Flags of the Americas.
The Flags of the World: Their History, Blazonry and Associations
F. Edward Hulme
London: Frederick Warne & Co., 1892.
Sergipe, 1920-1937, since 1952
The flag of Sergipe is one of three Brazilian state flags base on the short-lived provisional flag of the Republic used from 15 November to 19 November 1889 (the other two being Piauí and Goiás). The first proposal had four stars and four stripes, representing four major estuaries in the state. A fifth star was added for a fifth estuary in 1920 but the number of stripes remained the same. Kind of like the estuary version of the American flag.
(designer: José Rodrigues Bastos Coelho)
Mato Grosso, 1890-1929, since 1943
This flag was inspired by Brazil’s first republican flag (which was adopted only a couple of months earlier). The symbolism is pretty clear: it’s the national flag with the colours mixed around and the night sky replaced by a single state star. The flag was abolished for most of the Vargas Era, but it doesn’t seem like it was replaced by anything.
(designer: Antônio Maria Coelho)
Instagrammers Capture Protests in Brazil
Thousands gathered in Brazil’s largest cities starting over the weekend and running through tonight to protest what started as a fight against bus-fare increases and has evolved into one of the biggest movements since the nation’s military dictatorship ended in 1985. Protesters are voicing frustration about a variety of issues, including inflation, government corruption, tax rates and the cost and delays associated with next year’s World Cup soccer tournament.
In São Paulo, thousands took to Avenida Paulista to march and wave Brazilian flags. In Rio de Janeiro, marchers stormed Avenida Rio Branco. In Brasilía, protesters danced atop the roof of the Congresso Nacional. To view more photos, visit the #vemprarua and #protestorj hashtags.
Vice President of Brazil, since 1971
The Brazilian Vice President’s flag has a cross of 23 blue stars on a yellow field with the national coat of arms in the top left corner. I’m not quite sure what the significance of 23 is. Was that the number of states in 1971?
Americana, until 1998
Brazil is home to a small population of Confederados, descendants of Confederates who fled to Brazil in the aftermath of the American Civil War. Most of the immigrants settled in the neighbouring cities of Americana and Santa Bárbara d’Oeste, in the state of São Paulo.
Americana’s former flag and coat of arms were inspired by the Confederate Battle Flag. The symbol was removed in 1998, not for any political reason (it’s not as controversial down there), but rather because the Confederados now only make up 10% of the city’s population.
Roraima, since 1996
Roraima’s flag is mostly standard stuff: blue for the sky, white for peace, green for forests, and yellow for natural resources. But that thin red line at the bottom is the Equator. And not just that, its position on the flag matches where it passes through the state. Now that’s the kind of nerdy detail I can get behind.
Construction sheet for the flag of Brazil.