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Portuguese governmental flags

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Last modified: 2005-04-29 by
Keywords: president | prime minister | minister | navy minister | government | border (red) | coat of arms: inescutcheons | laurel | cross (green) | saltire (green) | war minister | health ministry | human | sef | swallow |
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Presidential flag

[Portuguese presidential flag]
by António Martins

The Presidentʼs flag is a plain green 2:3 with the national coat of arms (only sphere and shield, no ribbon nor wreath) in the center.
António Martins, 03 Feb 1998

I think it flies usually over the Palace of Belém, and I seem to recall that I saw it flying over the Fort of São Julião da Barra (another real estate that belongs to the portuguese presidency) when Jorge Sampaio lived there for a while recovering from his heart operation. Further, every time the president has some ceremony more pompous to attend, this flag can be seen in his car.
Jorge Candeias, 22 Jul 1998

Just a few hours ago I watched a TV trivia quiz (O Jogo da Espera, RTP1) where the very first question was «What is the meaning of a green ensign »(= pavilhão, sic!)« hoisted in Belém Palace?» Being this the official portuguese PR residence and even though the question is misworded (the PR flag is green with the coat of arms), this may mean that the presidential flag is a presence mark at least at the official residence — and Iʼd bet itʼs the same in most military facilities, notably naval ships.

(If I were at the quizz Iʼd loose my 30000 euros to jest that a plain green flag (and not the proper PR flag with arms) hoisted at the presidential flag can only mean that either we were invaded by Libya or that it is safe to swim at the palace…)

António Martins, 22 May 2002

Prime minister flag

[Portuguese Prime-Minister flag]
by António Martins

The Prime Minister flag is like a regular ministerʼs flag, but differs by a gold on red laurel border.
António Martins, 03 Feb 1998

A flag for the Prime Minister was adopted 2 february 1972. This flag is like the flag of the President, but is white with a green saltire with the Arms (sphere and shield) at the centre. There is a red border on all four sides with a pattern of laurel leaves in gold. This replaces the former flag of the Minister of defence.
Mark Sensen, 05 Jun 1997,
quoting [barXX]

Minister flag

[Portuguese minister flag]
by Mark Sensen and António Martins

The Minister flag is a 2:3 white with green saltire charged with the coat of arms in the center.
António Martins, 03 Feb 1998

An ordinary Minister has the same flag [as the prime-minister] but without border.
Mark Sensen, 05 Jun 1997,
quoting [barXX]

Flag of the Minister of the Navy

[Flag of the Portuguese Ministery of the Navy]
by Mark Sensen and António Martins

There is no “Ministery of the Navy” anymore, so its flag if still exists, must be used by the ministery of defense, or by the president in his condition of supreme commander of the armed forces.
Jorge Candeias, 22 Jul 1998

The Navy Ministry uses a regular cross throughout instead of saltire, being this the “top” level for green-cross-on-white naval rank flags of the Portuguese Navy.
António Martins, 03 Feb 1998

The Minister for the Navy has a white flag with a green cross of Saint George, with the Arms in the centre.
Mark Sensen, 05 Jun 1997,
quoting [barXX]

Flag of the Minister for War

The Minister for War has a flag divided vertically like that of the Army, but with five white stars over all, arranged in a ring.
Mark Sensen, 05 Jun 1997,
quoting [barXX]

Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras
SEF - Service of Borders and Foreign Nationals

[SEF flag]
by Jorge Candeias, 07 Sep 2003

The flag of SEF is a light monocoloured (almost certainly white) flag with the serviceʼs coat of arms and the serviceʼs name, centered.
Jorge Candeias, 07 Sep 2003

Arms detail

[SEF arms]
by Jorge Candeias, 08 Sep 2003

The arms is very heraldic, with a helm topped by a swallow as crest, a scroll with the serviceʼs motto («SUB LEGE LIBERTAS» — i.e. latin for «Freedom under the law») and a dark purple shield containing an armilliary sphere topped by a cross of the Order of Christ, all gold. This coat of arms can be seen in several sizes at the serviceʼs website. (While the versions at the website show all the elements of the arms filled with 3D shadings, the arms as depicted in the flag does not, at least in the portion of it that is visible in my photo source.)
Jorge Candeias, 07 Sep 2003

The swallow was chosen (I reckon) because it is a migratory bird, and this government institution (dependent from the Ministry of Internal Affairs) deals mostely with immigration issues.
António Martins, 09 Sep 2003

Health Ministry flag

[Health Ministry flag]
by António Martins, 06 Sep 2003

I saw this one hoisted at the local ambulatory in Colares, Sintra. It is the usual logo of the portuguese Health Ministry on a white square background, “completed” up to 2:3 with two stripes: green at the hoist and red at the fly. I could not confirm its officialness.
António Martins, 06 Sep 2003