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The Portuguese colonies were regarded as integral parts of Portugal
and did not have flags of their own. However, there were flags for the
Portuguese governors and Governors-General of the overseas provinces. There
was a project to give the Portuguese colonies/overseas provinces distinctive
flags, but these were never adopted. The pattern for these flags was a Portuguese
flag with the shield of the coat of arms of the territory in the lower fly,
as shown above. These coats of arms were already in existence, and the
shields of all consisted of two sub-shields, dexter representing the motherland,
sinister the territory, and the base the oceans between them. The sub-shield
of Mozambique was silver with seven green arrows pointing downwards, tied
together with a red ribbon.
Mark Sensen, 30 July 1996
image by António Martíns-Tuválkin, 01 July 2016
The heraldist F. P. de Almeida Langhans published on p. 67 of his Armorial
do Ultramar Português (Lisbon, 1965) [lgh55]
a general model for the overseas "provinces" flags. The was the Portuguese national flag defaced
with the shield of the lesser arms of each province centered in the lower
fly quarter of the red field. This proposal was approved in 1967, but never
came into effect. The colonial arms, decreed on 08 June 1935, had a shield
of the same pattern, tierced in mantel, the dexter silver, five escutcheons
in saltire, each charged with five bezants, gold, in cross; and the point
silver, five waves green. The remaining sinister mantel had some local
emblem - Mozambique: White, with a green bundle of arrows tied together with a
red ribbon (standing for St. Sebastian as the first colony was founded on São
Antonio Martins, 08 July 1997, corrected 14 September 1997
It's interesting that the colonial flags of Mozambique relate only to
the Overseas Province of Mozambique, not to the previous dispensation under
the Kingdom of Portugal and the first three decades of the Portuguese Republic,
where what we today call Mozambique was a grouping of separate colonies,
labeled for convenience Portuguese East Africa.
These colonies were, from south to north, Lourenço Marques, Inhambane, Manhica eSofala (administered by the Companhia de Moçambique), Quelimane and Tete (these last two were initially separate, then combined as Zambezia), Moçambique and Niassa (Niassa administered by the Companhia de Niassa).
All of them issued stamps (the chartered companies issued stamps for the two under company administration), but I haven't yet seen any indication of flags.
Mike Oettle, 20 Dec 2001
In the personal collection of Dr. Whitney Smith [smi76],
there is a
"colonial" Mozambican flag which was made and hoisted in July 1974 by some
Portuguese colonialists fleeing Lourenço Marques (now called Maputo).
The flag is based on a Portuguese flag design (2:3) with a background of green and red charged with the colonial greater
arms: a round point shield (7:8) tierced in mantel, dexter silver, five
blue eschuteons arranged in cross, each charged with five silver bezants
saltire (old Portuguese arms), sinister silver, seven green arrows pointing
down tied with a red tie, point silver, four waves of green (Portuguese
traditional heraldic sea). The shield rests on a large golden armillary
sphere (in this flag 1/2 of the hoist, as in the Portuguese national flag)
in an "art nouveau" perspective less style, crowned with a five tower golden
castle wall, with a blue armillary sphere on each tower and one silver
shield charged with an Order of Christ cross on each of the four crenel
gaps between the towers. Under all this a white scroll where the usual
black sans serif inscription "PROVÍN. PORTUGUESA DE MOÇAMBIQUE"
(before 1951: "COLÓNIA PORTUGUESA DE MOÇAMBIQUE") was substituted
to a plain "MOÇAMBIQUE".
António Martins, 21 Sep 1997
This is correct concerning the Niassa Company, which handed its territory
(north of the River Lurio) back to the Portuguese Government on 27 October
1929. However, the Mozambique Company continued until the Second World
War, handing its territory (between the Save and Zambezi rivers) back in
January 1942. Unfortunately I also lack information on flag use, although
there might just be something I can glean (not in full colour, unfortunately)
from my Mozambique Company stamps. I'll have another look. I have no information
on the Zambezi Company, as this company did not issue its own stamps -
Portugal issued stamps for the colonies of Quelimane and Tete, and later
merged them as Zambezia.
Mike Oettle, 04 Jan 2002
I do not know exactly when these companies ceased operating, but
I've heard that it is related to the 1918 issue of the newly Portuguese
ruled territory of the so called "Triangle of Rovuma", transferred from
German East Africa to Portuguese (Mozambique) after World War I.
António Martins, 31 May 1997
The Regimental Colour of the Mozambique Provincial Military Command was a regular Portuguese military colour with the usual addition of a white scroll under the emblem containing the name of the unit. In this case, it reads «Comando Militar da Província de Moçambique», in embroidered capitals, the middle word "da" in half size.
The Provincial Military Command was in existence between 1961 until Mozambique's
independence in June1975 and its main purpose was to fight the colonial war.
António Martins, 17 June 2009
This is from a small reproduction of an old map made by
Dourado in 1576. This map reproduces the southeastern coastal areas
of Africa, from southern Namibia to the easternmost tip of Somalia. It
contains 9 reproductions of flags over those "city drawings" so common
in the maps of that time. I drew the flags to the best of my eye resolution
(the reproduction is small and some details are not obvious). I named the
flags with the abbreviation of the contemporary state that occupies the
respective territory. When there is more than one flag in a particular
country, I added N for north, S for south and W for west. Even so, some
places are dubious. The filenames and descriptions are: (Images: see
- Placed in northern Mozambique is a square flag, yellow bordered in red, with five blue bezants disposed in saltire in the yellow square. This is evidently a Portuguese flag, but one I never saw before.
- Placed in southern Mozambique is another square flag, yellow bordered in blue, with a red templar cross in the yellow square. This is another Portuguese flag unknown to me.
Jorge Candeias, 15 Aug 1999