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Mocuba (Mozambique)

Historical local flag

Last modified: 2016-07-02 by bruce berry
Keywords: mocuba mozambique
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Mocuba is a city and the capital of Mocuba District in the Zambezia Province of north-eastern Mozambique.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 11 May 2016

Mocuba colonial flags (1956 - 1975)

Image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 10 May 2016

Several municipalities of the Overseas Portuguese Empire which had adopted Coats of Arms were subjected in the late 1930s and 1940s to the same kind of homogenization that their metropolitan counterparts in Portugal had been the subjected to during the previous decade at the hands of the SHAAP/CHAAP (q.v.), this time with the help of the Overseas/Colonies’ Ministry.  The start of the Colonial Wars in 1961 led to the creation of several more, as granting symbols to settlements (and other similar accolades such as the upgrading of their municipal upgrading) was one way for the Portuguese Government to thank or compensate local populations and/or elites for war damages.

However, the creation of symbols for the overseas municipalities didn’t start with the beginning of the Colonial War.  Mocuba, in Zambezia Province in Mozambique, is one such case where a municipal coat of arms and flag were approved 1956 by means of a Ministerial Edict, n.º 16061, issued by the Overseas Ministry and published in the official journal on 05 December 1956.

It is a slightly atypical  Portuguese municipal flag in that the coat of arms is centered on a yellow and white quartered background. The arms are Vert five hoe blades Or set in saltire and a rope Argent in orle. Mural crown
Argent with four visible towers and white scroll with "VILA DE MOCUBA" in black capitals. The banner should have golden and silvery tassels and cord, and golden pole with spear finial.

The official description reads as follows:

"Armas: De verde, carrgedo de cinco ferros de enxada de ouro e um cordão de prata, realçado de negro, em orla. Coroa mural de prata de quatro torres. Listel banco tendo inscrito, em caracteres negros: «Vila de Mocuba».
Bandeira: esquartelada de amarelo e branco. Cordões e borlas de ouro e prata. Lança e haste douradas

The reason for the flag not following the typical municipal Portuguese design  is because yellow and white were chosen for the background i.e.the two heraldic metals. While this was not strictly against the letter of the law (because the law is poorly worded and structured), the vexillological result is poor.

According to the text, the charges were chosen due to the local importance of tillage and growing sisal.

image sent by Bruce Berry, 25 June 2016

These arms are shown in the well-known postage stamp series features Mozambique municipal Coats of Arms issued in the 1960s. The Mocuba Arms feature on the 2$00 on pink background.

  image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 11 May 2016

On 12 December 1971, the hitherto town of Mocuba was upgraded to city status, which it retained after the independence of Mozambique in 1975. New municipal arms were issued which was published Ministerial Edict, n.º 301/71, issued by the Overseas Ministry and published in the official journal  Diário do Governo : II série_*134* p.866, in 08 June 1971 (illustration and text).

The only changes are the towers in the mural crown are increased to five and the background of the flag background is a gyronny of eight triangles in the same colours as used in the previous flag.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 11 May 2016