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Portugal (1640-1656)

Last modified: 2011-06-10 by antónio martins
Keywords: royal | coat of arms (portugal) | john 4 (portugal) | prince of brazil | armillary sphere |
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1640 flag of Portugal
image by António Martins See also:

Flag of 1640 - official and unofficial

In that period both the arms-on-white and the Christ Knights’ Cross on green were used, but the latter being always regarded as unofficial (although much more popular!). The chronicles of this time are not very clear about it, but many historians (especially Jaime Cortesão and more recently José Hermano Saraiva) do agree on this point.
António Martins, 22 May 1997


Royal flag of King João IV

Royal flag of King João IV
image by António Martins

The royal standard 1640-1656 (João IV) added a complete blue border to the previous white one.
Mario Fabretto, 25 May 1997

King João IV (1640-1656) used the Portuguese coat of arms on blue. This king has made himself alterations to the prior coat of arms, but kept the kingdom’s flag white.
António Martins, 28 September 1997


Personal flag of the heir apparent (1649-1808)

Brazil Prince pers. flag
image by André Pires Godinho, 26 April 2003

The Principality of Brazil was created for Teodósio (1634-53), Duke of Barcelos and Bragança and Prince of Portugal, elder son of João IV, but he died before his father. So, the Portuguese crown went to his second living brother Afonso, Afonso VI of Portugal.
Porfirio Suárez, 24 June 2008

While Dom João IV was the King of Portugal, his son Teodósio, the heir to the throne, received the title of Prince of Brazil. So after 1645, every heir to the Portuguese throne was called Prince of Brazil (like the Prince of Wales in the United Kingdom). Thus Brazil became a principality and had its own flag. This flag can be interpreted as a personal ensign of the prince, but nevertheless it is a flag to represent the Brazilian Principality.
André Pires Godinho, 26 April 2003

It seems to me that this is really a Portuguese flag, not a Brazilian one. F. Pereira Lessa points out on page 45 of Bandeiras Históricas do Brasil [lsa40] this was essentially a personal flag of the heir apparent to the Portuguese throne, not a flag to represent Brazil itself — just as the flag of the Spanish Prince of the Asturias is not the Asturian flag and the standard of the Prince of Wales is not the Welsh flag. In addition, as I understand it, designating Brazil a principality did not change the way it was governed, and it would seem this flag probably never flew there.
Joseph McMillan, 03 May 2003

In chart [bel56], as shown in the cover of [sie63], this is called «Pav. Blanc de Portugal» (4th of the flags partly visible on the 6th row from the bottom): White flag with a globe(?).
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 05 Jan 2001

Crampton [cra90] shows this armilliary sphere on white labelling it as the flag of Brazil from 1649 to 1808. He also has a deptiction of an old drawing (probably taken from French cigarette cards) of this flag labelled «pavillion du Portugal», that is, portuguese ensign.
Jorge Candeias, 01 Aug 1998


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