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Southern Common Market

Mercosur / Mercosul

Last modified: 2023-06-03 by zachary harden
Keywords: southern common market | mercosur | mercosul | star: 4 points (blue) | stars: 4 | stars: southern cross | mercado común del sur | mercado comum do cone sul |
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[Mercosur Flag]
image by André Pires Godinho, 14 Jan 2003

See also:


I discovered the official web site of the Southern Common Market: The members of this economic zone are: Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and associated members are Bolivia and Chile. The aim of the common market is to increase regional economic cooperation. It is also known as Mercado Común del Sur (Mercosur) in Spanish, and Mercado Comum do Cone Sul (Mercosul) in Portuguese.
André Pires Godinho, 14 Jan 2003

"MERCOSUL" is the Portuguese acronym of the group. Maybe the Spanish name of the group "MERCOSUR" is better known, because three of four Mercosur members do have Spanish as their official language (Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay). The two "observers" not fully members (Chile and Bolivia) also speak Spanish. And the countries that had manifested some interest in joining Mercosur in the future (Mexico and Venezuela) also speak Spanish. However as Richard said, the group is known as "MERCOSUL" in Brazil.
Francisco Gregoric, 13 July 2004

Description and symbolism

The flag above is based on one I saw on the web site. The stars symbolize the members and the disposition is like Southern Cross constellation, the line I think symbolizes the global position of the market in the Southern Hemisphere.
André Pires Godinho, 14 Jan 2003

Could the green curve represent — in a stylized way — the (southern) tropic of Capricorn, in which the member countries of Mercosur are located? Just a thought.
Gustavo Tracchia, 15 Mar 2003

The only Mercosur flag I have seen available in flag shops in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is the one with the "MERCOSUR" text written below the logo. We would need to know from a Brazilian member, if in Brazil a "MERCOSUL" flag does exist or not. I have never seen as a real flag the "no text" variant. But more research is needed to confirm or deny its possible existence. The flag is used in meetings of the group. For example when presidents or secretaries of government, join to discuss about Mercosur regulations.

Mercosur flags are not very common (yet). They are not used as European Union flags in Europe (for example). I think in Brazil, the authorities had the idea to use it in the Presidential Building next to the National Flag, but I have not heard any more news about it recently.
Francisco Gregoric, 13 July 2004

This page: has photos of both MERCOSUR and MERCOSUL flags.
Richard Knipel, 13 July 2004

However, the real flag bears the word "Mercosul" (the acronym in Portuguese while "Mercosur" is the Castillian acronym). It is flown alongside the national flag of the Pro-Tempore presidency of the bloc, which is held alternatively, every six months, by each country's Minister of Foreign Affairs. Currently, there's a proposal in the Brazilian National Congress to have it flown mandatorily along with the National flag, more to the EU style, at least when Brazil is the Pro Tempore President.

Brazil now holds the presidency this semester, and I can see the flag been flown everyday along with the national flag on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building. Currently, this is the only building in the country which flies the flag. By the end of the semester, only the Brazilian flag will be flown.

Furthermore, the reverse of the flag is exactly the same, with the green stripe ascending from left to right, but with the Castillian acronym "Mercosur." On the other three countries, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, which speak Castillian, the front of the flag reads "Mercosur," while in this case it is the back that reads "Mercosul."
Matt Zóqui, 26 February 2005

[Mercosur Flag]
image by Francisco Gregoric, 28 June 2005

[Mercosur Flag]
image by Francisco Gregoric, 28 June 2005

The flag shown at the top of the page does not have any text. However the flags I have seen here in Buenos Aires or in TV do have text. In Spanish speaking countries members of the group (Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay) the flag appears with the text "Mercosur" below the logo. And in Brazil the flag appears with "Mercosul" text.

Matt Zóqui informed us that in the reverse of the flag the other variant of the text appears. However I have just seen printed polyamide Mercosur flags in flag shops here in Buenos Aires. So, these flags do have a "mirrored text" on the reverse side. I suppose that embroidered flags should be the way Matt Zóqui described.

The flag has started to appear more and more in different official activities. I have seen the Mercosur flag in press conferences of the Argentine Minister of Economy Roberto Lavagna. In Uruguay, the new president since March 2005, Tabaré Vazquez uses the Mercosur Flag next to the Uruguayan National Flag. You can see that in the official website of the Presidency of Uruguay. Some months ago I heard in the news that in the Presidential Palace in Brasilia it is raised the Mercosur flag also (with "Mercosul" text).

The other two countries that are not complete members of the Mercosur but associated ones (Bolivia and Chile) and the countries that have shown interest in joining the market in the future (Mexico and Venezuela) speak Spanish. So if this union becomes a reality in the future, they will probably use the "Mercosur" variant of the flag.
Francisco Gregoric, 28 June 2005

According to this page, the emblem/logo was the wining entry to a contest, adopted by the Council of the Common Market at their 11th regular meeting, 16-17 December 1997. The logo was included in Decision No. 01/98, as part of regulation concerning the name, acronym and logo. Not that the acronym MERCOSUR/MERCOSUL is included in the definition of the logo.
In 2002, this was overridden by Decision No 17/02, which includes construction details for the flag, as well as the logo. The flag is the logo on white, with colours defined as blue:
Pantone 286 (CMYK 100-60-0-6) and green: Pantone 347 (CMYK 100-0-79-9).
Jonathan Dixon, 25 June 2014

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