Story of the Lebanese Flag
Throughout history, Lebanon, or at least its region, had taken the flag of the people who occupied it (Phoenician, Mamluk, and Ottoman).
Here are some of the flags used throughout Lebanon's history:
Old Phoenician flag: This flag was blue, symbolizing the sea.
Phoenician flag: This flag was blue, symbolizing the sea, and red color (probably ‘purple’ intended) after color was discovered.
Mamluk flag: consisted of a cloth embroidered with golden threads.
Rebels Flag during Prince Ibrahim’s Era: It became a white cloth with a red carnation at the bottom right corner.
Rebels Flag: It consisted of a cross and a sword, both white, on a red cloth.
Shehabian Flag (1697-1842): Consisted of a blue cloth with a white crescent.
The Lamaïte Flag: It consisted of a white cloth with a drawing of a Lion.
Abi Nakad Flag: Consisted of two vertical and equal bands, one yellow and one blue.
National Maanites Flag: The Kaïssy Party Flag.
Maanites Flag at the end of the Maanites Emirate: End of the 17th Century
Ottoman Flag: consisted of a red cloth with a white crescent and white star in the center, and remained as such until their departure in 1918
Jumblatian Flag: It consisted of a red flag with a green frame; a sword and a dark green hand in the middle.
Lebanese Cedar: Following the fall of the Ottoman Empire, it consisted of a white cloth with a green cedar in the center.
Lebanese flag during the French Mandate (1920-1943): It was similar to the Blue, White and Red French Flag with a green Cedar in the middle, and was designed by the president of the Lebanese Renaissance Movement, the late Naoum Mukarzel.
In the 18th century the Maronites used a white flag with a cedar tree in the centre. It seems that in the First World War, Lebanese nationalists added the red stripes, representing firstly, the martyrs’ blood, and secondly, red and white were the colors of the Lebanese Legion, who, formed by the French in 1916, was the forerunner of the Lebanese Army.
When Lebanon was under a French mandate, the French tri-color was used with a cedar tree in the middle. There is a reference in Smith 1982 to the colors.