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Portimão Commune (Portugal)

Freguesia de Portimão, Concelho de Portimão, Distrito de Faro

Last modified: 2024-06-15 by klaus-michael schneider
Keywords: portimao(freguesia) | anchor | fig(branch) | almond(branch) | fish |
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[Portimão communal flag] 2:3, image by Tomislav Todorović and Klaus-Michael Schneider, 8 June 2024
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Portimão Commune


It is a typical Portuguese communal flag, with the coat of arms centred on a field gyronny of eight of purple and white.
Source: Sérgio Horta´s webpage
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 8 June 2024

Coat of Arms

Shield Azure, fowl anchor Or between a fig branch Argent fruited Purpure and an almond branch Argent blossomed Purpure with their stems in saltire. Base barruly wavy of five of Argent, Azure, Argent, Vert and Argent, the central barrulet charged with two sardines respectant Gules. Mural crown Argent with five visible towers (city rank) and white scroll with inscription in black capitals "FREGUESIA DE PORTIMÃO".
The blue colour of the shield represents the blue sky, the clarity of the sea and all its coastal areas, associated with maritime activities, This had been the main colour of the logo, currently in use by the city. Blue as colour of St. Mary is also a reference to the patron saint of the commune, Our Lady of Conception.
The golden anchor is referring to the toponym Portimão, which, according to some authors, has its origin in the Latin Portus Magnus (=big port). It also represents the important port of the city, which from very early on served as a trading post, proven by the discovery of Roman anchors. Today it is an important cruise port.
The branches represent the production and development of the dried fruit industry, the so-called smokehouses, which constituted the main resources of the rural economy.
The wavy barrulet of blue represents the Arade River, and the green one represents the Atlantic Ocean, both important for the development of the city.
The sardines represent fishing, one of the main economic activities of the city, as well as the important tinned fish industry, which has settled here and contributes to the growth of the city.
The purple colour of the flag is a reference to the extraction of this noble colour from the murex, a kind of whelk that was collected from the waters of the Arade River, and to the dyeing factories that have existed here since at least the time of the Phoenicians and until the 19th century, as well as the fact that the city was the seat of a bishopric. As for the white, it is a reference to the salt pans of the city, located at the mouth of the Arade River, and the respective extraction of salt, which is extremely important for the establishment of the fish tinning industry.
Source: Sérgio Horta´s webpage
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 8 June 2024

Portimão has had a flag since the 1930s like all other cities in Portugal. What matters here most is the municipality, not the commune, even in cases, such as this one, where the nominal commune is conterminous with the city´s actual built-up area while the municipality is much vaster and includes even other settlements. It is a bit counter intuitive, but that is how it is.
It is not even particularly flag-related, but when one says the flag of Portimão that is always meant to mean the municipal flag of Portimão, not the communal flag of Portimão. And ditto for any other settlement that is the seat of a nominal municipality. Communes are much less important, but that is not due to them being smaller. Districts are an upper level subdivision type above municipalities, but if one says the flag of, say, Santarém, nobody will think of the district flag but rather, again, of the municipal flag.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 4 Aug 2014

Published in Diário da República: II Série on 20 February 2024
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 8 June 2024

Presentation of Portimão

Portimão Commune is one of the three communes of the Portimão Municipality; it had 45 431 inhabitants in 2011 and covers 75.7 km².
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 4 Aug 2014

back to Portimão Communes click here