National Symbols

Brazilian Flag

The Brazilian Flag has a large yellow shape diamond on a green background. The color green represents the lush fields and forests of Brazil. The color yellow represents its wealth in gold, which is found in many areas of the country. In the center of the yellow diamond there is a blue sphere that symbolizes the navy blue sky found in the tropical regions of the Earth. The stars in this sky represent the capital of the country and its federal states. There are 26 states and the capital (27 stars.) In the middle of the sphere there is a white banner with the legend "Ordem e Progresso", which means "Order and Progress".

The disposition of the stars in the flag mirrors those in the Rio de Janeiro sky on November 15, 1889 at 8:30 p.m., which is the inauguration date of the Republic.

Click here to print the Brazilian Flag

National Anthem

The Brazilian National Anthem is sufficient grounds for the fame of its composer, Francisco Manuel. Through its admirably warm and spirited melody, it took its place as the national anthem before it was accorded any official recognition. Various changes made to it have not distorted its essence, though they have softened its martial tone. Originally composed in a purely orchestral version for military band, it has been the various texts which have been set to it, especially that of Osório Duque Estrada in 1922, which have somewhat spoilt it.

The history of the anthem is the subject of controversy. In the view of some, it was composed for Brazilian Independence, others believe it was written for the 7th of April and performed on the 13th to a text attributed to Ovídio Saraiva de Carvalho e Silva, in which there are references to "a wise reign" and "a Brazilian monarch", the 7th of April being taken as the dawn of Brazilian liberty. A third view is that of Souza Pitanga and Ernesto Sena, supported by Alberto Nepomuceno who writes: "In the same year (1841), at perhaps the height of his career, Francisco Manuel composed the anthem to celebrate the coronation of the second Emperor of Brazil, showing himself to be a composer of great merit in this inspired work, which still animates the national soul today.

Decree No.15671 of the 6th of September 1922 officially adopted the words of Osório Duque Estrada, written in 1909, the first version of it. Law No. 259 of the 1st of October 1936 prescribed the version of Leopoldo Miguez for orchestral performance, and the version by Lt. Antonio Pinto Junior of the Federal District Fire Brigades, for military band, in the original key of B Flat; and finally a version in F by Alberto Nepomuceno for singing:

Music: Francisco Manuel da Silva (1795/1865)
Verses: Joaquim Osório Duque Estrada (1870/1927)

Click here to listen to the National Anthem (1.28MB MP3)

Click here to read the National Anthem (Portuguese and English)

Coat of Arms

The Coat of Arms of the Republic originally had, on the ribbon, the name adopted for the country after the monarchy was abolished: Estados Unidos do Brazil (United States of Brazil). The present version, established by Law no. 5,700, of 1st September, 1971, reflects the change in the country's official name to the República Federativa do Brasil (Republica Federativa do Brazil)

National Flower

The Ipê-amarelo - (Tecoma chrysostricha)

The National Bird: Sabiá

The Sabiá, or Thrush, is known for the beauty of both its plumage and its song and is found all over Brazil, in 12 species, the best known of which is the Rufous-bellied Thrush, or Sabiá-laranjeira, Brazil’s national bird. Like many birds, it migrates north to the warm tropical zone in the winter and returns to the temperate zone when the climate in southern Brazil starts to get warm again. It lives alone or in pairs, in forests, parks, backyards and forested urban areas and can live 25 to 30 years. Hopping along the ground, it feeds on the coconuts from several species of palm tree, spitting out the pits after about an hour and contributing to the distribution of these plants. It also feeds on oranges and mature papayas, as well as insects and spiders. For years, the Sabiá has been celebrated in both writing and music , including in several very famous Brazilian poems and songs. Because of its widespread presence and popularity in Brazilian culture, the Brazilian Wildlife Preservation Association proposed that it be designated as an official national symbol of Brazil, a suggestion first made in 1968 that had gradually gained widespread public support by 1987, when a first (but unsuccessful) attempt was made to declare it Brazil’s national bird. Finally, on October 4, 2002, the Sabiá-laranjeira became the newest official symbol of Brazil, designated as the national bird in a Presidential Decree, which included for the first time its scientific name, “Turdus rufiventris.”

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