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Vila Franca de Xira Municipality (Portugal)

Last modified: 2001-09-14 by antonio martins
Keywords: vila franca de xira | coat of arms | fleur de lis (yellow) | tower (white) | scroll |
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[Vila Franca de Xira municipality]
by André Serranho, 08 Aug 1999
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About the flag

It is a quite typical portuguese municipal flag, with the coat of arms centered on a background gyronny (meaning city rank) of red and white. The coat of arms is gules, between two fleurs de lis or, a tower argent masoned sable and open of the same metal. Mural crown argent with five visible towers (city rank) and white triply folded scroll reading in black upper case letters "NOTÁVEL | VILA FRANCA DE XIRA | CIDADE".
António Martins, 08 Aug 1999

The scroll is remarkable on several aspects:

  1. First, this is one of those cases when a portuguese toponym really includes the wording "Vila de" ("town of"), which was kept when it was upgraded to city status; "Xira" by itself is not the place name (although it was proposed).
  2. Secondly, also not an unique case, it had recieved the honour epithet of "notável" ("noteworthy"), for civil acts of bravery. Other towns recieved it (Castelo de Vide, Constância, Nisa and Serpa) and two of them were meanwhile upgraded to city status (Moura and Vila Franca de Xira). The motto couldn’t be changed to "Notável cidade de" and Moura simply added "cidade" to the scroll (in a second line). Vila Franca de Xira (who could not lose the "Vila de" for both refered reasons) adopted instead a different shaped scroll, with three folds, reading as noted above.
Please note that I consider this an example (the only one) of a third type of scrolls in portuguse civic heraldry (and Campo Maior a forth), being the first the normal one and the second the one used in coats of arms with the collar of the Order of Tower and Sword, also with three folds but very diffrently shaped. (Atypical coats of arms like Macau are excluded from this classification.) There are variations in both these types: The municipalities with scrolls significantly different from the usual of these two types are Felgueiras, Montalegre, São João da Pesqueira, Trancoso, Alpiarça, Braga, Ponte de Sor, Águeda, Amarante, Vila do Porto, Oliveira de Azeméis, Porto, Amadora, Chaves, Barreiro, Vila Franca de Xira, Benavente and Abrantes.
António Martins, 08 Aug 1999

Presentation of Vila Franca de Xira

Vila Franca de Xira municipality had 106 880 inhabitants in 1990, and it is divided in 11 communes, covering 294 km2. It belongs to the Lisboa District and to the old province of Ribatejo.
António Martins, 08 Aug 1999

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