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Portuguese Army

Exército Português

Last modified: 2007-06-09 by antónio martins
Keywords: army | lion |
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  • Official webpage with all the coats of arms of all the current and deactivated portuguese army units
    reported by João Madureira, 23 Apr 2003

The Portuguese Army flag

Army flag
image by António Martins, 30 Apr 2004

The Portuguese army flag is red with a golden lion holding a sword (well, I only say this because I’ve seen it in an air show, in the section of army parashooters).
João Madureira, 02 May 1998

This was some time ago, in "Estoril Air Show 97", held in the Aeródromo Municipal de Cascais (Cascais Municipal Airstrip) at Tires, from 12 to 14 of September 1997. In the day I visited the show (I don’t remember in which day), there was a demonstration of the Army (not Air Force) parachuters. First, there came some parashooters with smoke on their feet, then a parashooter with the flag I described, and finally, one with the national flag. The flag was red with a golden lion rampant holding a sword (also golden but with the blade in argent). This probably isn’t of the air force because the parachooters were from the Army, and the emblem of the Air Force is different.
João Madureira, 04 May 1998

Portuguese Army flags

Talking about flags, [sjcXX] says:

The Army’s heraldic flags are for use on parade, and are divided into:
  • flammes for companies, or equivalent;
  • guidons de mérite, for platoons or companies which, having performed a feat of arms of exceptional worth, have been awarded a decoration equivalent to, or greater than, the War Cross 1st Class;
  • étendards for regiments or equivalent, and exceptionally for independent companies and battalions;
  • gaillardets for generals exercising command, in command of Arms or Services, or members of the government.
Unit heraldic flags always accompany the commanding officer on parades.

[sjcXX] quotes from the regulations — decree 24107 of 3rd June 1969, published in L’Ordre de l’Armée 1st series, no.6 of 30th June 1969:

  • Flamme: an isoceles triangle, bearing the symbol of the unit, either painted or embroidered.
    • Flamme pour marquage: 0.375 m × 0.25 m;
    • Flamme pour hisser: 0.5 m × 0.25 m
  • Guidon: 0.75m square, bearing a plain, or parti-coloured border around the arms (or device) of the unit. Embroidered in gold, silver and silk. Cords and tassels in the heraldic livery colours. The flag is attached to the staff by three broad loops. There is a second horizontal staff at right angles to the main staff to keep the flag deployed.
  • Guidon de mérite: red with a yellow rampant lion, holding in its right claws an antique sword, whilst above is an inscription in gold giving details of the feat of arms, all within a gold border charged with laurel leaves. Size and staff as the guidon.
  • Etendart: 1m square. Divided geometrically with a border of the “appropriate” metals and tinctures. It is possible to add a cross or saltire of a suitable metal or tincture. In the centre is a circular scroll bearing the unit’s name or motto; this encloses the unit coat of arms, sometimes with a laurel wreath. At each corner of the sheet can be added either the unit’s abbreviation or number. It is also possible to add inscriptions about the unit’s feats of arms on the sheet, especially on the border, but never on the arms or the cross. Cords and tassels in the heraldic livery colours.
  • Gaillardet: square, except for use on vehicles, when it is 0.4 m × 0.3 m. Generals commanding Arms and Services have a plain flag bearing their respective shields superimposed on the emblem of the Arm or Service. Generals commanding formations, Quarter-Master General, Adjutant-General, Vice-Chief of Army Staff, Inspector-General, and Chief of Army Staff bear a flag with a border in a tincture and a metal, around “the proper symbol”. Those of members of the Government bear the “proper symbol” without the border.
Ian Sumner, 19 Dec 2003

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