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Belgium: Military Colours and Standards

Last modified: 2002-11-30 by ivan sache
Keywords: amilitary colour | military standard |
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For all the flags described below, a gold fringe 5 cm wide is attached.
The staff is black, in two pieces with a brass joint, and topped by a 15 cm (7.5 cm on fanions) gilt bronze finial consisting of an ionic column surrounded by an oak and laurel wreath supporting a rectangular platform.
On the longer sides of the platform, the national motto and unit designation are inscribed in French (L'Union fait la force) on one side and in Dutch (Eendracht maakt Macht) on the other.
On the ends are the initials of the monarch presenting the color.
Atop the platform is a rampant lion of Brabant.

Unit decorations are attached below the finial, as is a 1.5 m (for drapeaux) gold cord and tassels, tied around the staff at the middle, with the ends of the cord tied in a knot halfway down their length.


  • Luc A. Lecleir, Emblemen en Eervolle Vermeldingen van de Eenheden (Brussels: Dienst Geschiedenis, 1972)
  • Belgium File, U.S. Army Institute of Heraldry

Joe McMillan, 2 February 2002

Infantry units

Infantry units have a drapeau / vlag, a square vertical tricolor of black, yellow, and red within a 15 mm wide gold border, the whole being 90 cm square. The names of actions for which the unit was cited in the orders of the Belgian Army are embroidered in gold in French on the obverse and in Dutch on the reverse, in straight lines.

[1st of Line, reverse][1st of Line, obverse]by Joe McMillan

Example: First Regiment of the Line, obverse and reverse of the flag

Joe McMillan, 2 February 2002

Cavalry and Artillery units

Cavalry and artillery regiments carry an étendard / vaandel. The same pattern as above, but 80 cm square.

Joe McMillan, 2 February 2002

Cyclist and Engineers units

Cyclist and Engineers units have a fanion / wimpel, again the same pattern, but 70 cm square.

Joe McMillan, 2 February 2002

Air Force units

Air Force units carry a flag known as a fanion / wimpel, but 80 cm square like an army étendard / vaandel. Otherwise the same design.

Joe McMillan, 2 February 2002

Navy units

Navy units have a drapeau / vlag, as for the infantry, with the exception that the top inscription is MARINE BELGE on the obverse and BELGISCHE MARINE on the reverse (formerly FORCE NAVALE and ZEEMACHT).

Joe McMillan, 2 February 2002

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