The emblem on the national flag of Lebanon is a green cedar tree; this tree is a symbol of wealth and strength. The green cedar has been important for the culture of Lebanon for centuries.
The first Lebanese flag featured the cedar in the middle of a French flag, showing the French military administration of the region. The cedar was a popular choice, having been part of the construction of the temple of King Solomon and other important projects during ancient times.
When the Free French defeated the Vichy regime in Lebanon during World War II, the stage was set for Lebanese independence, and in 1943, the new Lebanese state was born. Power was shared among Shi'ite Muslims, Sunnite Muslims and Christians, and the existing flag went into use. Its red and white stripes refer to the Yemenites and Kayssites, clans that had lived in the region of Lebanon for over 1000 years.