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Porto Santo Municipality (Portugal)

Concelho de Porto Santo, Madeira

Last modified: 2014-08-01 by klaus-michael schneider
Keywords: porto santo | dragon tree | hill | fess(wavy) | millwheel | ship | cross(christ knights) |
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[Porto Santo municipality] 2:3 image by Sérgio Horta, 26 Dec 2006
See also:

About the Flag

It is a quite typical Portuguese municipal flag, with the coat of arms centred on a plain green background.

António Martins-Tuválkin, 26 Dec 2006

Coat of arms

[Porto Santo municipality CoA] image by Sérgio Horta, 27 Dec 2006

The arms are Argent a Dragon Tree growing from a mound of sand proper (i.e., golden tan) itself charged with a wavy fess Vert itself charged with a wavy fess Argent. Mural crown argent with five visible towers (city rank) and white scroll reading in black upper case letters "CIDADE DO PORTO SANTO". This is the flag in use since after the upgrading of the municipality seat to city status, in 1996.08.02.
Meaning:
"Porto Santo" means "holy harbour", and was thus named in 1418 when the island was (re?)discovered. This meaning does not show in the arms, which in turn show a major feature of the macaronesian flora, the Dragon Tree (Latin: Dracena draco), upon a sand island. This stands for Porto Santo's island nature and its sharp differences comparing with neighbouring Madeira, exemplified by this reference to its vast sandy strands. The Dragon Tree as depicted in the arms, with a three-fork, is grossly incorrect: Dragon Trees almost always fork in two side branches, this being one of the reasons why it is linked to Esoterism.
Apart from being a single-commune municipality (like only a few in Portugal), an island municipality (like only five in Portugal) and a name-sake island municipality (like only Corvo, Porto Santo municipality counts also as an oddity for being seated in a differently named settlement (like only a few in Portugal).
António Martins-Tuválkin, 26 Dec 2006

Former symbols

[Porto Santo(town) municipality] 2:3 image by Sérgio Horta, 28 Dec 2006

Before the upgrading of the municipality seat to city status, in 1996.08.02, the mural crown had only four towers (town rank) and the scroll read simply "PORTO SANTO". This flag and arms were adopted and published in the official journal _Diário do Governo : II Série_ in 1947.01.14.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 26 Dec 2006

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 Jul 1999

Presentation of Porto Santo

Porto Santo municipality had 4474 inhabitants in 2001, and it consists of a single commune, covering 42,17 km². It is part of: traditional province, NUTS I, NUTS II and NUTS III Madeira (Autonomous Region of Madeira), and former Funchal District.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 26 Dec 2006


Porto Santo Commune

Freguesia do Porto Santo

[Porto Santo commune] 2:3 image by Sérgio Horta, 28 Nov 2007

It is a fairly typical portuguese communal flag, with the coat of arms centred on plain blue background (village rank).

[Porto Santo commune CoA] image by Sérgio Horta,

The arms are Argent in fess a windmill's wheel Sable dressed Azure and a ship Sable dressed Gules below a Christ Knights' cross and on a diminuished base wavy Vert a barrulet wavy Argent. Mural crown Argent with three visible towers (village rank) and white scroll reading in black upper case letters "CFREGUESIA DO PORTO SANTO"

Flag and arms adopted and published in the official journal Diário da República: III Série in 2001.11.28.

Porto Santo Commune is the only one in Porto Santo island municipality, and it shares its geographic and demographic data (q.v.).

You may find references to the former,unofficial name of this town (commune and municipality seat) as Vila Baleeira. This means "whaling town", a significance absent from both the communal and municipal arms.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 25 Nov 2007


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