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MACAO (A-MA-GAU) MEANING “GULF OF THE GODDESS
A-MA”, IS SITUATED at the Lingding Yang Estuary in Southern China, 104
km south-east of Kanton and only 60 km south-west of Hong Kong. The
Portuguese payed a yearly rent of 500 tael to the Chinese government from
1557 until 1884. Macao was a part of
the Portuguese vice-kingdom of Goa until 1844 and was
united with Timor
from 1844 until 1896. After that year it was an autonomous colony, and from
1951 an overseas province of Portugal. The Portuguese presence was accepted by China in 1887. The handover
of the province took place on the 20th of December 1999
Macao city on S. Paulo do Monte Fort dated ANNO DNI 1626
known coat of arms of Macau is the one that is carved in granite and placed
on the entrance of the Fortress of S. Paulo do Monte (originally called Nossa
Senhora do Monte). It dates from 1626, the year of completion of the Fortress
the entrance gate of the south wall of this fortress was a stone carved 1
square meter in area and a triangular pediment on top, but this slab was
removed and is presently on the inner wall facing the gate of the access ramp
to the upper terrace. The nails used to support the slab can still be seen
above the gate "
triangular pediment has the carved figure of St. Paul, Patron on its tympan.
The rectangular stone that lies below consists essentially of a shield of the
arms of Portugal, surmounted by a crown topped with a cross. The shield is
flanked by two standing cherubs, dressed only in a swirling band, set on an
easel. The angel on the left flaunts the cross of Christ on the very slight
redoubt, and, symmetrically, the angel on the right balances the armillary
sphere surmounted by a star.
The news that the Portuguese House
of Braganza had regained control of the Crown from the Spanish Habsburgs
in 1640, took two years to reach Macau, arriving in 1642. A ten week
celebration ensued, and despite its new-found poverty, Macau sent gifts to
the new King João
IV along with expressions of loyalty. In return, in 1654, the title of Loyal was
conferred to the Senate of Macau by D. João IV. And in the name of the king, Captain General Joao de Souza
Pereira had the new dignity written on a sign at the entrance of the Leal
The title of honour conferred to the Senate of Macao,
In the Palace of Independence before its purchase by the
Almada family, (holder of the title of Count of Almada and Abranches). The palace
was known as Almada Palace, Palace of the Rossio or Palace of S. Domingos.
The inscrption reads:
CIDADE DO NOME DE
DEUS NAO HA OUTRA MAIS LEAL EM NOME DEL REI
NOSSO SENHOR DOM JOÃO IV MANDOU O CAPITÃO
GERAL D’ESTA PRAÇA JOÃO DE SOUZA PEREIRA POR ESTE LETREIRO EM FE DA
MUITA LEALDADE QUE CONHECEU NOS CIDADÃOS D’ELLA EM 1654
CITY OF GOD'S NAME THERE IS NO OTHER AS
title given in the name of the king our lord sir John IV by the captain
general of this square John de Souza Pereira for the great loyalty of its
citizens in 1654
Achievement of the Loyal Senate, 1810
arms of the city of Macao" in an article entitled “Macao” in the magazine
“Archivo Historico de Portugal: narrativa da fundação das cidades e villas do
reino, seus brazões d´armas, etc.” (narrative of the foundation of the cities
and towns of the kingdom, its coats of arms &c), published in the year
1890 pp. 154-156 (1)
Crown: a crown of five leaves
Supporters: Two angels kneeling, the dexter suporting a
cross of the Order of Christ, the sinister an armillary sphere.
Coat of arms of Macau, 1890
of Macao has a coat of arms representing the Portuguese royal arms in a silver shield, surrounded by the
inscription “CIDADE DE NOME DE DEUS NÃO HA OUTRA MAIS LEAL” (City of God's name there is none other
more loyal. The etymology of the name of Macao comes from the two Chinese
words Ama and Cau. The first designates the idol of a pagoda, which had been
there since ancient times. the second one means harbour. When the Portuguese
as soon as they had settled there began
to call the site Amacau, they gave the city the same name with a little
difference. " 
We can expect that the symbols used by the Macao-settlers were the
same as those used by the Estado da India. They consisted of the royal Portuguese
arms and the symbol of the Portuguese empire. See: Moçambique
In 1932 a coat of arms for the colony was designed inspired by the early 19th century achievement.
of Macau province, 1932
Arms: Argent, an
achievement of Portugal with a mural crown supported by two kneeling angels
and with the motto CIDADE DE SANTO NOME DE DEUS DE MACAU 
arms of Macao created in June 1932 at the request of the Agency of the
Colonies, and by assignment of Mr. Afonso Dornelas of the Portuguese
Institute of Heraldry, elaborated in June of 1932.
Arms: Azure a chinese dragon Vert and Gules,
holding a shield Azure, five besants Argent 2, 1 and 2. And a bordure Or,
five escutcheons Azure, five besants Argent 2, 1 and 2 alternating whit five
crosses of the Order of Christ Gules
Crown: A mural cxrow of five towers, the walls charged with four shields of the Order of
Motto: MACAU in red lettering on a white listel.
On the 8th of May 1935 another coat of arms was adopted for the
colony. It consisted of a a tierced shield like the arms of the other
provinces, with in the sinister half the symbol for Macao: a golden dragon on
a blue field, supporting a blue shield with five silver roundels. The main
shield was placed on a crowned armillary-sphere with the word MACAU on a
ribbon underneath. This same
achievement was used for the province.
From 1951-1976 the name on the listel was changed into PROVÍN. PORTUGUESA DE MACAU and from 1976-1999 into GOVERNO DE
MACAU and briefly MACAU.
Macao Special Administrative Region
中华人民共和国 澳门 特别 行政区
Six years before the handover of Macao to China in 1999, a new seal
and flag were adopted for the region.
was described in art. 10 of the “Basic Law of the Macao Special
Administrative Region of the People' s Republic of China”, adopted by the
Eighth National People's Congress at its First Session on 31 March 1993. This
Article 10 Apart from displaying the
national flag and national emblem of the People's Republic of China, the
Macao Special Administrative Region may also use a regional flag and regional
The regional flag of the Macao Special
Administrative Region is green with five yellow stars, a lotus flower, a
bridge and the sea.
The regional emblem of the Macao Special
Administrative Region is composed of five stars, a lotus flower, a bridge and
the sea, encircled by the words "Macao Special Administrative Region of
the People's Republic of China" in Chinese and "MACAU" in
of Arms of the Macao Special Administrative Region was formalized on 20
December 1999 when Macao's sovereignty was transferred from Portugal to the
People's Republic of China. The emblem is now officially referred to as the
"Regional Emblem" of Macao.
regional emblem presents the same design of other regional elements as the
MSAR Flag, but in a circular configuration. The white outer ring is shown
with the legend of the official name of the territory in traditional Chinese
characters (as opposed to the simplified form): "中华人民共和国 澳门 特别 行政区" (Macao Special Administrative
Region of the People's Republic of China) and in Portuguese in the
abbreviated form, "Macau".
The lotus is Macao's floral emblem. The bridge is
the Nobre Governador Carvalho Bridge, linking the Macao Peninsula and the
island of Taipa. It is one of the most characteristic landmarks of the
The water below the lotus and the bridge symbolises
Macau's position as a port and its importance for the territory. The five
five-pointed stars repeat the stars on the flag of the People's Republic of
China, symbolising the relationship of Macau with the motherland.
Ancient Flag of the Portuguese Macao Government
Before the handover of Macau to the People's Republic
of China by the Portuguese in 1999, Macao used only the Portuguese flag.
Also there was a Macau flag for the local
government, the Concelho de Macau. This flag was light blue with the
coat of arms of the Colony and province of Macao in the middle.
A flag for the colony of Macau, based on a similar
design, was proposed in 1967 but was never adopted. This design can be seen
in artworks symbolizing colonial Portugal.
A flag for the city of Macau (one of the two cities
in the colony), showed a Portuguese-styled coat-of-arms and two angels as
heraldic supporters. This coat of arms can be seen on Macao-coins minted in
1990. The arms are the arms of the king of Portugal, crowned with a crown of
five leaves. The arms are supported by two kneeling angels, the one of the
dexter upholding a staff with a greek cross, the one on the sinister
upholding a staff with an armillary-sphere.
Reportedly, this was the flag used at the 1999 handover ceremony.
state flag under the Portuguese administration was that of Portugal. However,
some semi-official flags came into use after 1976, when a form of autonomy
was granted to the territory. For example, a government flag is known, blue
with the local emblem (in a slightly modified version) granted in 1935. It
often has represented Macao in international sporting events. The blue field
was traditionally that of the civic banner of the capital (Cidade de Santo
Nome de Deus de Macau), on which was depicted the Portuguese coat of arms
held by two angels.
One of the three flags that
existed inside the Leal Senado can be seen in the Independence Palace in
Lisbon (Largo S. Domingos, Portas de Sto Antão) 
The New Flag
The Macao flag is light green with a lotus flower
above the stylized Nobre Governador Carvalho Bridge and water in white,
beneath an arc of five gold, five-pointed stars: the one in the middle the
Macau Flag on the Handover to China
On March 8, 1998, the Xinhua news agency (China) ran
a feature about the designer of the Macao flag.
“The flag selected to represent Macao after its
re-integration into China was designed by Xiao Hong, a professor of arts and
crafts at the Henan University. Xiao's entry was just one of over 1,000
considered for the new design. Xiao designed the flag after reading a
600-word tourist guide on Macao.
The design was further improved before being
approved in 1993. It was not until three years after the flag was adopted that
he first visited Macao.
A deputy in the Henan 163-member delegation to the
ninth National People's Congress (NPC), he became one of the more popular
members when the deputies learned he was the designer of the flag.
No. 43125, enacted on 19 August 19,
1960 by the then Government of Macao, created the Judicial Police
Inspectorate to centralize overseas services (at that time extensive to
Macao) for investigation and preparatory instruction in order to organize in
the best way, and from the principles enshrined in the Constitution of the
Portuguese Republic and in criminal procedural laws, the defense of society
against crime. This Inspectorate was headed by a Deputy Inspector, who was to
carry out cumulatively the duties of the Deputy Directors and Inspectors of
the Judicial Police of Portugal, and the place of Deputy Inspector should be
filled by law graduates with professional experience or by magistrates of the
Ministry Public service commission.
October 12, 1971, the Inspection was upgraded to a police department by
Decree-Law No. 430/71. In addition to raising the Inspectorate to the Deputy
Directorate, the deputy inspector's office was replaced by a deputy director
and an inspector's post was created. The place of deputy director was
exercised on commission of service by magistrates of the Public Ministry.
(no higher resolution
Arms: Gules a chinese dragon Or,
holding the arms of Portugal.
Crest: On a helmet to the dexter
lambrequined Azure and Argent, the lighthouse of Macau Or.
of Macau (built 1864-’65) Æ
December 1975, the Deputy Directorate of the Judicial Police of Macao was
elevated by Decree-Law no. 705/75 to the Board of Directors, constituted in
the administrative dependency of the Governor and guided by the Portuguese
Republic's attorney in the operation of criminal proceedings. In order to
make explicit the functioning of the Macao Judicial Police Directorate, the
Macao Legislative Assembly enacted Law No. 19/79 of 4 August, which defined
the Organic Law of the Macao Judicial Police. According to this organic law,
the Directorate of the Judicial Police was a police service, charged with the
prevention, criminal investigation and coadjuvation of the judicial
authorities, organized hierarchically in the dependence of the Governor,
guided by the Public Prosecutor's Office in the criminal investigation.
accusation deducted. The place of director of the Judicial Police should be
provided among the judicial magistrates or those of the Public Prosecutor's
Office. The posts of deputy director were chosen from among the judicial
magistrates or the public prosecutor by the governor of Macao, or from among
1st class inspectors, or from among law graduates, with at least 5 years of
legal work experience, pursuant to Decree-Law no. 34/86 / M approved in 1986.
1999, the Policia Judiciária became the Secretariat of Security. With regard
to criminal investigation proceedings, these are the responsibility of the
Public Prosecution Service.
dos Serviços das Forças de Segurança de Macau
directors of the Security Forces of
Arms: Azure, a Chinese dragon Or with flames Gules
and clouds Argent holding the emblem of Macau. In chief 澳門保安部隊 事務局 ands in base D
S F S M
Crest: On a
helmet to the sinister Argent, lambrequined Or and Azure, the Lighthouse of
你会勤奋地服务 VOS VÃO SERVIR COM PASSO DILIGENTE
The motto says: You will serve with diligent step.
Security Force (澳門保安部隊; Àomén Bǎoān Bùduì;
Forças de Segurança de Macau) is Macau's public securityservice under the Secretariat for Security, responsible for handling government activities ranging from law
enforcement to public safety.
December 20, 1999, the various police force branches of Macau (Security
Forces of Macau and Judiciary Police), under the jurisdiction of Security and
Justice departments (except the customs police, who were reassigned to the
Financial Service Department) were assigned to the Forças de Segurança de
Macau (FSM, Macau Security Force), under the supervision of the secretary of
security (security department). At the time of the handover of Macau to the
People's Republic of China, plans were in place to modernize the police force
with the goal of better positioning the force to combat organized crime and
to stop illegal immigration.
The motto means: ENFORCING THE LAW TO
Corpo de Polícia de Segurança Pública Macau
Escola Superior das Forças de Segurança de Macau
High School of the Security
Services of Macau
The motto means: To know better to serve
© Hubert de Vries 2018-12-16
 “Archivo Historico de Portugal: narrative of
the foundation of the cities and towns of the kingdom, their arms of arms,
etc.", 1890. http://hemerotecadigital.cm-lisboa.pt/Periodicos/ArchivoHistorico/IISerie/IISerie_master/ArchivoHistoricodePortugal_SerieII.pdf
These arms also appear in :1 - Afonso Dornellas, Brasões das Villas e
Cidades de Portugal, end of the XVIII century 2 - Almeida Langhans, in
"Armorial do Ultramar Português; Agência Geral do Ultramar, 2 vols. 1966;