This page is part of © FOTW Flags Of The World website

Subnational flags of Cabo Verde

Last modified: 2020-12-26 by rob raeside
Keywords: estandarte | konsedju | idja | law |
Links: FOTW homepage | search | disclaimer and copyright | write us | mirrors

See also:

External links:

Subdivisions of Cabo Verde

Cape Verde is divided in 22 municipalities.
António Martins, 05 Apr 2006

Two groups of islands compose the country: Barlavento (Windward) and Sotavento (Leeward).
Jorge Candeias, 29 Nov 2005

Those groups are composed of respectively 6 and 4 islands.
António Martins, 31 Mar 2016

Official codes for island groups and islands, municipalities, and communes
Island group hist. flag only Island hist. flag only Municipality known flag Commune no flag
B: Barlavento 1: Santo Antão 11: Ribeira Grande 111: Nossa Senhora do Rosário
112: Nossa Senhora do Livramento
113: Santo Crucifixo
114: São Pedro Apóstolo
12: Paul 121: Santo António das Pombas
13: Porto Novo 131: São João Baptista
132: Santo André
2: São Vicente 21: São Vicente 211: Nossa Senhora da Luz
Santa Luzia
3: São Nicolau 31: Ribeira Brava unknown flag 311: Nossa Senhora da Lapa
312: Nossa Senhora do Rosário
32: Tarrafal de São Nicolau 321: São Francisco de Assis
4: Sal 41: Sal 411: Nossa Senhora das Dores
5: Boa Vista 51: Boa Vista unknown flag 511: São João Baptista
512: Santa Isabel
Island group hist. flag only Island hist. flag only Municipality known flag Commune no flag
S: Sotavento 6: Maio 61: Maio unknown flag 611: Nossa Senhora da Luz
7: Santiago 71: Tarrafal 711: Santo Amaro Abade
72: Santa Catarina 721: Santa Catarina
73: Santa Cruz unknown flag 731: Santiago Maior
74: Praia 741: Nossa Senhora da Graça
75: São Domingos unknown flag 751: Nossa Senhora da Luz
752: São Nicolau Tolentino
76: São Miguel 761: São Miguel Arcanjo
77: São Salvador do Mundo unknown flag 771: São Salvador do Mundo
78: São Lourenço dos Órgãos unknown flag 781: São Lourenço dos Órgãos
79: Ribeira Grande de Santiago unknown flag 791: Santíssimo Nome de Jesus
792: São João Baptista
8: Fogo 81: Mosteiros 811: Nossa Senhora da Ajuda
82: São Filipe 821: São Lourenço
821: Nossa Senhora da Conceição
83: Santa Catarina do Fogo unknown flag 831: Santa Catarina
9: Brava 91: Brava unknown flag 911: São João Baptista
912: Nossa Senhora do Monte
Island group hist. flag only Island hist. flag only Municipality known flag Commune no flag

Island flags?

The relationship between the 10 islands and the 22 municipalities varies:

  • One municipality (São Vicente) covers two islands (plus a few islets, not counted to the 10),
  • four islands are divided in several municipalities,
  • and four other islands comprise a single municipality
— only the latter could be termed island flags in any capacity.
António Martins, 01 April 2017

There were island flags in Cabo Verde, in the late 19th century: Not tokens of local government of any sort, but rather signal flags, used ashore in post offices.
António Martins, 06 July 2017

Municipal flags of Cabo Verde

This photo shows a national teacher’s meeting is held in the Mosteiros town hall, in a room decorated with small hanging triangular flags in different colors and each showing a (different) logo. Could these be the flags of the 22 municipalities Cape Verde is divided in?
António Martins, 05 April 2006

The online coverage of the 2016 municipal elections by the national television R.T.C. showed municipal emblems for all municipalities except Brava, Paul, Ribeira Grande de Santo Antão, and Santa Cruz — which are symbolized by the national emblem.
António Martins, 21 December 2016

Concerning the emblems of municipal flags, a few more are known to us than flags they are used on, for the same reasons of (paradoxically) less visibility of the latter. Likewise, we do know that flags for all of them exist, as the legal frame is the same for both kinds of symbols.
António Martins, 31 March 2016

So far have only accidental evidence of most of these emblems and some of the flags: They do exist and are in use, but we still need the general and specific laws and regulations.
António Martins, 08 July 2017

The article [c9v07] (about one specific municipal flag) refers to the national law that governs subnational emblems, «Decreto-Regulamentar nº 8/2000, de 28 de Agosto, publicado no B.O. nº 25-26 I Série», and quotes it obliquely concerning some interesting aspects, such as the need for the emblem to express simply, and yet powerfully, the uniqueness of each municipality within its island and the whole of the country. It specifies that, since it’s going to be used on a flag, such emblem should be adequately readable at a distance of at least 30 m, condemning an excessive «proliferation of small-sized graphic elements »that« would unavoidably weaken the aesthetic composition and the strength of expression sought from such a symbol». It is not clear, however, how much these guidelines come from this general law on local symbols, or from the conditions previously set by one specific municipality concerning the design of its own emblem, or from the designer’s own thought.
António Martins, 31 Mar 2016

Cape Verde seems to be following basically Portuguese practice in municipal flags with a few changes: a style of municipal emblem that sets it apart from European heraldry (and good for them, because the emblems they are using are quite attractive, unlike most Portuguese coats of arms), and the possibility of having different backgrounds in the banner and the flag.
Jorge Candeias, 10 March 2007

Some municipal flags in Cabo Verde come in two forms (in what seems to be one more cumbersome burden from Portuguese colonialism), differently designed: One design for a regular flag, used for hoisting, where the municipal emblem shows on a plain color background, and another for rigid display flags (table flaglets, wall pennants, parade guidons), which has instead a quartered background.
António Martins, 31 March 2016

Design of the emblems

All emblems known to us share some features: They are all round, depicting non heraldic elements inside a disc, have a scroll with the name of the municipality in varying colors below the disc, are surrounded on the upper part of the disc by 10 yellow five-pointed upright regular stars, and, on a apical gap of the said said arc of stars, include a chain with a varying number of links. The links and the stars (standing for the islands) are also present in the national emblem.
António Martins, 07 September 2009

Common elements seem to be:

  • the round shape of the shield (so named as these emblems seem to be decreed to be heraldic in nature in the relevant legislation),
  • the presence below the shield of a scroll bearing the toponym, of variable shape and colors,
  • a chain segment above the shield, made of three, four, or five green chain links (standing for the importance/rank of the municipality?),
  • and the 10 golden stars of the national flag, set in two arcs.
These two last elements are also shared by other emblems of official governmental entities, such as the police (both the current P.N. and the previous POP), ultimately inspired in the national emblem itself; the color green for the chain links, though, albeit surely canting for the country name, seems to be found only in municipal emblems.
António Martins, 31 March 2016

I’m pretty sure that four rings means city status for the municipal seat — an elegant transposition of the Portuguese system of visible towers in a mural crown.
António Martins, 25 April 2017

Banner version

This is a design for rigid display flags (table flaglets, wall pennants, parade guidons), which has a quartered background in contrasting colors, one of them shared with the hoisting flag.
António Martins, 31 March 2016

The flag shape estandarte is used in small rigid hanging form. It is known to be shaped as a square or as an irregular pentagon, with one (vertical) symmetry axis, proportioned as a square with an right triangle extending from the bottom (edge line coordinates: (1;1), (1;3), (3;3), (4;2) and (3;1), closed). This seems to be the shape of Capeverdean municipal banners, differing from the respective flags (bandeiras) also by that the former have quartered backgrounds and the latter have them plain.
António Martins, 17 September 2007 and 07 September 2009

Background colors and patterns

Caboverdean municipal flag backgrounds are known to be plain, quartered, horizontal bicolor, gyronny, and rayonny.
António Martins, 25 Apr 2017

Colors of (bicolor) banners vs. colors of (single color) flags:
Round corners mark flags with no (known) companion banner;
grey marks flags with no minor additional color (3rd, if bicolor, or 2nd, if plain).

Flag use

Town hall hoisting

On these three online photos of the Mosteiros town hall two of the three flag poles erected are bare, only the national flag being hoisted.
António Martins, 05 April 2006

According to the National T.V., the first ever use of both the national flag and the T.S.N. municipal flag on an official building was in 2015.02.09 (see photo), at the newly unveiled municipal office in Praia Branca town.
António Martins, 21 December 2016

Colonial era

Some, not all, Portuguese overseas municipalities received arms and flag in the period 1940-1974, after all metropolitan municipalities got one.
António Martins, 15 January 2003

Existed a colonial-era municipal flag of Praia, Cape Verde.
Jens Pattke, 25 March 2016