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Trinta-e-um de Janeiro (Angola)

Historical local flag

Last modified: 2019-08-06 by bruce berry
Keywords: trinta-e-um de janeiro | angola |
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image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 07 May 2016 See also:


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.

One such case is Trinta-e-um de Janeiro (also known as 31 de Janeiro), a village in the Uíge Province of Angola , that was targeted by UPA attacks on 15 March 1961.  It was granted local symbols - a Coat of Arms, flag, and seal - by Ministerial Edict n.º 19410 published in the official journal Diário do Governo : I série*226/1962* p.1309, on 01 October 1962.  The Arms are described as: Escudo de armas - Campo verde lisonjeado de doze peças de vermelho debruadas a ouro. Coroa mural de prata de três torres. Listel branco com os dizeres "31 de Janeiro) and the flag: Bandeira - Esquartelada de amarelo e vermelho. Cordões e borlas de ouro e vermelho.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 07 May 2016

Trinta-e-um de Janeiro - municipal flag

The flag follows the typical typical Portuguese communal flag design, with the local coat of arms centered on a yellow and red quartered background. The arms are Vert lozengy of twelve spots Gules fimbriated Or.  Mural crown Argent with three visible towers (commune rank) and white scroll reading in black upper case letters "31 de Janeiro". The banner should have golden and red tassels and cord.

image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 07 May 2016

It is noteworthy the quality of the heraldic motifs used in this (and other contemporary) coats of arms shows increased sophistication when compared with those created in previous decades by the same body (and largely by the same heralds).

Special treatment was given to this village as its symbols are granted by a separate document, Ministerial Edict n.º 19410, while the previous legal text, Ministerial Edict n.º 19409 (idem, p.1308-1309), creates and/or modifies 14 other such symbols, including eight in Angola.  Of these, none is of a village and the rest are all for cities and towns.

This village is so small and unremarkable otherwise that I have had no success so far in determining its current status, such as its post-colonial name (the unusual name, spelled with digits, makes it harder to be found).  The alternative name, 31 de Janeiro means "January 31st" and refers to an historic Portuguese date commemorating an aborted republican revolution in Oporto in 1891.

Image sent by Bruce Berry, 25 June 2016

This coat of arms featured in a 1960s postage stamp series, being salmon-pink with a face value of 9$00. The stamp shows a slight difference from the legal text, with the wording "Povoação de" ("Settlement of") being absent.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 07 May 2016

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