Last modified: 2013-02-24 by ian macdonald
Keywords: sao paulo | cross: christ knights | cross (red) | armor | mackenzie presbyterian university |
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image by Dirk Schönberger, 6 February 2013
the official prefecture website.
Joseph McMillan,13 March 2002
The flag is the red cross of the Portuguese Order of Christ on a white
field, set toward the hoist Scandinavian style. On the center of the cross,
inside a red ring, is the city coat of arms, which depicts an armored arm holding a
white banner with the cross of the Order of Christ. The shield is flanked
by coffee branches. I take it that the COA refers to the bandeirantes,
pioneers who carried the Portuguese flag into the interior from São Paulo.
The motto on the scroll is Non ducor, duco, which (if I understand the Portuguese
translation properly) means "I am not led, I lead."
Joseph McMillan, 6 February 2001
Interesting that the city named for Saint Paul does not carry any
allusion to his emblem, traditionally a sword (usually a medieval
broadsword, reflecting the time when modern heraldry began).
Al Kirsch, 6 February 2001
The sword is part of the coat of arms of São Paulo State (São Paulo
city is the state capital) and can be seen at
the state government website.
Marcius Orlandi, 4 April 2003
Although modern representations of the crosses of the Order of Christ in flags
tend to have equal arms (see the flag of Madeira), and even in old
portolanos and chronicles of the voyages of Portuguese ships these crosses
appear very often with equal arms, there are numerous cases, including in
modern heraldry, of unequally armed crosses of Christ. It is very likely
that the design of the flag was influenced in the Scandinavian design,
but calling it a "Scandinavian cross" is not correct.
Jorge Candeias,, 6 February 2001
A good example of a vertical use of the same cross is the flag of the
Kingdom of Portugal at the time Brazil was first colonized.
Gunter Zibell, 6 February 2001
The São Paulo city flag was created in 1987 by Lauro Ribeiro Escobar. The
coat of arms was first designed in 1917. In an interview given by the designer, the cross of the
Order of Christ is adopted to pay homage to both the Portuguese influence and the
Jesuit fathers. The former flag of the city, adopted in 1958 (on the suggestion of the
entrepreneur Caio de Alcántara Machado), presented only the coat of arms on a white
field. In my opinion is not likely that the coat of arms refers to
the bandeirantes, since there is clearly an suit of armor depicted there
and bandeirantes didn't wear it. It look more like a crusader.
Gunter Zibell, 6 February 2001
image by Eugene Ipavec, 25 October 2006
The Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie (Mackenzie Presbyterian University)
is affiliated to the Brazilian Presbyterian Church. The university is unique in
that is one of the few Brazilian institutions which does not have an official
abbreviated form of its name. The flag is a red field with a white ring inside
which is a white letter M.
Ron Lahav, 25 October 2006