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The Brazilian flag Posted by on Sep 9, 2017 in Brazilian News, Brazilian Profile, Culture, Customs, Geography, History, Vocabulary

[A bandeira do Brasil]

Olá, amigos! Hello, my friends!  Independência ou morte! Indepedence or death!

Two days ago, September 7th, was a national feriado (holiday) meant to celebrate Brazil’s dia da independência (independence day). Our país (country) was declared livre (free) from our former colonizer Portugal by prince Pedro the first on that date in 1822. On this patriotic note, today’s post will discuss the Brazilian flag, a symbol that represents our nation.

Palavras-chave | keywords: bandeira (flag), nação (nation), country (país), cor

Throughout history, Brazil has had doze (12) different flags before the current one, established in 1889, was adopted. Its cores (colors), formas (shapes) and projeto (design), though simple at first sight, can be a lot more intricate and complex than meets the eye! It was created by four individuals: a positivist professor, Raimundo Teixeira Mendes, Miguel Lemos (also a positivist), the astronomer Manuel Pereira Reis e and the pintor (painter) Décio Vilares. But what does our flag mean? Here is some information that might be helpful:

The Brazilian flag

O projeto – The design

The Brazilian flag consists of a green background with a large horizontal yellow diamond and a star studded blue circle inside, across which there is a band that reads our national motto: “Ordem e Progresso”. The positions in which the estrelas (stars) are disposed  are supposed to reflect the Rio de Janeiro sky (the country’s capital at the time) on the day of Proclamação da República (Proclamation of the Republic). The stars stand for our vinte e seis (26) states and the federal district, Brasília. There is one single star above the white band which symbolizes the estado (state) of Pará, whose largest part of territory lies in the northern hemisphere.

As cores – The colors

It is said that the colors of the flag used to represent the royal families in Brazil, but this interpretation has been replaced by one that focuses more on our natural resources:

Verde – Green: it depicts the Brazilian matas (woods) and florestas (forests), the greenery of the Amazon rainforest or the atlantic jungle, any of our vast and gorgeous tropical paisagens (landscapes).

Amarelo – Yellow: it shows the mineral riches of our soil, since ouro (gold) has been one of the primary natural resources found in our terras (lands).

Azul – Blue: it portrays the Brazilian céu (sky), but it is also said to represent the many rios (rivers) that run through our territory.  

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

O lema – The motto

The phrase Ordem e Progresso (Order and Progress) inscribed at our flag was influeced by the French philosopher Augusto Comte, founder of positivist thinking, a very popular movement at the time. 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).

If you want to learn more about the history of our independence and other events that led up to it, you can check out these previous posts:

https://blogs.transparent.com/portuguese/september-7th-brazils-independence-day/

https://blogs.transparent.com/portuguese/o-grito-do-ipiranga-brazils-independence-day/

https://blogs.transparent.com/portuguese/brazilian-independence-day/

https://blogs.transparent.com/portuguese/why-do-brazilians-speak-portuguese/

What can you tell me about the flag of your country?

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