape of a scallop in 1956 after its diminishing size in the year 1954.

    Banknotes

    The introduction of notes in various denominations by the government under the Board of Commissioners between 1894 and 1976. The denominations are 100, 50, 10, 5, and 1 dollar. However, 100- and 50-dollars’ production stopped at the end of 1928. During 1973, British Honduras's name got replaced by Belize leading to a circulation of various notes bearing the country name in years to come. On January 1, 1982, Belize’s Central Bank came into being after the enactment of Central Bank of Belize Act No.15, and the first note produced bearing the country name came on July 1, 1983.

    Belize dollar Banknote

    5 Belize dollars banknote.
    5 Belize dollars banknote.

    Belize dollar Coin

    Obverse of Belize coin 1 dollar 2000
    Obverse of Belize coin 1 dollar 2000

    Historical Currencies of Belize

    The Spanish dollar became the first currency to circulate from 1765 to 1825. However, in the year 1825, a council order was enacted for all colonies under British administration to use the sterling. The sterling traded with the Spanish dollar based on the amount of silver in the dollar rather than the gold in sterling.

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