Brazil is the largest country in South America and is the world's fifth largest country, area wise. It is also one of the largest growing economies of the world. A country to reckon with, Brazil has a long history. Initially, it was independent as the Brazilian Empire but the country has been a republic since 1889, the same year when the flag of Brazil was instituted. Thus, the Brazilian flag history also dates back to 1889, when the first accepted design for the flag was proposed.
History of Brazilian Flag
The history of Brazil's flag goes back a long way to November 15, 1889. This was the day when Marechal Deodoro da Fonseca defeated Emperor Pedro II of Brazil and went on to declare Brazil a republic, thus, ending the Empire of Brazil and establishing what came to be known as República Velha or the Old Republic. This was when Ruy Barbosa proposed a design that would become the Brazilian flag. Barbosa took inspiration from the American flag and his designed flag was flown starting on November 15, 1889. However, that design of the flag lasted for only four days after which Fonseca, who was the then provisional president of Brazil vetoed the design, claiming that the flag design resembled that of another state.
Hence, Fonseca instead changed the course of Brazilian flag history and suggested that the new flag of the new republic should resemble the old imperial flag that many identified Brazil with; the colors of which represented the families of the first imperial couple and the founders of the Brazilian monarchy. Thus, he wanted a flag that had the colors green, which represented the House of Braganza of the first Emperor, Pedro I, and yellow, which represented the House of Habsburg of Pedro's consort, Maria Leopoldina of Austria. It was decided that the center of the imperial flag bear the arms of the Empire of Brazil. In the end, it was only this centrally placed royal crest being replaced with the blue globe, stars and the motto that is synonymous with Brazil and contributes greatly to the Brazil flag meaning. All of these measures were taken to show the continuing national spirit in the face of a change from being a monarchy to a republic. Thus, in the end, it was Raimundo Teixeira Mendes' design that will go down the Brazilian flag history, as being the one that was promptly accepted by Fonseca.
Flag of Brazil Facts
- There is a strict protocol that needs to be followed when it comes to the Brazilian flag. This protocol was laid down on September 1, 1971.
- An interesting fact regarding the flag of Brazil is that it is the largest flag regularly hoisted in the world! The Brazilian flag flown in the Praça dos Três Poderes, or the Three Powers Square in the capital, Brasília weighs about 1300 pounds and spans an area of 7000 m² with a breadth of 230 ft and a length of 330 ft. This makes Praça dos Três Poderes one of Brazil's famous places.
- At private and public schools, a special flag ceremony must be held, minimally once a week, during the course of the academic year.
- The blue globe that is present in the flag is symbolic of the night sky that was present over Rio de Janeiro on November 15, 1889, the night the country was declared a republic.
- Whenever the President declares official mourning, the flag must be flown at half-staff. Also, all through since the history, whenever there is official mourning declared, the flag must first be raised to the top of the flagpole and then lowered to the halfway mark.
- Foreign flags can only be flown in Brazil with a Brazilian flag flying next to it on the right. The only exception to this rule is when the foreign flag is flown at an embassy or a consulate.
- When there are many flags that need to be raised or lowered, the Brazilian flag should be the first to reach the top and the last to be lowered.
- When a flag is not of use, then it should be delivered to a military facility, so as to be burned at a special ceremony on November 19, which is known as Flag Day.
This was all about the history and some interesting facts of Brazilian flag. There is a lot that goes into making a flag, as it is symbolic of the entire country. Hence, the flag of Brazil is no different, as it captures the essence of the country and the people of Brazil.