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Vila Franca de Xira Municipality (Portugal)

Last modified: 2018-05-21 by klaus-michael schneider
Keywords: vila franca de xira | fleur-de-lis(yellow) | tower(white) |
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[Vila Franca de Xira municipality 1984]
2:3 image by António Martins-Tuválkin and André Serranho, 8 Aug 1999 / 18 May 2018
[Vila Franca de Xira municipality 2001]
2:3 image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 18 May 2018
   


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City Flag

It is a quite typical Portuguese municipal flag, with the coat of arms centred on a background gyronny (meaning city rank) of red and white.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 8 Aug 1999

Unofficial Coat of Arms (1984 - 2001)

The coat of arms was Gules, between two fleurs de lis Or a tower Argent (see in image above left). 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" (see in image above left)
The scroll is remarkable on several aspects:
First, this is one of those cases when a Portuguese toponym really includes the wording &#quot;Vila de&#quot; (&#quot;town of&#quot;), which was kept when it was upgraded to city status; &#quot;Xira&#quot; by itself is not the place name (although it was proposed).
Secondly, also not an unique case, it had received the honour epithet of &#quot;notável&#quot; (&#quot;admirable&#quot;), for civil acts of bravery. Other towns received 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 &#quot;Notável cidade de&#quot; and Moura simply added &#quot;cidade&#quot; to the scroll (in a second line). Vila Franca de Xira (who could not lose the &#quot;Vila de&#quot; for both referred reasons) adopted instead a different shaped scroll, with three folds, reading as noted above. The presence of the epithet &#quot;notável&#quot; (= admirable) on the scroll preceding the toponym is unusual (but not illegal, nor even unofficial)
António Martins-Tuválkin, 8 Aug 1999 / 18 May 2018

Coat of Arms (since 2001)

[Vila Franca de Xira municipality CoA] 2:3 image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 18 May 2018

On 28 June 1984 Vila Franca de Xira was upgraded to city status and the municipal authorities started using an unofficial flag with the coat of arms modified in the trivial way (just like many other municipalities in the same circumstances), but the scroll was unusually shaped to harbour both the honorific epithet and the word "cidade " (=city), stressing the new status even though "vila " (=town) remains, as an integral part of the toponym. The new coat of arms is typical on white and red gyronny background. Shield and mural crown are unchanged from the previous flag, but with white scroll reading &#quot;CIDADE DE VILA FRANCA DE XIRA&#quot; in black upper case letters (see in image above right). But it is disheartening to witness how the Comissão de Heráldica da Associação dos Arqueólogos Portugueses (CHAAP) &#quot;solved&#quot;” the scroll problem, by simply removing the honorific epithet, leaving room on a typical scroll to read only the awkward, nominally oxymoronic new text. Nonwithstanding this 2001 innovation seems to have been fully adopted into use by the municipal authorities, and I never saw a version of the arms reading "NOTÁVEL VILA FRANCA DE XIRA CIDADE" (which would however fit).
Source: this webpage
António Martins-Tuválkin, 18 May 2018


Town Flag (1950 - 1984)

[Vila Franca de Xira municipality (1950 - 1984)] 2:3 image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 18 May 2018

It was a slightly atypical Portuguese municipal flag, with the coat of arms centred on a background quartered of white and red.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 8 Aug 1999

Coat of Arms (1950 - 1984)

The shield was the same like the current one (see above), but the mural crown had only four visible towers (town rank) and the inscription of the (usual) scroll was "NOTÁVEL VILA FRANCA DE XIRA".
António Martins-Tuválkin, 18 May 2018


Presentation of Vila Franca de Xira

Vila Franca de Xira Municipality had 136 886 inhabitants in 2011, and it is divided in 6 communes, covering 318.2 km². It belongs to the Lisboa District and to the old province of Ribatejo.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 8 Aug 1999 and Klaus-Michael Schneider, 21 May 2018

Published in Diário da República: III Série on 27 June 2001, the town symbols published before in Diário do Governo, II Séérie on 13 December 1950
António Martins-Tuválkin, 18 May 2018


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