Last modified: 2003-02-22 by joe mcmillan
Keywords: minas gerais (brazil) | brazil | libertas | quae sera | tamen | triangle (red) |
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7:10 by Joseph McMillan
In use by 1930s; officially adopted 8 January 1963
The slogan Libertas quæ sera tamen is from the Minas Gerais "conspiracy"
(Inconfidência Mineira). The form and design of the flag were made on the model
developed by the leaders of the liberation movement of 1789 for the republic
that they planned to create. According to Tiradentes [one of the leaders of the movement],
the triangle recalls the three Persons of the Trinity.
Zeljko Heimer, 13 March 1996
The flag of the state was [officially--ed.] instituted on 8 January 1963. It consists of a
white flag with a red triangle in the center, symbol of the nationalist
conspiracy of 1789, known as the Inconfidência Mineira or
Revolução de Tiradentes. According to the statement of Joaquim José
da Silva Xavier, nicknamed "Tiradentes" (1748-1792), the most famous of the
leaders of the Inconfidência, the triangle represented the three
persons of the Trinity. The revolt was aborted by Portuguese colonial authorities
through breach of faith (inconfidência)
of one of the conspirators.
Jaume Ollé, 28 June 1996, with minor corrections by Paulo Erlich, 15 December 1998
The motto in the flag means literally "Freedom although late," meaning, "Freedom
is necessary although it is already late for it." The name Inconfidência
Mineira is due to the fact that the conspirators were considered traitors by the Portuguese crown.
The name was given by the Portuguese colonial authorities to the conspirators and has nothing to do with the
traitor who dennounced the conspiracy. At the time, it was used derogatorily, but later the Brazilians
turned around its meaning (in this special case), making it a term of praise. What was infamous to the Portuguese
became an act of heroism to independent Brazilians.
Heitor Martins, 15 March 1999
Libertas quæ sera tamen means "Liberty, even if late [or delayed]." It is a verse from a Latin
poem that was popular then [Virgil's Eclogues--ed.].
Leandro Guimarães Faria Corcete Dutra, 12 April 1999
From the state legislative assembly's website, the following is quoted from Law No. 2793 of 8 January 1963 (published and took effect on 9 January 1963):
Art. 2. The flag of the State of Minas Gerais has the following design and form: a white rectangle 20 units long and 14 units wide; on the center, a red equilateral triangle 8 units on each side, having along the upper left side the word "LIBERTAS", along the upper right side the words "QUAE SERA" and along the base the word "TAMEN", said words to be in Roman type, with the letters to be 2/3 of a unit high and separated from the triangle by 1/3 of a unit, forming together the phrase Libertas quae sera tamen, which is the motto of the InconfidÍncia Mineira.Joseph McMillan, 9 July 2002
Clovis Ribeiro in 1933 wrote that the triangle on the flag designed by Tiradentes
for the Inconfidência was green, yet 30 years later the state adopted the same flag shown
in Ribeiro but with a red triangle, ostensibly after careful research and much discussion.
Ribeiro says that at least one unit of Minas Gerais troops involved in the 1930 revolution that
brought Getúlio Vargas to power carried a flag with a red triangle and the Libertas quae sera tamen
motto; presumably it was not alone. But I don't know how such flags came into use or whether they were a
source for the official flag adopted in 1963.
Joseph McMillan, 30 August 2002
A set of cards
sold with bars of Eucalol soap in the 1930s shows Minas Geraes (as it was then spelled) with
the present state flag, which is something of a surprise since the published sources give 1962 or 1963
as the adoption date of this flag. Clearly it was in use no later than the 1930s.
Joseph McMillan, based on a report by Falko Schmidt, 5 February 2002