The Flag of Brazil: History, Colors, and Stars
- Thursday July 15th, 2021
- Posted by: Amanda Ennes
- Category: Brazil
The flag of Brazil is a national symbol, as established by Brazilian law. The country adopted the current flag right after the Proclamation of the Republic, which took place in 1889. The Brazilian flag is also one of the most recognizable flags in the world. That is probably because of its bright colors, contrast, and unique design.
Each item on the Brazilian flag has a different meaning and we are talking about them right now.
If you want to know more about the Brazilian flag, check this video teacher Lennon has made for our IGTV channel on Instagram.
History of the flag of Brazil
The first Brazilian flag was created a few days after the Independence of Brazil in 1822. Brazil stopped being a colony of Portugal and became an empire.
Emperor Pedro I of Brazil was the one who chose the colors of the flag. On the other hand, French painter Jean-Baptiste Debret was responsible for designing it. Debret created a flag depicting a yellow diamond on a green background. The Empire Coat of Arms was also added to the flag.
The imperial flag was a symbol of the country until 1889 when Brazil became a republic.
The Proclamation of the Republic in Brazil caused a series of changes in the symbols of the country, including the national flag.
The new Brazilian flag was officially presented on November 19, 1889. Marshal Deodoro da Fonseca, provisional president of Brazil by that time, signed a decree to adopt a new flag. He ordered the permanence of the colors used in the imperial flag and agreed on the changes that would take place.
Philosophers Raimundo Teixeira Mendes and Miguel Lemos, astronomer Manuel Pereira Reis, and painter Décio Vilares were responsible for redesigning the Brazilian flag. They resized the yellow diamond and exchanged the Coat of Arms symbol with a blue republican sphere. Furthermore, they added the positivist motto “Ordem e Progresso” (Order and Progress) and white stars to it.
The Brazilian national flag
The Brazilian flag is composed of a green rectangle, a yellow rhombus, a blue circle, a white stripe, white stars, and a national motto in green. The national motto is “Ordem e Progresso”, which means order and progress and reminisces Brazil’s independence movements.
We celebrate Flag Day on November 19.
Colors of the Brazilian flag
As kids in school, teachers usually tell us the colors of the Brazilian flag represent the forest (green), the abundance of gold in the country (yellow), and the blue sky (blue). With time, the popular belief passed this story around to be patriotic and meaningful to the people of Brazil. However, it does not represents the truth behind the origin of the flag.
Learn the name of the colors in Portuguese.
The new flag established in 1889 to represent the new Republic was only a redesign from the old imperial flag. The colors remained the same. Thus, this was what the colors really represented:
- Green: The Coat of Arms of the House of Braganza, the family of Emperor Pedro I.
- Yellow: Represents the Coat of Arms of Portugal and the House of Habsburg, the family of Empress Maria Leopoldina. She was the wife of Emperor Pedro I.
- Blue: the sky of Rio de Janeiro on the night of November 15, 1889, when the Proclamation of the Republic took place.
Stars in the flag of Brazil
The flag of Brazil has 27 stars spread over the blue sphere. They represent the 26 states of Brazil and the Federal District.
The stars on the Brazilian national flag form part of the constellations present in the sky in Rio de Janeiro on November 15, 1889. That was when the military established the Proclamation of Republic in Brazil, freeing the country from the Portuguese Empire. The constellations represented in the flag are the Virgo constellation, the Canis Major, Hydra, Carina, the Crux, Scorpius, Triangulum Australe, and Octans. Most of them are only partially depicted.
Anthem of the flag of Brazil
Francisco Braga, a music composer and conductor, composed an anthem for the Brazilian flag in 1906. Olavo Bilac, a Brazilian poet, wrote the lyrics.
Moreover, the anthem honors the flag, the nation, the natural resources of Brazil, and its people. You can listen to the anthem following the lyrics in the video below.
For more interesting facts about Brazil, check this other post here on Caminhos blog: 11+ Interesting Facts About Brazil.
Learn Portuguese in Brazil with Caminhos Language Centre.