Buy State Flags from Allstate FlagsBuy US flags from Five Star Flags
This page is part of © FOTW Flags Of The World website

Portuguese national guard

Guarda Nacional Republicana

Last modified: 2005-08-26 by antonio martins
Keywords: guarda nacional republicana | gnr | g.n.r. | r.c.1 | alfa | sword: pointing up (yellow) | crescents: 2 (white) | crescent: points up (white) |
Links: FOTW homepage | search | disclaimer and copyright | write us | mirrors

See also: Other sites:
  • Official webpage with unit coats of arms
    reported by João Madureira, 25 Apr 2003


The National Republican Guard (GNR) is a military organization, whose soldiers, unlike the officers of the Public Safety Police (PSP), are subject to military law and organization. GNR is responsible for doing honor guards and changing of guards cerimonies to public buildings like the National Assembly, the President’s Palace (Belém), the Foreign Office Palace (Necessidades), et c. On a more pragmatic basis, they are also responsible for patrolling and enforcing the law at the countryside and small towns (large urban centers are patrolled by the PSP), being a highway patrol, and being a border and fiscal guard. There are also two "military" reserve regiments : an Infantry Regiment and a Cavalry Regiment. Apparently miniature guidons do not follow the complicated designs of the Armed Forces.
João Madureira, 25 Apr 2003

From the GNR site, my rough translation:

The National Republican Guard, created by decree of 3 May 1911, is a security force consisting of military persons organized in a Special Body of Troops depending, in peace time, of the Ministry of the Internal Administration, for the purpose of conscription, administration and execution of the decurrent service of its general mission, and the Ministry of the National Defense for the purpose of uniformization and normalization of the military doctrine, the armament and the equipment; in case of war or situation of crisis, the forces of National Republican Guard will be subordinated the General Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, when in the terms of the Law these will be placed in its dependence for operational effect.
Francisco Santos, 25 Apr 2003

3rd Territorial Brigade guidon
3ª Brigada Territorial

Apparently the guidon of the Brigada Territorial nº 3 of the G.N.R. do follow the complicated designs of other military units. See it at:
Francisco Santos, 25 Apr 2003

Alpha Dettachment guidon (in Iraq, 2004)
Destacamento Alfa

[GNR guidon]
image by João Madureira, 14 May 2004

The flag of the Alfa dettachment of the portuguese GNR, currently in operations in Iraq (and formed exclusively for that purpose).
João Madureira, 14 May 2004

Concerning the emblem of the Alfa detachment, Courrier International (#706, 13 May 2004) states that it shall not be used in Iraq in order to respect the local population. The association of the swoirds and the crescents could have upset the Iraqis.
Ivan Sache, 15 May 2004

The central upright sword, is, according to the official grant, only to reproduce the main charge in G.N.R.’s own arms. Despite that, I’d guess it's very easy to interpret it as a sword dividing two crescents (islam) by force. Nevertheless, I’d think that at least one of these flags must have made it into Iraq and must be present at their headquarters.
João Madureira, 15 May 2004

This flag was used: it was displayed in a parade that took place before the unit left Lisbon.
Jorge Candeias, 16 May 2004

Depiction differences has mostely to do with detail of the heraldic charges. While on the square flag these seems to be lined in black (incl. the central ridge of the crescents), while the cavalry pennon shows them solid, a filled outline with less detail.
António Martins, 16 May 2004

Symbols “war” between Portugal and Italy in Iraq 2004

Courrier International (#706, 13 May 2004) has the translation of a paper, originally published by Valentina Marcelino in Expresso (Lisbon), dealing with a creeping “flag war” between the Portuguese and the Italians in Nasiriyah. According to the paper, the Alfa detachment of the National Republican Guard (128 men) was integrated in November 2003 to the 3,500 men Italian contingent based in Nasiriyah. The Portuguese arrived in Iraq on 12 Novenber, the day when the Italians were attacked and lost 19. THe local population is mostly shiite and very hostile to the Italians. On 6 April, the Italians had to fight against Moqtada-as-Sadr's militia. One of the Italian hostages was murdered on 10 April.

Consequently, the Portuguese heads of the Alfa detachment believe that the integration of their troops into the Italian contingent increases the risk of attack. The Portuguese used until now vehicles “borrowed” to the Italians, and therefore marked as Italians. When identifying the Italian colours, the inhabitants of Nasiriyah, and especially the children, became so aggressive that the Portuguese had to go out of the vehicles and show their national flag to calm down the mob.

The Portuguese shipped very big green and red stickers to be placed on the vehicles they used. The Italian colonel Carmelo Burgio was upset by this attempt to hide the Italian colours. Finally, the Portuguese were only allowed to place small stickers on the vehicles. Those stickers were quickly covered with mud and sand and were no longer visible, compared to the big Italian flags.

To avoid an escalation of the quarrel, the Portuguese army shipped from Lisbon seven vehicles bearing the national colours and won’t use anymore the Italian vehicles.

Ivan Sache, 15 May 2004

1st Cavalry Regiment guidon
Regimento de Cavalaria 1

[GNR guidon]
image by João Madureira, 25 Apr 2003

Apparently a guidon of the Cavalry Regiment [R.C.: Regimento de Cavalaria] of GNR or of a sub-unit of that regiment. The only source I have for this is a miniature flag my grandfather had, so this should be treated as quite dubious information.
João Madureira, 25 Apr 2003