A flag goes beyond being just a fabric that is hoisted at national and international events. It is the symbol of a country's vast history, it's present, and it's dreams for the future. A country is recognized by its flag, and this is why every country aims to incorporate all its ideals, its history and its principles in it. The flag of a particular country also helps its people experience a sense of unity with each other, and gives hope in times of trouble. Similarly, the Brazilian flag has a very deep-rooted history and symbolism. It marks the transformation of the country from a monarchy to a republic, represents the sky on the night the country was declared a republic, and contains a motto the country lives by.
The flag of Brazil was formally adopted on November 19, 1889, after Emperor Pedro II of Brazil was deposed, and the country was declared a republic by Marechal Deodoro da Fonseca. Initially, the flag of Brazil was inspired by that of the United States, with the stars and the stripes. However, the then acting president, Fonseca, refused to uphold this flag as the national flag, as he believed it to be very similar to the flag of the United States. Even though declared a republic, the new flag was proposed to retain parts of the imperial flag that once belonged to the royal family, with some changes. As such, the green background along with the yellow rhombus remained, and the royal crest in the center of the rhombus was replaced by the blue globe consisting of the stars. This marked a subtle transition of the country from a monarchy to a republic. Thus, the flag that was similar to the American flag was replaced with the new Brazilian flag.
The flag of Brazil has a green background, with a yellow lozenge in the center. In the center of the yellow lozenge is a blue globe, with stars placed in the southern hemisphere of the globe. Across the globe runs the motto, Ordem e Progresso. Historically, the meaning of the flag differed slightly from what it is now. Earlier, the green color depicted the House of Braganza of the Emperor Pedro I, and the yellow depicted the House of Habsburg of the consort of Pedro I. However, once the country was transformed into a republic, the flag presented a whole new meaning to the people of this country.
- The green background now represents the rich forests of the country.
- The yellow lozenge represents the gold and mineral wealth of the country.
- The blue globe is a depiction of the night sky over Rio de Janeiro on November 15, 1889, the night the country was declared a republic. The stars depicted on the globe are a representation of their appearance on the same night.
- The 27 five pointed stars in the blue celestial globe also serve to represent one of each of the states of Brazil. As a new state is created in the country, the number of the stars on the flag also increases.
- The motto that runs across the globe, Ordem e Progresso, means order and progress. This motto was created by a renowned Brazilian philosopher, Raimundo Teixeira Mendes. It was made a part of the flag because the people who overthrew the monarchy followed the principles of August Comte. The motto inserted in the flag is based on one of his principles.
In these facts, you will also note the importance of following a certain protocol while dealing with the flag. These will give you a certain idea about why and how the flag of Brazil is hoisted the way it is.
- You will note that when the flag is hoisted, it is always placed on the left of any foreign flag, unless it is hoisted at an embassy or a consulate.
- When the flag is hoisted among the hoisting of flags belonging to other countries, it is always the first to reach the top and the last flag to reach the bottom of the flag pole.
- A flag that has been worn out, or is deemed no longer fit to be used, is burned in a special ceremony on the National Flag Day, i.e., November 19.
- There must be adequate light to highlight the flag even at night.
- In Brazil, every school has a flag hoisting ceremony once a week throughout the academic year.