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Movement of Landless Rural Workers(Brazil)

Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais sem Terra (MST)

Last modified: 2008-08-09 by ian macdonald
Keywords: brazil | political parties | landless | mst | machete | map | man | woman |
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[MST-Movement of Landless Rural Workers] image by Eugene Ipavec, 1 February 2007
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About the Flag

From the website of the Movement of Landless Rural Workers, a Brazilian movement that has been occupying non-productive lands belonging to big landowners for several years now:
During the IV National Meeting of the MST, held in January 1987 in Piracicaba, São Paulo, the selection and official approval of the flag of the Movement of Landless Rural Workers took place. The flag is a symbol of the national character of the fight for agrarian reform. Let's see the significance of the drawings and colours that compose our flag:
    The map of Brazil represents that the MST is an organization of national scope and wishes to take the fight for agrarian reform to the whole country.
    The man and the woman represent the need to engage men and women and whole families in the struggle.
    The machete represents the tools of work, struggle, and resistance. [The word is facão. While "knife" in Portuguese is faca, the Brazilian facão is a very large knife similar to a cutlass.--Trans.]
    The color white represents the peace for which we fight, which can only be won when there is social justice for all.
    The color red represents the blood that flows in our veins and the will to fight for agrarian reform and for the transformation of society.
    The color black represents our mourning and our tribute to all the workers who have already fallen fighting for a new society.
    The color green represents the big latifundia we have to occupy and turn productive. And the hope that our fight will be victorious in each occupied latifundium.
So I'd say it's definitely a left-wing movement. It also must be explained that in some areas of Brazil the latifundia are on average larger than several European countries, and I'm not referring to Liechtenstein or Monaco!
Jorge Candeias, 27 August 1999

The flag is a 2:3 red field with the symbol of the MST centered. Along with the symbol, the flag bears the colors red (predominantly), white, black and green. The emblem of the movement is a white circle bordered in black. Inscribed inside it, along the circumference, the words Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra - Brasil. Inside the circle we see the figure of a green Brazilian map, and, within it, the figures of a man and a woman from the waist up, the man holding up a machete in his right hand, and the woman wearing a red shirt.
Guillermo Tell Aveledo, 18 August 2000

Not really a party in the proper sense of the word, but a major left-wing political presence.
Joseph McMillan, 16 April 2001

Unidentified Flag

[MST-Movement of Landless Rural Workers] image located by Jorge Candeias, 10 December 2004

The "Movimento dos Sem-Terra, MST" (Movement of Land-Less workers) organizes marches and land occupations all over Brazil, and the attached photo was taken in one of those marches. The MST has a well known flag: a red cloth with a white disc that contains the symbol of the movement: a map of Brazil containing a male and a female rural worker and surrounded by an arc of lettering. But that's not the flag that we can see on this photo. This one is white, or in some other very light shade, and contains a symbol that seems to be more complicated than that of MST.
Any ideas?
Jorge Candeias, 10 December 2004