At the heart of symbolism

The flag of Brazil

(Detailed page)


Flag of Brazil

The Cosmos and the three worlds

The central design of the flag represents the starry vault and evokes the Cosmos, which traditionally refers to three domains:

  • The body substantial by nature;
  • The soul or intermediary world endowed with a double nature, essential in comparison with the substantial body and substantial in comparison with the essential Spirit;
  • The Spirit essential by nature.

This distinction applies at the level of the “macrocosm” as well as the “microcosm” according to an analogical correspondence depicting the harmony of the being with the Cosmos.

Intermediary world between Heaven and Earth1. At the macrocosm or cosmic level, it is usual to distinguish between:

  • Earth (1) represented by a square resting on one of its sides;
  • Heaven (3) usually described by a circle, symbol of the centre that equally radiates in all directions;
  • Regarding the intermediary world (2), it is both the preceding ones because of its double character, essential in comparison with Earth and substantial in comparison with Heaven. It is consequently portrayed by a double figure composed of an inner circle and an outer square. The square is resting on one of its angles to suggest the proper movement of the soul world, the “Anima Mundi” of the hermetic tradition 1.

2. At the microcosm or being level, the three domains are linked to three births:

  • The physical or bodily birth of the ordinary being;
  • The second birth of the psyche or soul linked to the individual possibilities of the true human being;
  • The third birth of the spirit that gives access to the supra-individual or supra-human possibilities of the total being 2.

It follows that the design of the Brazilian flag describes the intermediary or soul world linked to the realization of the human being. The fact that the quadrangular figure is a lozenge rather than a square does in no way modify the meaning of the flag.

The intermediary or soul world

This world contains within its circular form the earthly perception of the celestial sphere, of the Cosmos. Surrounded by a belt depicting the zodiac, the sphere represents the constellations surrounding the world we live in. The stripe contains a meaningful motto, which reads “Order and Progress”:

  • Order represents the etymology and first function of the Cosmos, that is to say maintaining each of its composed elements at the right place. As an organization, union and cohesive force, the Cosmos rules the three worlds.
  • Progress evokes, within the intermediary or soul world, the realization of the human possibilities of the ordinary being, the development of the individual and even national soul in harmony with the Cosmos 3.

The colours of the flag

Dark blue represents the colour of the terrestrial night depth preceding daylight clarity, the opening on the luminous world where the being really becomes conscious of himself. It symbolizes the ordinary being before moving towards the true human states.

Yellow, located halfway through the rainbow spectrum, symbolizes the communication path between Heaven and Earth, the “Middle Path”. Associated with the soul or intermediary world, yellow depicts the transformation of the ordinary being into a full human being.

Green, the combination of blue and yellow, characterizes the spiritual world heading up the bodily and soul worlds. It symbolizes the world beyond the intermediary world of the human states and foresees the being's progression towards the superior or supra-human states.


  • René Guénon:
  • “The Great Triad”, South Asia Books Publisher;
  • Mostly, chapters 3 and 11 respectively entitled “Heaven and Earth” and “Spiritus, Anima, Corpus”.

1 back Note that the preceding figure results from the union of the representations of Heaven and Earth of the Chinese tradition (see Whole & parts) and “Anima Mundi” of the medieval hermetic tradition. In addition, the spiritual world includes the intermediary or soul world and bodily world just as the total being includes the human and ordinary being.

2 back The “macrocosm” and “microcosm” analogy shows that the three mentioned worlds correspond to existential states of the “macrocosm” comparable to the being states of the “microcosm” and not to material located worlds.

3 back The idea of progress is mostly ambiguous when it concerns the material world. Did the marquis de Condorcet (1743-1794) not used to talk about “indefinite progress” ? An adjective with a double meaning: unlimited et unidentified.