This page is part of © FOTW Flags Of The World website

Rio de Janeiro (City), Rio de Janeiro State (Brazil)

Last modified: 2021-05-08 by ian macdonald
Keywords: rio de janeiro | saltire | armillary sphere | arrow | dolphin | phrygian cap | coat of arms |
Links: FOTW homepage | search | disclaimer and copyright | write us | mirrors

[Flag of the City of Rio de Janeiro 
(Brazil)] image by Joseph McMillan
Basic design adopted 1908

See also:

About the Flag

The flag of former Guanabara State became the flag of Rio de Janeiro City again; it lost the white star on the crown.
"Elso," 11 August 1999

The present coat of arms of the City of Rio de Janeiro, which appears in the flag of the city, has the following heraldic composition: Portuguese shield; on a blue field, the color that symbolizes loyalty, a Manueline armilliary sphere combined with the three arrowns that martyred St. Sebastian, patron of the city, all in gold, and on the center a Phrygian cap, symbol of republican rule. Above the top of the shield, a gold mural crown with five towers, characteristic of a port city. As supporters, two silver dolphins, one at the right and one at the left, symbolizing a maritime city. The one at the right has a laurel branch and the one at the left an oak branch. symbolizing, respectively, victory and strength.
Guilherme Pacheco, translated by Jorge Candeias, 14 August 1999

"Portuguese shield" means a shield with a flat top and semicircular bottom, usually 8:7. "Manueline" refers to the Portuguese King Dom Manuel I and to an architecture style, also known as Portuguese late Gothic, inpired by seafaring motifs. The armillary sphere is a nautical instrument first used by this same king as a personal emblem. Regarding the arrows, interestingly enough, Mozambique (in its colonial arms) and Ponta Delgada (Azores) show these arrows with the same symbolism, but Mozambique had seven arrows and Ponta Delgada five. The Mozambican guerrilla party Renamo slso kept five in its flag. Mural crowns are actually typical of all cities, or of civic arms in general. A special crown for maritime cities would be a naval crown, perhaps.
António Martins, 17 August 1999

The flag of the city of Rio de Janeiro is shown and explained on the official city website. The flag is similar to that shown for the former State of Guanabara, which was, for all practical purposes, coterminous with the city of Rio, if I understand the arrangement correctly, but with the color of the coat of arms changed to red and white for display on the flag. (The city coat of arms other than for use on the flag remains gold on blue, as on the Guanabara flag and described above. The city website says the five-towered mural crown is indicative of a capital city, not a port city as stated above.)
Joseph McMillan, 17 April 2001

Olympic Flag

Rio de Janeiro was chosen to stage the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Here are the flags of its bid:

[Flag of the City of Rio de Janeiro

I received a different announcement about a sort of candidacy flag. Before Rio de Janeiro was awarded the Olympics of 2016, they had already been a candidate for the games of 2012. And before 2012, they had already been a candidate for the games of 2004, for which I have preciously little information.
The one thing I did find was; a 2004 Rio pin in flag shape. So far I've not found earlier flags to go with this, though, but those interested in such things might want to keep an eye open to see if there was an actual flag, as the pin shares an actual theme with other graphics.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 2 April 2021