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Brazilian Maritime Flags

Last modified: 2003-09-06 by joe mcmillan
Keywords: brazil | customs | star (white) | cross (red) | pilot | u | uniform | signal | police | health |
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Customs Flag

Bandeira da Alfândega

Brazilian Customs Flagby Zeljko Heimer

The customs flag of Brazil is blue with a centered large white star.
Source: Christian Fogd Pedersen, Flaggor i färg (1973).
Marcus Wendel, 15 September 1999

Same flag shown in Flaggenbuch (1939).
Ivan Sache, 30 May 2000

In Album de Pavillons (2000) the ratio is not indicated and the image seems to be different from 3:4 flags of the Navy (seems to be 32:46, which matches well with 7:10 of the national flag). Not unexpectedly, the Navy Ceremonial does not mention the flag, as it is not a flag used by the Navy. Znamierowski only mentions it without a description or image (on page 73).
Zeljko Heimer, 25 March 2001

I did some digging into how this flag is used and discovered that it is not a customs flag in the sense of a flag used to represent the customs service (Sistema de Controle Aduaneiro) or the customs officers at the various ports (Inspetores da Alfândega) but as a signal "hoisted on incoming vessels subject to customs examination" (Barraclough and Crampton 1978 and 1981). I found confirmation of this in the directions for tankers arriving at Petrobras terminals and the site of the Ultramar Group, a port agency serving ports in Peru, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. The Petrobras site says, "Before the visit, the ship should hoist the Customs flag (blue with white star)." Ultramar goes further to say that the flag is to be flown 24 hours a day after customs is cleared.
Joseph McMillan, 2 July 2001

Health Service for the Merchant Navy

Health Service for Merchant Marine (Brazil), 1939 by Ivan Sache

A St. George's cross.
Source: Flaggenbuch (1939).
Ivan Sache, 30 May 2000


Police Ensign, 1939

Brazilian Police Ensign, 1939 by Ivan Sache

Black P on a blue field. Source: Flaggenbuch (1939).
Ivan Sache, 30 May 2000

Police Standard, 1939

Brazilian Police Standard, 1939by Ivan Sache

Black Policia on a white pennant.

I don't know the real use of the two police flags. Flaggenbuch captions them Polizeiflagge and Polizeistander respectively.
Source: Flaggenbuch (1939).
Ivan Sache, 30 May 2000

Aha! A mistake in Flaggenbuch! It's spelled with an acute accent over the first "i"! And, by the way, here's a quite uninspired flag design. Note, though, the letters set to the hoist, so they can be visible in low wind conditions.
António Martins, 31 May 2000


Brazilian Pilot Flag (Obsolete?) by Phil Nelson

Among the flags that are often not represented in Flags of the World are pilot flags. This is from National Geographic, (1917) as well as from a scan of Webster's New International Dictionary (circa 1924) courtesy of Jarig Bakker. As these are based on the National Geographic magazine, images may not be exact to the real world, but represent what has been published.
Phil Nelson, 30 December 1999

Quartered red-white-red-white.
Source: Album des Pavillons (1995).
Ivan Sache, 10 May 2000

This Brazilian pilot flag is shown in the Album des Pavillons 1995 edition, but not in 2000. Why? Abandoned, or just couldn't get any confirmation, or is it lack of space?
Zeljko Heimer, 25 March 2001

I very much doubt that this flag is still in use. It is "U" in the International Code of Signals, which means "you are running into danger."
Armand Noel du Payrat, 26 March 2001

Pilot Ensign, 1939

Brazilian Pilot Flag (Obsolete) by Ivan Sache

Black P on red field. Obsolete.
Source: Flaggenbuch (1939).
Ivan Sache, 30 May 2000