9. The Flag

Which flag is the flag of Portugal? For most people, the green and red one comes to mind. But not everyone thinks of THAT flag as Portugal’s flag.

Episode 9 – The Flag
|Created and produced by Marco António
|Translated and narrated by de Lucy Pepper
|Official theme music: Fado do SonhoPensão Flor
|Additional music: Wes Martin | Lee Rosevere | Orquestra Popular de Paio Pires
|The Portuguese version of this episode can be found at “Histórias de Portugal
(narrated by Marco António)

On the 10th of August, 2009, a group of bloggers from the blog “31 da Armada” decided to swap the Municipal Flag of Lisbon with the flag of the Monarchy, which was taken down from that same balcony on the 5th of October, 1910. That was the day that, from Lisbon Town Hall that Republic of Portugal was proclaimed, bringing to an end hundreds of years of a monarchy in Portugal. There is a video of what they themselves call an act of social activism.

This was huge news in Portugal at the time. How it was all planned and carried out, though, has never been told, until now, when  Rodrigo Moita de Deus (in this photo below) – told us everything in this episode of Stories of Saudade and Other Things.

That wasn’t the only time this band of activists did something with the flag… in March 2010 they got back to work, substituting what is probably the largest flag in Portugal, the one that flies from the top of Eduardo VII Park in Lisbon.

The details of that “operation”  (including how much it cost and the shameless and amused way it was carried out) are made public for the first time here.

Rodrigo Moita de Deus (L) tells all to Marco António (R)

There are other Portuguese monarchist who behave in a more discreet manner, albeit every day. One of them is Pedro Paes de Ramos, retired brewer and advertiser, who told us how a monarchist lives in the middle of republicans.

Pedro Paes de Ramos has the monarchist flag hoist at his house all year round. He’s already been through 20 or so of them, leaving them fly until they are completely worn out by the sun, wind and rain, when he replaces them with a new flag. He always has the next one, ready “in stock”.

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You may not know the old Portuguese anthem… you may not know the current one either…(fortunately for you, I sing it *cough* at the end of the episode). The old one was replaced, of course, on the 5th of October, 1910, and here it is below.