Every independent nation in the world has a flag that represents the unique aspects of the nation and instils a sense of pride in its citizens. Here are some interesting facts about Brazil’s flag that will help you delve deeper into its history and deep-rooted symbolism.
How does it look?
The bright yellow diamond in the heart of the flag has a dark green backdrop. At the middle of this yellow figure lies a blue globe with 27 white five-pointed stars of different sizes and a white banner with the motto ‘Ordem E Progresso’, which reads as ‘Order and Progress’, when translated into English.
How did it look in the past?
During the Brazilian Empire, Brazil’s national flag was slightly different from the one we see today. Back then, the center of the flag had an imperial coat of arms with a blue circle and stars neatly arranged inside it in addition to the yellow and green elements. Brazil became a republic in 1889, and a blue globe replaced the imperial arms on the flag with 21 stars inside and a white band bearing the national motto. This was modified as a blue globe with 27 stars of different sizes resembling the positions of the constellations visible in the Southern Hemisphere.
The first flag of the Brazilian empire:
What do the colors mean?
The green color stood for the royal house of Bragança to which Dom Pedro, Brazil’s first emperor, belonged. Dom Pedro’s wife was a descendant of the house of Habsburg, and the imperial colors were black and yellow. Yellow for the center of the flag is said to be suggested by her. The blue and white of the flag that was adopted by the Brazilian Empire symbolized the Virgin Mary. This highlighted Brazil’s deep roots in Catholicism.
These colors also reflect the Portuguese origins of the country as blue and white are also present in Portugal’s coat of arms. The colors of Brazil’s flag are also representative of the Brazilian landscape with the green symbolizing the verdure of the Amazon rainforest and the yellow representing the country’s soil and wealth, specifically its gold reserves. Interestingly, any legal document does not mention the specific shade of these colors. Thus, designers are free to use close approximations of the original shade while printing flags.
When was the Brazil’s flag adopted?
The first version of the current flag was adopted on November 19, 1889. It was just four days after Brazil became a republic. The design was conceived by Raimundo Teixeira Mendes, who was assisted by Décio Villares, Miguel Lemos, and Manuel Pereira Reis. The flag was modified in 1960, 1968, and 1971 to accommodate the new territories that had become states. The flag we see today was adopted on May 12, 1992, after adding four stars to represent the states created after the last modification.
Brazil’s flag is known as Bandeira do Brasil in Portuguese. Auriverde, Portuguese for golden-green, is another name for the flag. It refers to the two primary colors of the flag.
What do the stars mean on Brazil’s Flag?
The stars are an integral part of the flag. Along with being the representation of all the states in the country, they are arranged in a pattern that corresponds to the positions of various constellations in the early morning sky of the Southern Hemisphere seen from the city of Rio de Janeiro on November 15, 1889, the day Brazil became a republic. In the current version, the stars are rearranged slightly to ensure accuracy according to their astronomical coordinates.
Has the number of stars changed?
Just like the flag of the United States of America, Brazil’s flag has a star for each of the 26 states and the Federal District. However, unlike the ones on the U.S. flag, the stars on the Brazilian flag were not automatically modified every time an individual territory got statehood. At times, the number of states in the country varied from the number of stars on the flag. The number of stars has changed over the years because of the newly formed states. While there were 21 stars in the flag adopted when Brazil shifted from an empire to a republic, there are 27 stars in the final form approved on May 12, 1992.
The first flag of Republican Brazil with 21 stars:
Slogan and the meaning behind it
The slogan ‘Ordem e Progresso’ translates to ‘Order and Progress’ in English, and this motto in Latin America signified as the underlying theme for having a thriving democracy. The political leaders in Brazil believed that democracy was the best form of government, and a well-educated citizenry (order) and a growth in economic transactions (progress) are instrumental in ensuring its success.
Thus, Brazil’s flag is symbolic of the nation’s glorious past, its abundant natural resources, and the country’s determination to strive for order and progress.