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Belgium: Royal standard

Last modified: 2014-04-26 by ivan sache
Keywords: belgium | lion (yellow) | royal standard | albert ii | crown: royal | coat of arms | cypher | albert i | leopold iii |
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The Royal standard of the Kings of Belgium

Albert II

[Belgian royal standard]

King Albert II's car flag - Image by Mario Fabretto, 25 February 2001

The Royal standard is red with the greater arms of Belgium in the middle and Albert II4s cypher in each corner of the flag.
The colour of the standard's field should be rouge ponceau, but, according to Michel Lupant [lup98], "the colour actually used is close to the colour of the Order of Leopold's ribbon".
Album des Pavillons [pay00], as well as Michel Lupant, shows the "A" in the cypher as solid, whereas an older edition of Album des Pavillons [pie95] shows the "A" as voided.
On the flag used at sea, the cypher has number "II" between the downstrokes of letter "A". The car flag lacks the number.

Still according to Michel Lupant, HM the Queen Paola and HM the Queen Dowager Fabiola have a similar standard but with the open letter "P" and "F" in the cypher, respectively.

Željko Heimer, 25 February 2001


Leopold III

Flaggenbuch [neu92] shows Leopold's III standard as similar in design to Albert II's, but with letter "L" instead of "A" in the cypher. The cypher's height is 1/5 of the flag's side.
Queen Mother Elisabeth used the same standard with letter "E" in the cypher. Baudoin, Duke of Brabant (later crowned King of the Belgians as Baudouin) used the same standard with letter "B" in the cypher. Carl, Count of Flanders, used the same standard with letter "C" in the cypher.
The cyphers were much more elaborate than Albert II's very simple cypher.

Ivan Sache, 3 March 2001


Albert I

Flags of the United States and Other Countries [u9s38] shows a purple royal standard with shield on openwork gold frame and crowned royal cypher in each corner - apparently an "A" for Albert. This is similar to the current Royal standards, but with a more elaborate framework and more elaborate initials in the corners.

Joe McMillan, 25 February 2001


Dubious reports of Royal standard

[Royal standard 1858?]       [Royal standard, 1862?]       [Royal standard 1896?]

Dubious reports of Royal standard
- Left, 1858 - Image by António Martins, 8 October 2008;
- Middle, 1862 & 1917 - Image by Željko Heimer, 25 February 2000;
- Right, 1896 - Image by Željko Heimer, 25 February 2000

Old sources shows the Royal standard as the national flag with a black shield charged with a a yellow lion and crowned, with more or less elaborate supporters.
"A chart of national flags", published in 1858 in New York, shows the hsield supported by two lions standing on a scroll;
Colton's chart (1862 [clt62],reprinted in Znamierowski [zna99], p. 6) shows a similar, complicated rendition of the coat of arms. The same flag is shown in National Geographic Magazine, October 1917 [gmc17], page 354 (fig. 734).
The chart published by F.E. Wright in 1896 (reprinted in Znamierowski [zna99], p. 6) shows the crowned lion shield without additions.
Citing Le Gras (1858) [leg58] as a possible source (many would follow him), Roger Harmignies and Michel Lupant [h2l87] declare those Royal standards to be imaginary.

Željko Heimer, António Martins & Jan Mertens, 8 October 2008


Coronation special flags

On 21 June (the National Day) 2013, King of the Belgians Albert II (b. in 1934 as Albert Félix Humbert Théodore Christian Eugène Marie de Belgique; crowned on 9 August 1993) abdicated the throne for health reasons. He was succeeded by his son Philippe (b. in 1960 as Philippe Léopold Louis Marie de Belgique), who ascended the throne the same day.

[Belgian royal standard]

Coronation flag designed by the Belgian Alliance - Image from the party webshop, 22 July 2013

Different private "special" flags were produced for the event. The Belgian Alliance party designed a flag made of the Belgian tricolor with the profiles of Albert and Philippe, in red and yellow, respectively, in the black stripe. In the middle of the yellow stripe is placed a red shield surmounted with the Belgian crown and inscribed with "ALBERT II" / "FILIP", in white letters, separated by a thin yellow horizontal line, and, in base, the date of the event, "21-07-2013" in yellow numerals.

Wollux, a flag-maker from Mouscron, produced two serigraphied flags - that would probably not be called flags by purist vexillologists. As soon as the abdication of Albert II was announced, six people worked "all the night" to draft six proposals, of which two were eventually retained.
David Fournier, sales director at Wollux, said [L'Avenir, 5 July 2013]:

The first flag represents the king and the future king on a tricolour background, as well as the date of transfer of power. The second flag honours Philippe. On the two flags, we decided to use drawings of the sovereigns rather than photos. This is a kind of wink to cartoon industry, another national pride.