Coat o airms o Portugal
Table o contents
History an meanin
The Portuguese coat o airms is the result o amaist a millennium o modifications an alterations. Stairtin wi Henry o Burgundy blue on a siller cross, successive elements wur addit or taken, culminatin wi the complex heraldic design that wis offeecially adoptit in 1911 (efter the Republican Revolution o 1910). The twa stripes bear the colours o the Portuguese banner: red an green.
Escutcheons an bezants
Efter the offeecial recognition o the Kinrick o Portugal as an independent kintra in 1143 (it haed been declared in 1139), siller bezants wur addit tae the Burgundian banner, seembolisin coins an the richt the monarch haed tae issue currency, as leader o a sovereign state. Eventually, an given the enormous dynamism o medieval heraldry, it is believed that the shield degradit an lost some elements in battle, eventually losin the cross format. This is hou Keeng Sancho I inheritit the shield frae his faither, Afonso Henriques, wi nae cross an five escutcheons (kent in Portuguese as quinas), which stuid where the silver bezants haed been placed.
Later, the number o siller bezants in each escutcheon wad be reduced frae eleiven tae five bi Keeng Sebastian I, an modren explanations interpret them as the five wounds o Jesus Christ, although this is heichlie improbable.
It wis durin the reign o Afonso III that the red border wi gowden castles (no touers, as some sources state) wis addit. Although the number o castles coud vary atween eicht tae twal, Afonso IV wad define them as twal an Sebastian I wad finally fix them as seiven. They supposedly represent the Moorish castles conquered bi the Kinrick o Portugal durin the Reconquista. Their oreegin is probably Castilian, but unlike Spainyie castles, which uisually hae their gates coloured blue (hence opened), Portuguese castles wur aye depictit wi gowd gates (hence closed).
An important element o Portuguese heraldry syne the 15t century, the armillary sphere wis mony times uised in Portuguese colonial banners, mainly in Brazil. It wis a navigation instrument uised tae calculate distances an represents the importance o Portugal durin the Age o Discovery, as well as the vastness of its colonial empire when the First Republic was implemented.
Although it is commonly uised as a "republican" element, as opposed tae the monarchist croun in the blue/white banner (see Banner o Portugal), some monarchist banners, such as the banner o the Unitit Kinrick o Portugal, Brazil an the Algarves, awready depictit airmillary spheres. The incorporation o the airmillary sphere intae the 1816 banner o the Unitit Kinrick o Portugal is relatit tae the adoption o the first banner o the Kinrick o Brazil, an airmillary sphere on a blue backgrund.
The coat o airms sportit different crouns durin imperial rule o Portguese an foreign crouns.
- pre mid-1500s the coat o airms haed a open imperial croun
- Croun o the Hoose o Habsburg
- Croun o Hoose o Braganza-Saxe-Coburg an Gotha wi influence frae the Germanic Hoose o Saxe-Coburg an Gotha