Flagging the issue of Belgian patriotism

24th July 2009, Comments 0 comments

Many of those charged with guiding the country had no idea of the significance of black, yellow and red in the Belgian flag.

In a recent survey by La Province, politicians in the provinces were asked to explain the relevance of the three colours that form the Belgian national flag.  Each of the politicians gave a different reason, none of which corresponded to the true history of the colours.

The colours of the Belgian flag are those of the shield of the ancient duke of Brabant. The shield depicts a golden lion (yellow) with red teeth and claws on a black background. The motto beneath reads: “Unity makes strength”.

That’s the official story.

photo : PeterForret

Some reckon the black strip symbolises chocolate, the yellow represents frites, and the red shows Wépion strawberries.

But that’s just folklore.

Should our politicians worldwide know the significance of their national colours, drape flags outside their houses, and whistle their national anthem in the shower? Maybe overt patriotism is becoming unfashionable, desperate as we are to embrace the new and the different, and to live under the flag of the global village.

sources: La ProvinceLa Nouvelle Gazette 

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