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Brazil National Flag – History, Facts, Symbolism and Stars
Image: Brazil’s National Flag
Brazil National Flag is basically a meme of Brazil’s national identity. Like all national flags, it is a quick visual symbol that is supposed to be understood within seconds, but somehow defines the entire nation. As the largest nation of South America, and the only one that was almost entirely defined by the Portuguese Empire, Brazil has a unique history and unique national identity. And so is Brazil’s national flag, formally the “Bandeira do Brasil” in the local language of Portuguese which is really unique and exceptional in its green, blue and yellow colors.
What does it say on the Brazil National Flag?
Brazilian Flag Motto: “Ordem e Progresso” (in English which is translated as “Order and Progress”)
The green ‘area’ of the flag has a yellow rhombus in the middle. In the centre of this yellow shape rhombus is a blue disc like circleor celestial globe depicting a starry sky which has 27 white five-pointed stars and a curved white equatorial band with their national slogan motto “Ordem e Progresso” inscribed across it.
What does “Ordem e Progresso” in the Brazilian Flag mean
“Ordem e Progresso” in english = “Order and Progress”
The slogan ‘Ordem e Progresso‘ is actually a well known motto of Positivism. It was mentioned in a quote of French philosopher Auguste Comte: ” L’amour et l’ordre pour principle pour base; pour le progrès but ” (which in English means “Love as a principle and order as the basis; progress the goal”)
The yellow and green colour areas represent the Braganza-Habsburg dynasty (Braganza-the first Emperor of Brazil, Habsburg-his wife, Empress Maria Leopoldina) and it has therefore, been a unique identity mark of the Brazilian flag since many, many years. The yellow also represents the gold reserves the country holds and the green also symbolizes the great Amazon Rainforest, the Panama and Atlantic Jungle– all of which are their amazing tropical landscapes.
The current design of the national flag was officially adopted by Brazil on November 19, 1889; replacing the previous flag of the Empire of Brazil, four days after Brazil became a republic. Marshal Deodoro da Fonseca, who was the provisional president of Brazil ordered to design a new flag for the new nation and the flag was designed by Raimundo Teixeira Mendes along with the help of Manuel Pereira Reis, Miguel Lemos and Décio Villares. The blue circular disc or celestial globe represented the night sky of Rio de Janeiro when it become republic, even in terms of the individual positioning of the stars.
How many stars are on the Brazilian Flag?
Brazil Nationa Flag shows 27 stars, representing all the Brazilian states and the Federal District.
These stars on the Brazil flag make up a symbolic constellation of the southern hemisphere – the Southern Cross with some other constellations around it. See number ( 6 ) on the picture above, you can see clearly the southern cross. Years after the proclamation of the republic, it was decided that as in the flag of the United States the stars would represent the states of Brazil. But unlike the stars on the USA flag, the stars on the Brazilian flag represents one particular state i.e. each of the 27 stars represents a specific state of Brazil plus one for the Federal District. Brazils national act number 5700 from September, 01, 1971 , describes how the flag shows the stars in the sky seen from Rio de Janeiro from a far distance. For the fact, since 6 new states were added to the country, the national flag had to be revised /redesigned and the new 27 stars flag was released in 1992 after their slight rearrangement as per their astrological coordinates. Actually the flag has been modified on 3 different occasions to add the additional stars to reflect the newly created states – first in 1960 (22 stars), then in 1968 (23 stars) and last in 1992 (27 stars).
On the white curved equatorial band the slogan motto “Ordem e Progresso” is written in green color letters. The stars are all not of same size but are actually five different sizes. Actually these colors of the Brazilian flag are not declared in any sort of legal document and hence the designers are free to use colors which are close approximations to the original.
There are a number of rules and regulations or you can say few protocols regarding the Brazilian flag issued by the Federal law on September 1, 1971.
This national flag has to be always hoisted at Praça dos Três Poderes, a plaza in Brasília.
The national flag has to be raised and lowered daily at each of the presidential palaces, National Congress, Supreme Federal Tribunal, Supreme Court of Justice, ministries, seats of the three governmental branches (legislative, executive and judicial), diplomatic missions, etc…
When a flag is no longer in use, it should be sent to a military facility, to be burned during a special ceremony on November 19 of each year, known as Flag Day.
Whenever an official mourning is declared by the Brazilian President, the flag must be flown at half-staff. In every such instance, the flag before being lowered to the halfway mark must first be raised to the top of the flagpole.
When other country flag is to be flown alongside Brazilian, it has to be positioned on the right-side of the Brazil’s flag, unless the other country flag is in a consulate or embassy. Also, when many countries flags are raised or lowered simultaneously, the Brazilian Flag has to be the first that reaches the top of the flagpole and the last that comes to the bottom.
There is also an Anthem for the Brazil National Flag which is a hymn dedicated to the country’s flag. It is performed every year on November 19 (Flag Day).
See Video below for Brazil National Anthem with Portuguese Lyrics and english translation