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Silves Municipality (Portugal)

Concelho de Silves, Distrito de Faro

Last modified: 2014-12-20 by klaus-michael schneider
Keywords: silves | head(king) | head(moor) | quina(11 plates) | quinas(5) |
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[Silves municipality] 2:3 image by Sérgio Horta, 24 Oct 1999
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About the Flag

It is a fairly typical Portuguese municipal flag, with the coat of arms centred on a plain red field.

António Martins-Tuválkin, 30 Nov 1998

Coat of arms

[Silves municipality CoA] image by Sérgio Horta,

The shield is Argent, five ineschuteons azure, each charged with eleven plates argent arranged 3:2:3:2:1, set in cross, cornered by two moor king’s heads (chief sinister and dexter point) and two christian king’s heads (chief dexter and sinister point), dressed Or, bearded Sable and of Argent complexion. Mural crown Argent, with five visible towers (city rank) and white scroll with black letters reading "CIDADE DE SILVES" (Silves city).
The arms combine the arms of the second to forth portuguese kings (1185-1245) and the traditional Algarvan symbol of the two king’s heads.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 30 Nov 1998

António Martins, 30 Nov 1998

Version without Coat of Arms

Plain (monocoloured) Portuguese subnational flags are not allowed to have variations without arms: plain flags always carry the coat of arms.
Jorge Candeias, 18 July 1999

Presentation of Silves

Silves is located in the Faro District, old province of Algarve, covering 679 km2 in 6 communes with 33 130 inhabitants.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 30 Nov 1998

In its greater days, it was the capital of an independent caliphate during the years of Arab domination over the Iberian Peninsula. As a consequence, Silves is still dominated by its imponent medieval castle and shows several other traces of the human occupation of the place, spanning well over two millenia. The decline of the city arrived with the 1755 earthquake, that caused major changes in the bed of the Arade river, which ceased to be navigable up to the city. This also caused the initial growth of my hometown, Portimão, located at the mouth of the Arade river, until then simply a fisherman's village (after a period of some importance in the Middle Ages) and since then the major port in the Arade.
Today, Silves' economy is a mix between the touristic industry and agriculture. One particularly important production is the extremely sweet Silves oranges, arguably the best oranges of the world. Another production that used to be important but lost it greatly during the last decades is cork.
Jorge Candeias, 10 July 2005

Pre-2003 Logo

[Silves pre-2003 logo flag] image by Jorge Candeias, 10 July 2005

There seems to be a tendency these days in Portugal to treat traditional municipal symbols as the symbols of the municipality in its geographical and sociological senses (that is: symbols of the territory and its inhabitants) whereas the administrative branch gets itself logos and flies these logos as its flags. This happened in Silves, a small city filled with history, and proud of it too, here in the Algarve.
A few years ago, I observed in loco the first of these flags, pt-slvl1.gif, a white LOB with a logo consisting of a brown tower charged with the name of the city, a crescent and a cross, all white, a couple of stylized orange trees in proper colours (i.e. green with orange discs) and two wavy lines, standing for the Arade. Below this logo, the flag included the inscription "Câmara Municipal de Silves"" in black capitals. The actual font I used in my image is conjectural.
This flag was widely used, and I saw it flown in all three main entrances to the city, including a bridge where it was flown in two rows of flags along the bridge, and from the entrance of the Fábrica do Inglês facility (more on this below).
Jorge Candeias, 10 July 2005

Current Logo

[Silves logo flag] image by Jorge Candeias, 10 July 2005

About two years ago (i.e. 2003), the municipal administration decided to change its logo, and I saw once a flag using it, but I'm far from being sure if the flag included wll the details of the logo as they appears in print media. Anyway, assuming that it's the same, The logo is now composed of two discs, one orange charged with a white crescent and the other one brown charged with a white tower. To the left, in blue, two inscriptions complete the logo: "Silves" and "Câmara Municipal". I liked better the first one, quite frankly.
Jorge Candeias, 10 July 2005

Fábrica do Inglês

Fábrica do Inglês[ logo flag (Silves,PT)] image by Jorge Candeias, 10 July 2005

Regarding the Fábrica do Inglês (translates as "Englishman's Factory"), it's an old cork factory transformed into a touristic complex that is quite well known for the spectacles, congresses, and other political and cultural events that take place in it. It has a group of flag poles at the entrance, where I've seen several flags already: the Silves logo flag, the usual bunch of portuguese and EU flags and the flag of the Fábrica do Inglês itself, another white LOB with the festive red, blue and orange logo (plus black name) of the former factory, as if to prove that white LOBs are a bad idea (in days that are not particularly windy, you have to get really close to be able to tell apart the flag of the Fábrica do Inglês from that used by the municipality, even if their respective logos are quite different.
And that's it. As you've seen all this is based on personal observation, coupled with logos found in print media and in the web (you could find the old logo of Silves at the bottom of the obsolete page, and the new one at municipal webpage
Jorge Candeias, 10 July 2005

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