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Flag of Brazil
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Flag of Brazil

The modern Brazilian Republican flag was officially adopted on November 19, 1889. The concept was the work of Raimundo Teixeira Mendes, with the collaboration of Miguel Lemos and Manuel Pereira Reis. The design was executed by Décio Vilares. It is a green flag with a large yellow rhombus in the center. Within the rhombus there is a blue circle, with white stars of five different sizes and a white band running through it. The motto Ordem e Progresso ("Order and Progress") is inscribed in the band. The current Brazilian flag is this same November 19 1889 flag with some minor changes.

There was a previous flag designed by the Republicans, inspired by the flag of the United States of America. This flag was almost never used except November 15-19 1889.


The temporary Republican Brazilian Flag, November 15 -19 1889.

Table of contents
1 Symbology
2 The Stars
3 Other Brazilian Flags
4 External References

Symbology

It is often said that Brazil's national colors (green and yellow) represent the country's natural richness. Green would represent the exuberant forests of the Amazon Rainforest, the Atlantic Jungle, and the Pantanal, while the yellow rhombus would represent the country's gold reserves: Brazil had once the largest gold mines in world and, between 1500 to 1900, more gold was extracted from Brazilian territory than had previously existed in the whole world.

Actually, Brazil's current flag was inspired by the flag of the former Brazilian Empire:


The Empire Flag, September 18 1822 - November 15 1889

On the imperial flag, the green represents the Bragança Royal Family of Pedro I, the first Emperor of Brazil; and the yellow represents the Castela e Lorena Royal Family of Leopoldina, Pedro's wife. In the centre the old imperial flag bore the Royal Coat of Arms.

On the modern republican flag, the coat of arms has been replaced by the blue circle, which depicts the sky over Rio de Janeiro on the morning of November 15, 1889 – the day the Republic of Brazil was declared. It is shown as seen from outside of the celestial sphere (i.e. the view is mirrored). Each of the 27 stars represents a different state and the Federal District. The number of stars changes within the creation of new states and, since the founding of the republic, has risen from 21 stars.

The star that represents the Federal District is Sigma Octantis, and its position near the south celestial pole makes it visible across almost the whole country, year round. Also, given its polar position, all the other stars depicted on the flag trace appear to rotate around Sigma Octantis. Choosing this star to represent Brazil's capital is therefore particularly apt (although it is a much fainter star than any of the others).

The motto Ordem e Progresso ("Order and Progress") is inspired by Auguste Comte's motto of positivism: "L'amour pour principe et l'ordre pour base; le progrès pour but" ("Love the Principle and Order the Basis; Progress the Aim").

The current national flag and ensign of Brazil were adopted on May 12, 1992 (Law number 8.421 May 11, 1992).

The Stars

The constellation of the Southern Cross is on the meridian (indicated by the number 6 in the diagram). To the south of it is Polaris Australis (Sigma Octantis, numbered 7), representing the Federal District.

A list of constellations and stars on the map:

  1. Procyon (α Canis Minoris),
  2. Canis Major, with the largest star depicting Sirius,
  3. CanopusCarinae),
  4. SpicaVirginis)
  5. Hydra
  6. Crux
  7. Sigma Octantis (σ Octantis; south pole star)
  8. Triangulum Australe
  9. Scorpius, with the largest star depicting Antares

The stars representing the Brazilian states (except Sigma Octantis which represents the capital or Federal District):

   
STATE STAR CONSTELLATION SIZE
Amazonas Alpha Canis Minoris (Procyon) Canis Minor, the Little Dog 1
Mato Grosso Alpha Canis Majoris (Sirius) Canis Major, the Great Dog 1
Amapá Beta Canis Majoris (Mirzam) Canis Major, the Great Dog 3
Rondônia Gamma Canis Majoris (Muliphen) Canis Major, the Great Dog
Roraima Delta Canis Majoris (Wezen) Canis Major, the Great Dog 2
Tocantins Epsilon Canis Majoris (Adhara) Canis Major, the Great Dog 2
Pará Alpha Virginis (Spica) Virgo, the Virgin 1
Piauí Alpha Scorpii (Antares) Scorpius, the Scorpion 1
Maranhão Beta Scorpii (Graffias) Scorpius, the Scorpion 3
Ceará Epsilon Scorpii Scorpius, the Scorpion 2
Alagoas Theta Scorpii (Sargas) Scorpius, the Scorpion 2
Sergipe Iota Scorpii Scorpius, the Scorpion 3
Paraíba Kappa Scorpii Scorpius, the Scorpion 3
Rio Grande do Norte Lambda Scorpii (Shaula) Scorpius, the Scorpion 2
Pernambuco Mu Scorpii Scorpius, the Scorpion 3
Mato Grosso do Sul Alpha Hydrae (Alphard) Hydra, the Water Serpent 2
Acre Gamma Hydrae Hydra, the Water Serpent 3
São Paulo Alpha Crucis (Acrux) Crux, the Southern Cross 1
Rio de Janeiro Beta Crucis (Becrux) Crux, the Southern Cross 2
Bahia Gamma Crucis (Gacrux) Crux, the Southern Cross 2
Minas Gerais Delta Crucis Crux, the Southern Cross 3
Espírito Santo Epsilon Crucis Crux, the Southern Cross 4
Rio Grande do Sul Alpha Trianguli Australe Triangulum Australe, the Southern Triangle 2
Santa Catarina Beta Trianguli Australe Triangulum Australe, the Southern Triangle 3
Paraná Gamma Trianguli Australe Triangulum Australe, the Southern Triangle 3
Goiás Alpha Carinae (Canopus) Carina, the Keel of Argo
CAPITAL STAR CONSTELLATION SIZE
Brasília, DF (Federal District) Sigma Octantis (Polaris Australis) Octans, the Octant 5

Other Brazilian Flags

The list below identifies other flags also used in Brazil prior to the foundation of the Republic:


Christ's Order Flag (1332 - 1651)


Royal Flag (1500 - 1521)


Dom João III Flag (1521 - 1616)


Spanish Flag (1616 - 1640)


Restoration Flag (1640 - 1683)


Prince Flag (1645 - 1816)


Dom Pedro II Flag (Portugal 1683 - 1706)


Royal Flag, XVII century (1600 - 1700)


Portugal United Kingdoom, Brazil and Algarves (1816 - 1821)


Constitutional Regime Flag (1821 - 1822)


Imperial Flag (1822 - 1889)

External References

National flags
List of national flags | Gallery of national flags
List of national coats of arms