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Military flags of Portugal

Last modified: 2012-04-13 by antónio martins
Keywords: military | esta é a ditosa pátria minha amada | coat of arms: escutcheons |
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The portuguese military flag

Portuguese military flag
image by Željko Heimer

The portuguese military flag (Smith’s dot in grid **w/***) is 12:13 and has a more complicated coat of arms than the national flag (sphere, shield, laurel wreath around it and scroll with motto "ESTA É A DITOSA PÁTRIA MINHA AMADA"). The official measures are: 120×130 flag, armillary sphere diameter 40 (source: [cba11]).
António Martins, 03 Feb 1998

According to [sjcXX], the National Standard (that is, a colour) is the national flag, and is carried by those (Army) units entitled to one. The national flag when used as a colour is 1.25 m square, with cords and tassels in red, green and gold. The staff bears the unit name or abbreviation engraved on the staff, just below the lance head finial.
Ian Sumner, 19 Dec 2003

I believe the version of the Portuguese flag used as a military unit color is trimmed with gold fringe.
Joe McMillan, 26 Feb 2003

This photo shows a parade of the Portuguese Air Force Academy, where is visible a portuguese military color, here added with an additional motto scroll.
António Martins, 31 Jul 2002


Portuguese military units’ symbols

It seems that regiments and other divisions of the portuguese military forces, particularly the army, have flags consisting of banners of the respective arms. According to TV footage where I’ve seen on several occasions this kind of flag in military ceremonies, the flags are either square or follow the same dimensions of the portuguese military standard: 10:11. I think they are really square.
Joe McMillan, 15 Dec 2003

If not law, then at least tradition requires that each unit in portuguese secutiry forces (including the military and the police forces) has its own set of symbols.
Jorge Candeias, 16 May 2004

I’ve seen pictures of what could be called “heraldic standards” for Portuguese military units, but usually with a geometric background with either the shield or some charge from the arms on the center, rather than an actual banner of the unit arms. The website of the Portugues military college calls such a flag a guião. See www.aaacm.pt/colegiomilitar/guiao.htm. Other Portuguese military unit web pages refer to — without depicting — guiões of brigades, regiments, battalions, etc. Are these, guião and estandarte heráldico, the same thing?
Joe McMillan, 16 Dec 2003

I’ve seen both kinds of flags (guiões and simple banners-of-the-arms) and never understood the difference between the two, or when one or the other is used. Guiões are always flags with borders, usually containing squares in the corners and often with crosses in the main field. [Ex.: Airforce Academy vs. B.M.I.]
Jorge Candeias, 16 Dec 2003

An ICHG article by José de Campos e Sousa [sjcXX] says:

"Distinctive" symbols are shields which may have party fields or fields with charges.
"Distinctive and merit" symbols of units are similar, but have the helmet turned fully toward the dexter. "Distinctive and merit" shields for Arms and Services, for the use of the general in command, consist of the unit or formation badge superimposed on the badge of the Arm or Service. "Distinctive and merit" symbols for commanders of military regions and the equivalent (Quater-Master General, Inspector-General, and Vice Chief of Army Staff) can include arms with supporters or military trophies, or arms superimposed on badges of command.
"Merit" symbols include the cross of an Order placed behind the unit arms, or the collar of the Order placed around the shield.

Ian Sumner, 19 Dec 2003

Subunits’ crests

This seems to be a rule in portuguese military heraldry: the crest in the arms of a given subentity always (or at least usually) includes the shield of the entity that subentity is a part of. [Ex.: B.M.I.’ Golf group vs. B.M.I.]
Jorge Candeias, 15 Dec 2003


Lisbon Recruitment Office
Centro de Classificação e Selecção de Lisboa

CCSL guidon
image by Jorge Candeias, 19 Dec 2003

Description: Shield partitioned silver and blue. Seven five-rayed stars, placed in three pales of counterchanged colours.
Symbology:

  • The distribution of the shield by the tinctures silver and blue alludes to the flag that D. Afonso Henriques would have used in the conquest of Lisbon in 1147 and that later on would have gave birth to the quinas, glorious symbol of Portugal.
  • The partition of the shield is a reference to the double function of the Center: to classify and to select.
  • The pentagonal stars, pythagorical symbol of Man, represent the youth that are subject to the operations of classification and selection.
  • They are ordered in three pales according to the three classifications that can be attributed: apt, inapt and waiting classification.
  • The three conterchanged stars of the central pale give allusion to the Three Branches of the Armed Forces, served by the Classification and Selection Center of Lisbon, distinct and complementary instruments in the defense of the Nation.
Jorge Candeias, 19 Dec 2003,
translating from the Portuguese Army site

Coat of arms

CCSL arms
image located by Jorge Candeias, 19 Dec 2003, from the Portuguese Army site

Anything below this line was not added by the editor of this page.