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Lisboa (Lisbon) Municipality (Portugal)

Concelho de Lisboa, Distrito de Lisboa

Last modified: 2015-01-03 by klaus-michael schneider
Keywords: lisbon | lisboa | sailing ship | crow | cormorant | raven | base(wavy) | saint vincent | lx | squares(5) |
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[Lisboa municipality] 2:3 image by António Martins-Tuválkin and André Serranho, 7 Mar 1999
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About the Flag

It is a fairly typical Portuguese municipal flag, with the coat of arms centred on a field gyronny ofeight, black and white.
Pascal Vagnat, 14 Dec 1997 and António Martins-Tuválkin,

I have just returned from a vacation that was spent partly in Lisbon. Along with the Portuguese flag, the municipal flag of Lisbon was commonly seen, about half the time with very complex arms in the centre. These municipal flags were more usually flown from stand-alone poles at street corners than from buildings.
Vincent Morley, 9 Oct 1999

Coat of arms

[Lisboa municipality CoA] image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 25 Nov 2014

The arms are: or, on a see of seven wavy fesses vert and argent, a sail ship sable, with rudder, one mast and respective ropes, all lined argent; flag and sails (furled in five “pockets”) of the same; at both ends of the ship, two ravens sable lined argent, each pointing to the center of the shield. Mural crown or with five vivible towers (capital city rank), collar of the Order of Tower and Sword, and white scroll with the motto "MUI NOBRE E SEMPRE LEAL CIDADE DE LISBOA" (most noble and always loyal city of Lisbon) in black upper case letters.
The story behind this coat of arms relates to Saint Vincent, patron of the city (unlike Saint Anthony of Lisbon and Padova, who “just” born here). According to a legend this saint’s (uncorrupt) corpse was brought to Algarve, southern Portugal, and was later carried to Lisbon by ship, from the appropriately called St. Vincent Cape (the SW tip of Portugal, in Vila do Bispo municipality); here two ravens perched on the ship and kept guard to the holy corpse untill the arrival. These are usually said to have been “sea crows” (cormorants) instead,but they could also be P. pyrrocorax (“Red beaked crow”, in portuguese), since they are the same family as ravens. The legend says raven, anyway, and it became the Lisbon’s mascot — where ravens and other kinds of crows are almost absent, by the way — all you can see is millions of pigeons and sparrows.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 7 Mar 1999

Version without Coat of Arms

[Lisboa plain B/W]
2:3 image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 15 Apr 1998
[Lisboa plain B/G]
2:3 image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 25 Nov 2014

The “civil” municipal flag of Lisbon is white (or light grey / spotted on 7 Oct 2013) over black gyronny, with no coat of arms. António Martins, 15 Apr 1998 and Klaus-Michael Schneider, 25 Nov 2014

Incorrect variation (upside down)

[Lisboa wrong plain flag] 2:3 image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 15 Jul 1999

The Lisbon City Museum (Palácio Pimenta, Campo Grande) hoists every day an upside down flag for ages!
António Martins-Tuválkin, 15 Jul 1999


Unofficial flags


Municipal logo flag (2004-)

[Lisboa unofficial flag] 2:3 image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 4 Oct 2004

I do not know the official explanation, but I bet the the 5 colours refer to diversity or any other such trendy buzzword. The basic design stands for "LX", the usual abbreviation of the name "Lisbon" ("Lisboa", in Portuguese), from "Lixabuna", one of the many ways to spell it in pre-orthographic Portuguese (the name comes from Roman Latin "Olisipo", itself assimilated from previous forms, later reshaped inder Germanic, Arabic, and Romance influences).
António Martins-Tuválkin, 6 Oct 2004

The "LX" logo was modified in 2004 in this period — "câmara municipal" being dropped, and a stylized coat of arms added. Later, this change affected flags, too.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 2010

This is now the Lisbon municipality logo flag in use, having slowly replaced all previous "LX" logo flag, with and without smaller letters "câmara municipal" below.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 22 Apr 2007

Recent news reported that the Lisbon Mayor under whom the current logo was approved (Pedro Santana Lopes), want now the crows and ship back on the logo. It is not clear wheather this will be done by modifying the current logo, reverting to the previous (unlikely) or to any of the earlier logos, or creating yet a new logo. However this mayor has been recently “transformed” in Prime Minister, so the issue may be moot.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 18 Jul 2004

Shortly after former Lisbon mayor Santana Lopes become prime minister last June, his interim replacement, Carmona Rodrigues (not from the same party, PSD, but from PP — both had won the Lisbon municipal government in coalition) approved the use of yet a new logo for the Lisbon Municipality, this time a more or less sober stylization of the coat of arms. This started to appear in September 2004, and is now used along the still current logo. I took a photo of this early usage, see here.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 4 Oct 2004


2004 stylized coat of arms

[Lisboa unofficial flag] 2:3 image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 4 Oct 2004

As a flag this is still a design with no actual usage: indeed the stylized coat of arms is never used standalone (though it was surely designed to be), but always along with the "LX" logo and the city name.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 22 Apr 2007


Municipal logo flag (2001~2004)

[Lisboa unofficial flag] 2:3 image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 18 July 2004

The new logo replaced the old one in early 2001, following a change in the ruling party.
António Martins, 24 Aug 2003

The adoption of this logo was preceeded and prepared by the publishing of the book O emblema da cidade de Lisboa [frg02]; the new logo was created by the book author, Margarida Fragoso.
The lettering is set in Chalet typeface.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 26 Aug 2003 / 22 Apr 2007


Municipal logo flag (1997-2001)

[Lisboa unofficial flag] 2:3 image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 12 Aug 1999

The logo (and, in consequence, the flag based on it) was replaced in early 2001, following a change in the ruling party.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 24 Aug 2003


Presentation of Lisbon

Lisboa is one of the municipalities of the Lisboa district (old province of Estremadura), covering 84 km² in 53 communes (until 2013), where live 629 670 inhabitants (1992 data).

António Martins-Tuválkin, 15 Apr 1998

On 8 October 2012 the number of communes was reduced to 24 either by incorporation or by merging. Most of them have not yet [November 2014] proper symbols.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 25 Oct 2014

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