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Flag of Brazil
The flag of Brazil is the official symbol of the country. The flag has a green field with a large yellow rhombus in the center. A blue circle is placed within the rhombus, with 27 white five-pointed stars of five different sizes arranged in the shapes of various constellations of the Southern Hemisphere. A curved white band also runs through the blue circle, inscribed in green capital letters with the national motto of Brazil: Ordem e Progresso ("Order and Progress").

This flag is sometimes nicknamed the Auriverde which means "(of) gold and green". The next-to-last stanza of Castro Alves's Navio Negreiro uses the term.

The modern flag was officially adopted on November 19, 1889. The concept was the work of Raimundo Teixeira Mendes, with the collaboration of Miguel Lemos and Manuel Pereira Reis. The design was executed by Décio Vilares. The current national flag and ensign maintains the same design with some minor changes. The current 27-star version was adopted on May 12, 1992 (Law 8.421, May 11, 1992).

History
On November 15, 1889, Marechal Deodoro da Fonseca deposed Emperor Pedro II of Brazil and declared Brazil a republic, ending the Empire of Brazil and establishing the República Velha (Old Republic).

Upon this proclamation, Ruy Barbosa proposed a design for a new national flag. Barbosa was a lawyer and leading republican who was appointed Minister of Finances and Taxation. Barbosa's design was strongly inspired by the flag of the United States and was flown starting on November 15, 1889, but used for only four days before Fonseca - acting as provisional president of Brazil - vetoed the design, citing concerns that it looked too similar to the flag of another state.

Although Fonseca headed the coup d'état that deposed Pedro II, he had royalist sympathies for most of his life and had led the coup that resulted in the proclamation of the Republic because he felt the stability of Brazil was in jeopardy. Fonseca suggested that the new flag of the new republic should resemble the old imperial flag, the colors of which represented the families of the first imperial couple, founders of the Brazilian monarchy: Green, representing the House of Braganza of the first Emperor, Pedro I, and yellow, representing the House of Habsburg of Pedro's consort, Maria Leopoldina of Austria. The center of the imperial flag bore the arms of the Empire of Brazil.

The result was changing the old imperial flag only by replacing the royal crest with a new design - eventually the blue globe with the stars and the positivist motto. This was intended to underscore continuity of national unity during the transition from a constitutional monarchy to a republic. Raimundo Teixeira Mendes' design was presented to Fonseca and promptly accepted. Barbosa's design, however, was the basis for the state flags of Goiás, Piauí and Sergipe.

Largest flag regularly hoisted
The largest flag regularly hoisted in the world is the Brazilian national flag flown in the Praça dos Três Poderes (Three Powers Square) in the capital, Brasília. This flag weighs about 600 kg (1300 pounds) and has 7,000 m² (70×100 m), or 230 by 330 ft.

Symbolism
Brazil's current flag was inspired by the flag of the former Empire of Brazil .

On the modern republican flag, the green background represents the forest, the yellow rhombus stands for mineral wealth, and the blue circle, which replaced the coat of arms of the original flag, depicts the sky over Rio de Janeiro on the morning of November 15, 1889, the day the Republic of Brazil was declared. It is shown as seen from outside of the celestial sphere

The stars, whose position in the flag reflect the sky above Rio de Janeiro on November 15, 1889, represent the union's member-states - each star representing a specific state. The number of stars changes with the creation of new states and, since the early days of the republic, has risen from an original 21 stars to the current 27, standing for the 26 states and the Brazilian Federal District. The star that represents the Federal District is Sigma Octantis, a star whose position near the south celestial pole makes it visible across almost the whole country, all year round. In addition, given its polar position, all the other stars depicted on the flag trace appear to rotate around Sigma Octantis. Choosing this star to represent Brazil's capital is therefore particularly apt (although it is a much fainter star than any of the others).

The motto Ordem e Progresso ("Order and Progress") is inspired by Auguste Comte's motto of positivism: L’amour pour principe et l’ordre pour base; le progrès pour but ("Love as a principle and order as the basis; progress as the goal"). It was inserted because several of the people involved in the military coup that deposed the monarchy and proclaimed Brazil a republic were followers of the ideas of Comte's thought.

Protocol
Federal law 5.700, issued on September 1, 1971, defines the flag protocol in Brazil.

The flag must be permanently flown at the Praça dos Três Poderes in Brasília. The flag must be raised and lowered daily at the Presidential Palaces (Palácio do Planalto and Palácio da Alvorada); Ministries; the National Congress; the Supreme Federal Tribunal; the Supreme Court of Justice; seats of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches; diplomatic missions; Federal, state and local institutions; and merchant navy units.

At private and public schools, a special flag ceremony must be held, at least once a week, during the academic year.

The flag must have proper illumination when displayed at night.

Half-staff
The flag must be flown at half-staff when the President decrees official mourning. In addition, state and local governments may decree official mourning with the death of a Mayor or Governor. When the flag is displayed at half-staff, prior to raising or lowering it, the flag must be raised to the top of the flagpole and then lowered to the halfway mark. When the flag is being carried in procession, a black crape ribbon must be tied to the top of the mast.

Foreign flags
Foreign flags may only be flown with a Brazilian Flag along its right side. The only exception is when the foreign flag is displayed in an embassy or consulate.

When multiple flags are raised or lowered simultaneously, the Brazilian Flag must be the first to reach the top of the flagpole and the last to reach the bottom.

Flag retirement
When a flag is no longer fit to use, it must be delivered to a military facility to be burned during a special ceremony on November 19 (Flag Day).

Stars
The flag of Brazil contains 27 stars representing the Brazilian states and the Federal District. The constellation of the Southern Cross is on the meridian (indicated by the number 6 in the diagram). To the south of it is Polaris Australis (Sigma Octantis, numbered 7), representing the Federal District. The motto appears on a band roughly coincident with the ecliptic. A single star lies above the band, representing the large northern state of Para, which straddles the Equator.

There is, more or less, a grouping of neighbour states within other constellations:

  • Crux Australis (the Southern Cross) represents the four southeastern states of São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, Espírito Santo, plus the northeastern state of Bahia.
  • Scorpius represent the eight other states of Northeastern Brazil; Sergipe, Alagoas, Pernambuco, Paraíba, Rio Grande do Norte, Ceará, Maranhão and Piauí.
  • Triangulum Australe represents the three states of Southern Brazil; Rio Grande do Sul, Parana and Santa Catarina.
  • The four lone stars of Procyon, Spica, Canopus and Sigma Octantis, represent Amazonas, Pará, Goiás and the Brazilian Federal District respectively.
  • The two stars of Hydra were added when Mato Grosso do Sul and Acre achieved statehood.
  • Originally, only Sirius from Canis Major was depicted, representing Mato Grosso, but nowadays other stars from that constellation are also depicted, to represent the new Northern states of the Amazon basin: Rondônia, Tocantins, Roraima and Amapá.
A list of constellations and stars on the map:
  1. Procyon (α Canis Minoris),
  2. Canis Major, with the largest star depicting Sirius,
  3. Canopus (α Carinae),
  4. Spica (α Virginis)
  5. Hydra
  6. Crux Australis
  7. Sigma Octantis (σ Octantis; south pole star)
  8. Triangulum Australe
  9. Scorpius, with the largest star depicting Antares

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