Because of its long history, natural beauty, and rich culture, the Republic of Lebanon has always inhabited a special place in the world. Beginning with its independence on November 22, 1943, Lebanon has been and continues to be an integral player in the Middle East and throughout the international community.
As an Arab country, Lebanon's official language is Arabic; however, English and French are widely spoken. Tolerance and the encouragement of diversity as well as its strong political culture have confirmed Lebanon's world prominence. In fact, Lebanon is a founding member of the League of Arab States (LAS) and the United Nations and played a major role in the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Upon its independence, Lebanon adopted this flag (shown below) as a symbol of its enduring strength through self-sacrifice, durable peace, and sound democracy.
As a democratic republic, Lebanon enjoys a parliamentary system of government and a cabinet headed by a Prime Minister. The structure of government at the national level is based on its constitutional principle of separation of executive, legislative, and judicial powers.