“The flag adopted by the Republic maintains the tradition of the old national colors – green and yellow – in the following way: a yellow diamond in a green field, having in the middle the blue celestial sphere, crossed by a white area, in an oblique direction and descending from the left to the right, with the caption – Order and Progress – and dotted by twenty-one stars, among which those in the constellation of Cruzeiro, arranged in their astronomical situation, in terms of relative distance and size, representing the twenty States of the Republic and the Neutral Municipality; all according to the model outlined in annex no. 1.”
It was thus, with a pen stroke, on November 19, 1889, that the then head of the provisional government, Marshal Deodoro da Fonseca, adopted what would be the most important symbol of the newly created Republic: the national flag, just like the we know it today (however, with fewer stars than today).
No wonder, on November 19, we celebrate Flag Day.
But decree number 4 not only established “the distinctives of the national flag and arms, and of the seals and seals of the Republic”; it also replaced the Empire standard used from 1822 to 1889 and recently rescued by supporters of President Jair Bolsonaro (non-party) as well as groups linked to the far right.
Designed by the French painter Jean-Baptiste Debret, the flag of the Brasil Império, rectangular in shape and with a green background, had a yellow diamond in the center; inside it, the national coat of arms.
The badge consisted of a green shield, with the armillary sphere and the Cross of the Order of Christ in the center (in red). A blue background ring with 19 white stars represented the Brazilian provinces. On the shield was the imperial crown. On the right side, there was a flowering branch of tobacco and on the left, a fruit of coffee, the two main agricultural products of the time.
However, more than 130 years after the proclamation of the Republic, the Empire’s flag was once again observed in demonstrations in support of President Bolsonaro.
On Monday (6/9), the standard was temporarily hoisted at the headquarters of the Court of Justice of Mato Grosso do Sul, in the capital Campo Grande, by order of the president of the court in the state, judge Carlos Eduardo Contar.
The reason? According to a note released by the TJ-MS, “as a sign of recognition for libertarian ideals and respect for the Constitution.”
The court says it is a tribute to the 200th anniversary of Brazil’s independence, celebrated on September 7, 2022.
In the statement, the TJ-MS informs that “green refers to the House of Bragança, dynasty of Dom Pedro I, the first emperor of Brazil. The yellow refers to the House of Habsburg, dynasty of Dom Pedro’s first wife, Empress Dona Leopoldina” .
By order of Contar, the flag would remain hoisted until September 10th, but Luiz Fux, minister of the STF (Supreme Federal Court) and of the National Council of Justice (CNJ), ordered its withdrawal.
Fux’s decision responded to a request from board members.
According to the minister, the flag is not among the official symbols of the Brazilian Judiciary. It is also not compatible with maintaining neutrality and impartiality by the local court.
“The maintenance of the reported situation tends to cause confusion in the population about the constitutional and institutional role of the Judiciary, as the Court of Justice of Mato Grosso do Sul intends to diminish the symbols of the Federative Republic of Brazil”, wrote Fux.
In a statement, the CNJ stated that “the Federal Constitution establishes the Republic as a form of government in Brazil and presidentialism as a system of government. In addition, the representation cites repeated public demonstrations by the magistrate with political-party motivations, such as in the solemnity of his swearing in as president of the TJMS, at the beginning of the year”.
According to the body, the judge’s conduct will be “investigated by the National Court of Justice, for the investigation of possible disciplinary infractions”.
The Federal Constitution determines that the national flag must be flown daily in the National Congress, in the Planalto and Alvorada Palaces, in the headquarters of the ministries, in the superior courts, in the Federal Court of Accounts, in the headquarters of state governments, in the legislative assemblies, in the courts of justice, in city halls and city councils, in public offices near the border, on merchant ships and in embassies. In public or private schools, it is also mandatory to hoist the national flag, during the school year, at least once a week.
use of the imperial flag
In the view of historians, the use of the imperial flag by supporters of President Jair Bolsonaro is the result of political appropriation and reflects an idealized past, in which society supposedly functioned.
In a live in February of this year, for example, former Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo appeared sitting in front of the Brasil Império flag while participating in a magna class promoted by the Terça Livre channel, run by the pocket blogger Allan dos Santos.
“The valuing of these symbols of the past is idealized, mobilizes groups that attributed to the empire of Pedro II a golden age. It takes a lot of effort to see in nineteenth-century slavery and agrarian Brazil a fair nation free from corruption”, wrote the historians Adriano Commissoli and Hugo Araújo, from the Federal University of Santa Maria (UFSM) in an article on the Medium platform.
“This search for ancient symbols is an attempt to build legitimacy. The imperial flag, for example, tries to be associated with independence and the emergence of Brazil as a nation. They seem to forget that the flag brings symbols linked almost exclusively to the emperor”, they added.
But this idolatry of monarchical regimes is not exclusive to far-right movements in Brazil.
In Europe, King Victor Emanuel II, in Italy; Duke Carlos Martel, in France; and the noble Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, known as ‘El Cid’ in Spain, are some of the personalities venerated by these groups.
In Brazil, Dom Pedro 2º came to be worshiped as a symbol of rectitude and anti-corruption.
Have watched our new videos on YouTube? Subscribe to our channel!