||The Belize Flag
The flag was created prior to our Independence and was designed by two
public officers, Mr. Everal Waight and Mr. Inez Sanchez. The colors of the
flag (red, white and blue) are a symbol of the unity of our nation. Note: Our
flag is unique in that it features human beings, not symbols or animals
||The Coat of Arms
The Coat of Arms exemplifies the importance of the 17th 18th century
when the Mahogany industry was the foundation of our economy and the
history of Belize. It is divided into three sections by a vertical line and an
inverted V. The base section represents a sailing ship at sea while the
two upper sections depict tools significant to the timber industry in Belize.
Above the shield, which is supported by two woodcutters, rises a
mahogany tree and below it is our National Motto: “Sub Umbra Florero”
(latin words meaning “Under the Shade I flourish”).
The Tapir or Mountain Cow (Tapirello Bairdii) is a stoutly built animal with
short legs (about the size of a donkey) and can weigh up to 600 pounds.
Its general color is dusty brown with a white fringe around the eyes and
lips, white tipped ears and occasional white patches of fur on the throat
and chest. It is related to the horse and rhinoceros. The Tapir is a
vegetarian and is usually found in water or mud shallows. It is a strong
swimmer. Note: the Tapir is protected under the wildlife protection laws of
Belize, thus the hunting of the tapir is illegal.
The Keel Billed Toucan (Ramphastos Solfurantus), our National Bird, is
noted for its great, canoe-shaped bill, brightly colored green, blue, red and
orange feathers. The bird is about 20 inches in overall length, mostly
black with bright yellow cheeks and chest, red under the tail with a
distinctive white patch at base. They enjoy fruits in their diets and can be
found in open areas of the country with large trees. They have a nesting
period of about six to seven weeks and normally lay two to four eggs,
which are incubated by both parents.
||The Black Orchid (Encydia Cochleatum)
Our National Flower blooms nearly all year round can be found growing on
trees in damp areas. It has greenish-yellow petals and sepals with purple
blotches near the base. The "lip," its showiest part, is shaped like a valve
of a clam shell and is deep purplish-brown, almost black, with
conspicuous radiating purple veins.
||The Mahogany Tree
The Mahogany Tree (Swietenia Macrophilla) is one of the magnificent
giants of the forest. It stands over a hundred feet tall from its great roots.
The tree can be spotted from a great distance especially when its leaves
fall and new red-brown growth appears. When its fruits mature, they split
and its seeds are scattered by the wind to germinate and begin a new
cycle. The mahogany tree matures in 60 to 80 years.