Belgian Insights: Lion of Flanders

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Before you go out and get that Lion of Flanders tattoo on your calf, you’ll want to know the real meaning of those iconic yellow and black Lion of Flanders flags you see at so many bicycle races.

Words by Jeff Lockwood. Photos by Chipps Chippendale and Neil Webb.

First published in Grit.cx Issue 1: October 2014

It’s a simple flag. Bright yellow with a black, stylized lion standing on its hind legs in some sort of aggressive stance. These particular flags and banners have become an iconic piece of the background scene of bicycle races around the world, especially in Europe, particularly in Belgium and heavily in the Flanders region.

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