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Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais (Brazil)

Last modified: 2024-05-11 by ian macdonald
Keywords: brazil | minas gerais | belo horizonte |
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Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil)  image by Joseph McMillan

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About the Flag of Belo Horizonte

On the wallpaper of the Belo Horizonte municipal site, a black and white image of the city hall with flags flying, the municipal flag appears to be the coat of arms on a white field.
Joe McMillan, 5 February 2001

I have found two separate photographs on line confirming that the flag of Belo Horizonte is white with the municipal coat of arms. One of these shows the prefecture building with three flags flying on it, the center and highest that of Brazil, the one on the right that of the state of Minas Gerais, and the one on the left a white flag with an indistinguishable coat of arms. The other is the opening ceremony of a meeting of the Belo Horizonte Rotary Club, with a display of flags identified as those of Brazil, Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, and the club. That for Belo Horizonte is clearly a white field with a mural crown, leading me to conclude that the flag is as depicted above.
Joseph McMillan, 28 June 2002

About the Coat of Arms

The coat of arms of the city of Belo Horizonte was instituted in 1937 and since then has undergone a series of successive changes by decree. On the basis of historic and bibliographic research, law no. 6938/95 of 19 August 1995 restored the basic original design but in a more classically heraldic rendition. According to chapter 2 of that law, the coat of arms is described as: "a Portuguese shield, remembering the origin of the Brazilian nationality, on a field azure a rising sun or emerging from the sinister side of the Curral D`el Rei mountains vert. On a chief or, an equilateral triangle gules, symbol of the aspirations of the Inconfidência Mineira of 1789. On a scroll gules, in silver letters, the inscriptions (to dexter) 17-12-1893 and (to sinister) 12-12-1897, the dates respectively of the creation of the city and of its installation as the new capital of Minas Gerais, flanking the name Belo Horizonte. For crest, a [gold] mural crown of five towers, the attribute reserved to a state capital." The coat of arms is more or less canting, with the mountain sunrise being used to depict the name "beautiful horizon."
Source: Website of the municipal council.
Joseph McMillan, 29 June 2002

Proposal to change flag

 Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil) image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 16 April 2024

A proposal for a new flag is presented at Reddit: with a link to the original proposal: The flag is clearly derived from the city arms.
Tomislav Todorovic, 16 April 2024

The news article says that a decision about a new flag will be reached only after a sort of referendum (consulta popular) to be held on 2024.10.06. It says that in 2023 grassroots circulation of Gabriel Figueiredo’s new flag proposal (likely meaning the Reddit post reported by Tomislav) was noticed by members of the municipal parliament, who proceded to schedule the late 2024 local referendum.

This article (very likely also based on Reddit) quotes Ted Kaye’s five principles for a good flag design, which is a first, as far as I know, both outside vexillological circles and outside the English speaking world.

This flag proposal by graphic designer Gabriel Figueiredo and transposes on to a 8:11 flag cloth (the same ratio as the national flag) a stylized rendering of the main area of the municipal coat of arms: It is diagonally divided in medium light blue (upper fly) and green (lower fly), with a half of a golden yellow 16-ray sun (with alternating straight and wavy rays) halved by the diagonal partition so that it shows (with only 8 visible rays) only on the blue area. This makes it a canting flag, as the phrase "belo horizonte" means "beautiful horizon" or "fairscape".

António Martins-Tuválkin, 16 April 2024