The name Lebanon has its origins from the Semitic root lbn, which means ‘white’ – a possible reference to the snow-covered mountains which is known as Mount Lebanon. For 400 years, until 1918, Lebanon was under the rule of Ottaman Empire and from 1920 till 1943, the country was under the French mandate. Henry Pharoun, one of the founding fathers of modern Lebanon designed the national flag which has a green cedar tree amidst the red and white stripes. The cedar tree is the symbol of Lebanon and appears on many occasions in the Bible. 

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