Flag of Brazil

The flag of Brazil design seems rather simplistic, but it beautifully reflects the history and diversity of the country. The background of the flag is a grass green color. Right in the center of the green background is a diamond in a bright yellow color.

The blue circle is placed right in the center of the yellow diamond. Around the girth of the circle is a white banner that reads Ordem e Progresso. Above the white banner is a single white star and below the white banner is a myriad of white stars in different sizes.

What does the motto Ordem e Progresso mean? The English translation is Order and Progress.

What Does the Flag of Brazil Represent?

The green background and the yellow diamond stand for the Royal House of Braganca and the Royal House of Habsburg.

The myriad of stars is a reminder of the day that Brazil became the Republic of Brazil. The date was November 15, 1889 and the stars on the flag were designed in honor of the night sky over the city of Rio de Janeiro on that date.

There are 27 stars in all. The stars beneath the white banner stand for each of the 26 Brazilian states. The single star above the white banner represents the Federal District. When a new state is established, the flag is redesigned to reflect the change.

History of the Brazilian Flag

Just like the country of Brazil, the flag has gone through some interesting changes both in design and color over the years. When the Portuguese came to this country, they typically flew their own Kingdom of Portugal flag because it was the one they had always known.

  • Up to 1692 - a maritime flag of green and white stripes was flown on ships that sailed to Brazil. The colors were in honor of the House of Braganza and in honor of the national colors of Portugal.

  • 1692 - merchant vessels began flying a newly designed flag. This flag had a white background and featured a golden spherical astrolabe, which represented objects found in the sky. This sphere also was used by King Manuel I, King of Portugal, as his own personal emblem.

  • 1815 - Brazil was recognized as a kingdom. The kingdoms of Brazil, Algarves, and Portugal were united as a single state.

  • 1816 - the flag of Brazil was represented by the arms insignia of Brazil against a white background

  • 1822 to 1889 - the flag featured a green background with a single yellow diamond shape in the center with the imperial coat of arms in the middle of the diamond. At that time, the colors of green and yellow were in honor of Pedro I and Maria Leopoldina of Austria.

  • 1889 - the current Brazil flag design was officially adopted, but it had only 21 white stars

  • May 12, 1992 - 6 new white stars were added in honor of the 6 new states that were created within the country of Brazil

How is the Flag of Brazil Used?

Flag protocol, which means proper use of the Brazilian flag, was established on September 1, 1971 and put into federal law.

The Brazilian flag is raised and lowered each day at Palacio da Alvorada and Palacio do Planalto, the presidential palaces. It is also raised and lowered each day at the following locations: all branches of the government including Judicial, Executive, and Legislative branches, the National Congress, all local, state, and federal institutions, Supreme Federal Tribunal, diplomatic missions, Supreme Court of Justice, and on all merchant navy units.

The President of Brazil is the one who officially declares mourning in times of loss. In the case that this decree is set forth, the Brazil flag is flown at half-staff. State governments and local governments within the states may also fly the flag at half-staff in honor of a governing official such as a governor or mayor has passed away.

There is a special way the flag must be lowered and raised when it flies at half-staff. The flag is first raised to the very top of the flagpole and then lowered to rest in the middle of the flagpole.

A black crape ribbon, ribbon made from polyester, silk or wool fabric, must be tied to the top of the mast when the Brazilian flag is carried in any procession, such as a parade, special ceremony, or funeral.

Additionally, if the Brazilian flag is raised and lowered with other flags, it must be the very first raised to the top of the flagpole and the last one to reach the bottom.

Flying the flag of Brazil with other foreign flags is permitted as long as the Brazilian flag is flown on the right side of the other flags.

Interesting Facts About the Brazilian Flag

  • The Ordem e Progresso motto is a shortened inspired version of a motto by August Comte which states: Love as a principle and order as the basis; progress as the goal.

  • When a Brazil flag is no longer in excellent condition, it is sent to a specific military location in the country where it is burned with other worn out flags of Brazil on November 19th, known as Flag Day in Brazil.

  • Some people assume by looking at the flag that the green represents the massive Amazon jungle and rainforest of the country.

  • The yellow diamond on the flag has been mistaken for representing the gold found in Brazil from 1500 through 1900.

Flag Folding Etiquette

The first step for folding the flag of Brazil: fold the upper half of the flag's height toward the reverse side of the flag.

Second step: Then fold the flag's lower half into the reverse side of the flag until you can see the majority of the blue sphere and white banner with the motto.

Third step: Fold the flag into 3 sections along the width. The fly and the hoist should be folded toward the reverse side of the flag. When you're finished, the blue sphere and the white banner with the motto should be facing up.

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