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Almada Municipality (Portugal)

Concelho de Almada, Distrito de Setúbal

Last modified: 2016-04-05 by klaus-michael schneider
Keywords: almada | castle(golden) | cross: saint james (red) | quinas: 2 (16 plates) | quina: 16 plates | wave |
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[Almada municipality #1]
2:3 image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 4 Apr 2016
[Almada municipality #2]
2:3 image by Jorge Candeias, 7 June 1998

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About the Flag

It is a fairly typical Portuguese municipal flag, with the coat of arms centred on a field gyronny of blue and yellow (left image). There is also a flag with the coat of arms centred on a field gyronny of light blue and yellow (right image).
Jorge Candeias, 7 June 1998 and António Martins-Tuválkin, 4 Apr 2016

Coat of arms

The arms have a 5-towered mural crown, a typical scroll reading "CIDADE DE ALMADA" and a blue shield, charged with a yellow castle over a black hill and three wavy lines silver-blue-silver. The castle has three towers, the central one is charged with a Santiago cross, and the lateral towers are charged with old portuguese "quinas", each with 16 plates in a pattern of 4:3:4:3:2.
Jorge Candeias, 7 June 1998


As for the symbolism, the river is quite obvious and the cross refers to the first Portuguese settlers of this region, the Santiago Order. Castles are probably the most often motive on Portuguese municipal arms — there was a castle in Almada, but there’s nothing left of it for centuries. (There are other more recent fortresses in the municipality, but I dont think the arms refer to them.) As for the rest, well, Old Almada is up on a small hill (but it is not at all black, but rather yellowish); and the quinas are also a common motive, usually attributed to municipalities (or communes) with some regal background.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 16 June 1998

Version without Coat of Arms

[Almada municipality plain] 2:3 image by António Martins-Tuválkin, Apr 2010

Former Symbols (1936 - 1985)

[Almada municipality (1936-1985)] 2:3 image by António Martins-Tuválkin and Jorge Candeias, 19 Feb 2016

It was a fairly typical Portuguese municipal flag, with the coat of arms centred on a plain yellow field. The arms were the same as current. But Almada, then a municipality seated in a (town), for that reason the mural crown had only 4 visible towers.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 19 Feb 2016

Erroneous Flag Version

[Almada municipality (golden crown)] 2:3 image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 19 Feb 2016

The mural crown is Argent — i.e., silvery, usually rendered as light grey on non-reflective media. This is the legal description for all municipal and communal CoAs with the exception of Lisboa, which is Or (golden, or dark yellow). But representations of other municipal and communal arms with atypical coronets is often, and golden mural crowns are among the most usual such errors.
On this fairly recent (mid 1990s or later, my guess) tile sign made by the municipal government of Almada, you can see a golden mural crown: a less obvious error is a white cross on the St. James swordcross on the middle tower, making it a hybrid of Santiago da Espada (correct for these arms) with Cavaleiros de Cristo
Source: this photo
António Martins-Tuválkin, 19 Feb 2016

Almada was upgraded to a city and seat of a municipality on 21 June 1973. Current symbols published in Diário da República: III Série on 30 December 1985, former symbols in Diário do Governo: I Série on 25 May 1936. This flag was in use from 1936 until at least 1973 (superseded by law only in 1985, as explained).
António Martins-Tuválkin, 17 Feb 2016

Presentation of Almada

Almada is a city located in front of Lisbon, across the Tejo estuary. It is a typical dormitory-city, largely populated by people that work in Lisboa. It’s economy is, therefore, very dependent of Lisboa, and is largely made up of services, though there are in the municipality some industries and touristic resources. The municipality belongs to the district of Setúbal, old province of Estremadura and possibly will belong to the region of Lisboa-e-Setúbal. It’s a small municipality (70 km².), but heavily populated (over 152 000 inhabitants in 11 communes) and has coast both in the estuary and in the ocean. Here, there is a small protected natural area.
Jorge Candeias, 7 June 1998

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