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Imperial Brazilian Navy

Last modified: 2014-08-14 by ian macdonald
Keywords: empire | navy | cruzeiro | jack | admiral | vice admiral | rear-admiral | stars: 21 (white) | stars: 5 (white) | stars: 4 (white) | stars: 3 (white) | stars: 2 (white) |
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Introduction

The flags below are properly dark blue.  It should be pointed out that reports of dark green jacks, pennants, and command flags in the Brazilian Navy were erroneous. The blue jack with white stars arranged in a cross dates to 1847, and this jack as well as the blue pennant and command flags derived from it consistently appear in official publications of major foreign navies (French, German, UK, and US) from 1858 onward. One reference (Hounsell, 1873) appears to be the source of the erroneous green flag reports.
Joe McMillan, Ralph Kelly, 25 March 2009


Command Flag and Jack

Almirante, Vice-almirante, Chefe de Esquadra

Admiral, Imperial 
Brazilian Navy image by Devereaux Cannon

From the 1882 U.S. Navy publication, Flags of Maritime Nations.
Devereaux Cannon, 25 October 1999

Cruzeiro of 20 stars (without the central one).
Željko Heimer, 27 March 2001

Siebmacher (1876) shows the blue flag with 20 stars, horizontal 6-6, vertical 4-4, the center being empty space for one further star. He names it Commandoflagge, and gives proporions of 4:7.
Ralf Stelter, 23 March 2001

The 1858 Album des Pavillons by LeGras calls this the "command flag" with the notes that it is flown by an admiral at the head of the mainmast, by a vice admiral at the foremast), and by a chef d'escadre at the mizzen. Chefe de esquadra was the Brazilian rank title equivalent to a rear admiral throughout the imperial period (unlike the old French term chef d'escadre, which was one step junior to a contre-amiral. LeGras also says this flag was displayed at the bow (i.e., as a jack) whenever the ensign was flown at the stern. He also gives the proportions as 4:7. The same design appears in the 1870 edition of Flags of Maritime Nations.
Joseph McMillan, 28 March 2001

From LeGras' Album 1858, the "cruzeiro" of 20 stars is as shown above (although the stars in LeGras are somewhat smaller than here). The size provided is ca. 252441 cm (this odd numbers in the estimate to maintain 4:7 ratio). It is also stated that the "cruzeiro" as a jack is to be flown all the time whenever the ensign is hoisted.
Željko Heimer, 10 July 2014


Command Triangle (Commodore's Pennant)

Chefe de Divisão

Commodore, Imperial 
Brazilian Navy image by Devereaux Cannon

From the 1882 U.S. Navy publication, Flags of Maritime Nations.
Devereaux Cannon, 25 October 1999

Triangular cruzeiro pennant with 20 stars arranged so that 4 stars are "out of cruzeiro."
Željko Heimer, 27 March 2001

LeGras calls this the "triangle of command," giving proportions 2:5, and says it is flown by a chef de division, which in Portuguese is chefe de divisão, the imperial Brazilian rank equivalent to a commodore. Labeled "commodore's triangle" in Flags of Maritime Nations.
Joseph McMillan, 28 March 2001

From LeGras' Album 1858, the pennant is as shown above (although the stars in LeGras are somewhat smaller than here). From the measures provided the size would have been 1.53.75m. It was hoisted on the mainmast.
Željko Heimer, 10 July 2014


Warship Pennant

Warship Pennant, 
Imperial Brazilian Navy image by Željko Heimer

From the 1882 U.S. Navy publication, Flags of Maritime Nations.
Devereaux Cannon, 25 October 1999

Blue long pennant with 14 stars, of which two are set "crossing" the line of stars between the 3rd and 4th from hoist. Is there any significance to the number 14?
Željko Heimer, 27 March 2001

From LeGras' Album 1858, the pennant is as shown above. As the drawing shows the "dissected" pennant with the central part missing, it is hard to estimate how many stars were actually on it.
Željko Heimer, 10 July 2014