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East Timor: flag proposal of 1967

Timor Português, Timor-Leste

Last modified: 2017-05-19 by ian macdonald
Keywords: portugal | proposal | langhans (f. p. de almeida) | coat of arms: tierced per mantel | colonial | dominicans |
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1967 proposal image by António Martins, 12 April 2017
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Description of the Flag

Heraldist F. P. de Almeida Langhans published in p. 67 of his Armorial do Ultramar Português (Lisbon, 1965) [lgh65] a general model for the overseas “provinces”’ flags: The national flag defaced with the shield of the lesser arms of each province centered in the lower fly quarter of the red field. This proposal was approved in 1967, but never come to effect. The colonial coats of arms, decreed on 8 May 1935, all had a shield of the same pattern, tierced in mantel, the dexter silver, five escutcheons, saltire, each charged with five bezants, gold, in cross; and the point silver, five waves green. The remaining sinister mantel had some local emblem. For East Timor this was gyronny, silver over black, a fleur de lys cross counterchanged charged with one of the escutcheons.
António Martins, 8 July 1997

"Per gyronny sable and argent a cross fleury counterchanged" is the Dominican cross, chosen because the monks of this order were the ones who "established the locals’ obedience to Portugal". (This is on the sinister mantel, the one of three that would supposedly convey a symbolic references to the armigerous entity, while the dexter mantel and the point had identical elements, the former bearing Portugal ancient…)
António Martins, 05 August 2005

The 1935 coat of arms was one of the eight similar coats of arms approved by Ministerial Decree n.º 8:098, issued by the Colonies’ Minister on 1935.05.08 [https://dre.tretas.org/dre/2450468.dre.pdf] and published in Diário do Govêrno : I Série 104 of the same date on pages 597-599 (a rare case of illustrated legal texts concerning flags in Portuguese legislation).

The illustration of the East Timor coat of arms is noteworthy as the escutcheon on the core of the Dominican cross is not marked by horizontal hatch lines (Pietra Santa for Azure) but left plain, as if it were Argent, contrasting with the hatched escutcheons Azure in the dexter mantel of the same shield and also in all other seven similar coats of arms but also with the equally singular escutcheon clasped by the dragon on the sinister mantel of the Macao coat of arms. This is a meaningless artistic error, as the escutcheon in question is undoubtedly blue, as the nearby text prescribes and as it was rendered countless times.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 8 July 2016