The Flag of Brazil
The national flag of Brazil (Portuguese: Bandeira do Brasil) is a blue disc depicting a starry sky spanned by a curved band inscribed with the national motto, within a yellow rhombus, on a green field. Brazil officially adopted this design for its national flag on November 19, 1889, replacing the flag of the second Empire of Brazil. The concept was the work of Raimundo Teixeira Mendes, with the collaboration of Miguel Lemos, Manuel Pereira Reis and Décio Villares.
The green field and the yellow rhombus from the previous imperial flag were preserved – the green and yellow colors representing the Braganza-Habsburg dynasty. A blue circle with 27 white five-pointed stars replaced the arms of the Empire of Brazil. The stars, whose position in the flag reflect the sky over Rio de Janeiro on November 15, 1889, represent the union’s federated units – each star representing a specific state. The motto “Ordem e Progresso” (“Order and Progress”) is inspired by Auguste Comte’s motto of positivism: “L’amour pour principe et l’ordre pour base; le progrès pour but” (“Love as a principle and order as the basis; progress as the goal”).
The Flag of Aruba
Aruba’s national flag was adopted on March 18, 1976. The design consists of a field of light blue (called “Larkspur” or “U.N. blue”), two narrow parallel horizontal yellow (“Bunting Yellow”) stripes in the bottom half, and a four-pointed white-fimbriated red (“Union Jack red”) star in the canton.
The design elements have multiple symbolic meanings:
- The blue field represents the sky, the sea, peace, hope, Aruba’s future and its ties to the past.
- The two narrow stripes “suggest the movement toward status aparte“. One represents “the flow of tourists to sun-drenched Aruba, enriching the island as well as vacationers”, the other “industry, all the minerals (gold and phosphates in the past, petroleum in the early 20th century)”. In addition to sun, gold, and abundance, the yellow is also said to represent wanglo flowers.
- The star has particularly complex symbolism.
- It is vexillologically unusual in having four points, representing the four cardinal directions. These refer in turn to the many countries of origin of the people of Aruba. They also represent the four main languages of Aruba: Papiamento, Spanish, English, and Dutch.
- The star also represents the island itself: a land of often red soil bordered by white beaches in a blue sea.
- The red also represents blood shed by Arubans during war, past Indian inhabitants, patriotic love, and Brazil wood.
- The white also represents purity and honesty.
March 18 is a public holiday in Aruba, known as Flag Day.
The Flag of Trinidad and Tobago
The flag of Trinidad and Tobago was adopted upon independence in 1962. The red stands for ‘people’s generosity and sunlight’, white for ‘equality and the sea’ and black for ‘tenacity and vocation of unity’. The civil ensign is the national flag in a 1:2 ratio. The naval ensign (used by coast guard vessels) is a British white ensign with the national flag in the canton prior to independence in 1962 Trinidad and Tobago used a British blue ensign defaced with a circular badge depicting a ship arriving in front of a mountain.
The Flag of Martinique
The snake flag of Martinique has no official status on the island. It is a historical flag dating from an edict issued 4 August 1766, specifying that vessels of the French Colony of Martinique and Saint Lucia should fly a version of the French ensign, which at the time was a white cross on a blue field, with L-shaped (for Lucia) snakes in each quarter of the cross.
The snakes are trigonocéphale vipers (Bothrops lanceolatus) native to Martinique.
The Flag of Saint Kitts and Nevis
The flag of Saint Kitts and Nevis was adopted on September 19, 1983, consisting of two white stars on a diagonal black band, fimbriated in yellow, separating background colors of green and red. It was the winning entry in a local competition. The flag contains the Pan-African colours, although officially the colours are given a different significance:
- Green: the island’s fertility;
- Red: the struggles of the people from slavery through colonialism to independence;
- Yellow: year round sunshine;
- Black: the African heritage of the people;
- White stars: hope and liberty or Saint Kitts and Nevis.
The Flag of Guadeloupe (Unofficial)
The flag of the Region of Guadeloupe, a région and overseas département of France located in the Caribbean, is a white field on which is placed a logo showing a stylized sun and bird on a green and blue square. Below the logo is inscribed REGION GUADELOUPE underlined in yellow.
The independentist People’s Union for the Liberation of Guadeloupe has proposed a national flag very similar to that of Suriname.
The French tricolore is the official national flag used in Guadeloupe.
Flag of Honduras
The flag of Honduras was adopted on January 9, 1866. It is based on the flag of the Federal Republic of Central America. The flag contains three equal horizontal bands. The two blue bands represent the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. The white band represents the land between the ocean and the sea. The five blue five-pointed stars arranged in an X pattern centered in the white band represent the five nations of the former Federal Republic of Central America (El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Guatemala) and the hope that the nations may form a union again.