A History of the Brazilian Flag

Olá, amigos!

The History (A história)

Our national flag has gone through many designs (projetos) since Brazil was an empire (1822 – 1889).  The previous design consisted of a green (verde) field, with a yellow (amarelo) diamond (diamante) in the middle and a coat of arms in the centre.

By 1889, our first republican flag was adopted.  It was inspired by the US flag.  It was replaced soon after by our current flag.  The states of Goiás, Piauí and Sergipe adopted versions of the US-inspired Brazilian flag and they still fly them today.

Brazil has had 1 (doze) different flags before our current one.  It was adopted in 1889 when Brazil became a republic, our national flag changed by adding a blue circle on a starry sky with a curved band over it (containing the national motto).

Our flag design (projeto), shapes (formas) and 3 colours (cores) were designed after independence to symbolise our country, but what does the design portray?

The design (O projeto)

Our flag (bandeira) has a green background with a large yellow diamond and a star studded blue circle which has a band across it, with our national motto: “Ordem e Progresso”. 

The position of the stars reflect the Rio de Janeiro sky (our previous capital) on the day of Proclamation of the Republic (Proclamação da República). The stars stand for our 26 (vinte e seis) states (estado) the federal district, Brasília.  There is one single star above the white band which symbolizes the state of Pará, whose largest part of territory lies in the northern hemisphere.

The colours (As cores)

Green (verde) represents our and forests (florestas) and woods (matas), the greenery of the

Yellow (Amarelo)represents the mineral riches of our soil.  Gold (ouro) has been one of the primary natural resources of our country.

Blue (Azul) is for the Brazilian sky (céu), and the many river (rios) that run through our country.

White (Branco) the white band and stars are commonly believed to be a symbol of paz (peace).

The motto (o lema) – Ordem e Progresso (Order and Progress) was influenced by the French philosopher Augusto Comte, founder of positivist thinking.  It was based upon his saying: “O Amor por princípio e a Ordem por base; o Progresso por fim” (Love as a principle and order as the basis; progress as the goal).

Flag facts!

The flag’s nickname – is referred to as Auriverde. This is a word to describe golden-green, referencing the flag’s colours.

The flag has a national hymn.  Its always sung and performed on flag day (November 19th).  The chorus translates as follows: Take the affection enclosed, In our Youthful chest,

There is specific regulations and rules concerning our flag. The flag must always be flown at the Praca de Tres Poderes (Three Powers Plaza) in the capital of Brazil, Brasilia.  If a foreign flag is raised next to the flag of Brazil, it must be along its right side.  The only time this is waived is during a sporting event.

We have rules for folding our flag.  Concentrate…….the upper portion must be folded into the reverse side. Following this, the lower half is folded also into the reverse side so that just the blue globe and motto face up. After that, it is folded along the width, into 3 parts, so the final result shows just part of the blue globe and motto….we do this ever night after closing at Vaqueiros.

By law our flag must be raised and lowered every day at presidential palaces, national congress and ministries and Federal, State and Local institutions and selected other government facilities.

When a flag can no longer be used, it must be legally burned in a ceremony that can only take take place only on National Flag Day.  It also has to be carried out by the military. In our capital city (Brasilia), the largest flag that weighs 600 kg and is 70 x 100 m.  We’re glad we don’t have to hoist that one up and down every day.