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Portuguese banks

Last modified: 2023-07-03 by
Keywords: montepio geral | pelican | m | totta |
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Montepio Geral

[Montepio flag]
by Jorge Candeias, 09 Dec 2003

Montepio Geral is a portuguese bank (website at whose flag is a very good example in what concerns corporate vexillology.

It all begins in a superb logo. Rooted in the christian tradition, the logo is a stylization of the common image of the pelican feeding its offspring from its own chest, present, for instance, in the flag of Louisiana, USA. But itʼs more than that, for the wings form a wavy "M", the main initial of the bank.

The origins of this christian logo for a bank, of all possible corporations, lie in the origins of the bank itself. Montepio Geralʼs history starts in 1840 when an institution called Montepio dos Funcionários Públicos began its activity, changing to the current designation 4 years later. This was not a financial institution: it was a cooperative form of social security for public servants, that provided financial assistance to its associates in case of accident, desease, old age, etc. Still in 1844 this institution created the Caixa Económica de Lisboa to manage more efficiently the money deposited by the associates, thus creating a bancary institution and the foundations of what Montepio Geral is today. (More info at, in portuguese)

And hence the flag, which is deep blue with the logo in white in the center and nothing else. I seem to recall that I once saw a variation of this flag in white with the logo in blue (lighter than the field of the official flag), but Iʼm not sure.

Jorge Candeias, 09 Dec 2003

Banco Totta

[Totta Bank flag]
by António Martins, 17 Feb 2004

Flag of Banco Totta, a private banking company based in Lisbon, Portugal. Formerly Banco Totta e Açores, it was reprivatised in the 1990ies and had its corporate image modified last in 1999. The flag is one of the elements of it, with white lettering bold on red and dark blue. It is flown along with the national flag on Sundays in the bankʼs HQ and offices, though usually not in every branch.
António Martins, 17 Feb 2004

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