January 28, 2013
0488 PORTUGAL - The flag of the country
The portuguese flag, adopted on 30 June 1911, is a 2:3 rectangle divided vertically into green at the hoist (2/5 of the flag’s length) and red at the fly (3/5). Centered in this partition is a coat of arms consisting on an armillary sphere charged with the traditional portuguese shield. The use of green represented a radical republican-inspired change that broke the bond with the former religious monarchical flag. Actually, red and green had been established as the colours of the Portuguese Republican Party. The symbolism was added later, green being associated with the hope of the nation, and red with the blood of those who died defending it.
The armillary sphere, introduced by the Knights Templar, was an important navigational instrument for the Portuguese sailors who ventured into unknown seas, during the Age of Discoveries. King Manuel I incorporated it into his personal banner, and later became a colonial symbol and a fulcral element of the flags of the future Brazilian kingdom and empire.
The Portuguese shield rests over the armillary sphere. Except during the reign of Afonso I, it's present in every single historical flag. It's one of the oldest Portuguese symbol, with the first elements appearing during the reign of Sancho I. Within the white inescutcheon, the five quinas (small blue shields) with their five white bezants representing the five wounds of Christ, associated with the Battle of Ourique (1139). The seven castles are traditionally considered a symbol of the Portuguese victories over their Moorish enemies, under Afonso III.
About the stamp
The stamp is part of a series having as subject Fajas, small areas of flat land by the sea caused by the collapse of cliffs, a geological feature of São Jorge Island in the Azores. Issued on June 5, 2012, the series contains six stamps:
• Almas (0.32 €)
• D'alem Norte (0.68 €)
• Grande (0.80 €)
• Caldeira de Santo Cristo (1.75 €)
• São João (2.00 €)
• Cubres (2.30 €)
Flag of Portugal - Wikipedia
Portugal - Flags of the World
Stamps issued with XE006.12 - UPU official website
sender: Ana Serodio (direct swap)
sent from Oeiras (Portugal), on 27.08.2012