The flag of Belize is a continued version of the earlier flag of British Honduras (the name of Belize during the British colonial period).
British Honduras obtained a coat-of-arms on January 28, 1907, which formed the basis of the badge used on British ensigns. The coat of arms recalls the logging industry that first led to British settlement there. The figures, tools, and mahogany tree represents this industry. From 1950 onward an unofficial national flag was in use. It was blue, with a modified version of the arms on a white disc in the centre (sometimes a blank white circle was used as the coat of arms was difficult to draw). The national motto, Sub Umbra Floreo, meaning I Flourish in the Shade, is written in the lower part of the coat-of-arms.
The flag is royal blue, with a white disc at the centre containing the National Coat of Arms surrounded by fifty mahogany leaves. The flag is bordered at top and bottom by two red stripes.
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 UDP, established in 1973, had objected to the original blue and white design, those two colours being the PUP's representative colours. 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. Blue is the party colour of the PUP (People's United Party. The 50 leaves recall 1950, the year PUP came to power.
The flag of Belize is unique in that it contains twelve colours, three more than on any other national flag. Also, it is the only country to have human beings depicted on its national flag (the flags of Montserrat and the Virgin Islands, both British dependencies, also depict humans).