The colours on the flag are respectively those of the country’s national parties, the People’s United Party (PUP) and United Democratic Party (Belize) (UDP).
The two red stripes at the top and bottom were added to the original design at independence. The coat of arms was granted in 1907. Red stripes were added to denote the colour of the opposition party. The 50 leaves recall 1950, the year PUP came to power.
In 1981, Belize gained its independence and a competition was held to design a national flag for the country. The winning submission consisted of the unofficial national flag used by the People’s United Party with a red border added to all four sides. This was changed to a red border on just the top and bottom before the design was officially adopted.
Previous flags to fly in Belize include: