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Colonial flags of Macao

Macau, Aomen

Last modified: 2020-07-31 by ian macdonald
Keywords: macau | macao | china | portugal |
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Government of Macao

[Government flag of Macao] image by António Martins

The government of Macao is an entity appointed by the Portuguese government to administer the territory, with competences different from those of the two local municipal government. The government of Macao flies a flag of its own consisting of the 1935 coat of arms (greater) on an azure background. The text on the scroll reads "Governo de Macao." Before 1975, it just read "Provín. Portuguesa de Macau" and before 1951 "Colónia Portuguesa de Macau."

I do not know, however, when this coat of arms was first used in flags with this blue background. It should be after 1967, when a colonial flag series was proposed, approved, but ignored afterwards. I've never heard of any coat of arms on blue flag like this for any other of the overseas territories, so this flag was probably used only "after" 1975.

Please note that this flag shouldn't be used to represent "Portuguese Macao," officially only the Portuguese national flag will do. Unofficially most people prefer the future Special Economic Region flag, or the municipal flag of Macao City.

This flag is known among us in Lusovex as the "Financial Times flag of Macao" because we have a daily TV program called "RTP Financial Times" featuring economic information, that uses this flag in the table of currency exchange for the local currency, the "pataca." So this flag has some kind of representation of the territory.
Jorge Candeias, 09 December 1998

Variant on the Government flag

[Government flag of Macao] image by António Martins

I saw this one in an exhibit in my university about the University of Macao and reported it in Lusovex. It was in a photo of an international university sports meeting and it was used in the parade (an Olympic-like parade) next to the sign with the territory name. Another semi-official use of the flag in the representation of the territory.
Jorge Candeias, 09 December 1998

Governor's flag

[Governor's flag] image by António Martins

Another flag of the territory is the Governor's flag. It is white with two narrow vertical stripes (w, v, w, v, w) and in the center is the Portuguese shield over the red Christ Cross bordered in yellow (and with a small white cross in the center of the red cross).
Jaume Ollé 07 April 1997

An unidentified 19th Century Macanese flag

[Unidentified 1864 Macanese flag] image by Antonio Martins

Some time ago, someone sent to the list an image scanned from an old flag chart.

It features a supposedly flag of Macao (unspecified whether of Chinese or Portuguese usage), which nobody could make out. Could it be a 19th cent. Portuguese naval rank flag, mistaken as a local flag? Maybe, as some of these are not very different (though mostly blue and yellow). Further research, as usual, is needed.

It is an almost square flag (5:6) divided horizontally in two halves: dark yellow (top) and dark blue (bottom). On the separation line, three smallish white 5-pointed stars, pointing up, set at approx. identical spaced among them and from the edges of the flag.
Antonio Martins, 2 September 2001