National Flag of Portugal

Country: Portuguese Republic

Proportions: 2:3

Portuguese Flag Description:

The flag of Portugal consists of two vertical stripes - the left stripe is green and the right one is a shade of red. The stripes are uneven as the green stripe takes up two fifths of the flag's length and the red stripe takes up the remaining three fifths. A coat of arms with the country's traditional shield is centered on the Portuguese flag where the two colors meet.

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Portuguese Flag Meaning:
The red section represents the Portuguese revolution of 1910 and the green represents hope. The white shield consists of five blue shields with five white dots. The blue shields represent the first king of Portugal, Afonso Henriques I, victory over five Moorish kings and the divine assistance he received to do so is represented by the five dots, which symbolize the five wounds of Christ. Arranged in a cross the shields represent Christianity. The red border featuring seven castles symbolizes the extension of Portugal's territory to include the Algarve. Behind the arms there is a navigational instrument, an armillary sphere. It celebrates Prince Henry the Navigator, who initiated the maritime exploration that led to Portugal's one time colonial empire.

Portuguese Flag History:
The Portuguese flag was adopted on June 30, 1911 but the flag had been in use since a revolution overthrew the monarchy on October 5, 1910. Portugal originally declared independence from the Kingdom of Leon in 1128 and in 1170 independence was recognized by the Pope. The emblems on the Portuguese flag date back to the 12th century. The white shield with five blue shields is the arms adopted by Afonso Henriques I, after he defeated the Moors to establish the Christian kingdom of Portugal in 1139.

Interesting Portuguese Flag Facts:
After the republican revolution in 1910, a number of different flag designs were proposed for the new republic and this sparked a large and not always peaceful debate. The main question was whether to keep the traditional liberal colors of the monarchy (blue and white) or adopt the red and green of the Republican Party. The red and green proposal won.

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