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Senior Commanders of the Brazilian Navy

Last modified: 2008-08-09 by ian macdonald
Keywords: navy | cruzeiro | commander | fleet | chief of staff | admiralty | star (white) | star: 21 | star: 5 | star: 4 | star: 3 | star: 2 | patron | tamandare |
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Commander of the Navy

Comandante da Marinha

Commander of the 
Navy (Brazil) image by Željko Heimer

I just received from the Brazilian naval attaché in Paris the personal flag of the Commander of the Navy. [Image above based on the one provided with this message.--Ed.]
Armand Noel du Payrat, 11 May 2001

The new flags provided by Armand are necessitated by the 1999 establishment of a unified Ministry of Defense and the abolition of the posts of Minister of the Navy, Minister of the Army, Minister of Aeronautics, and Minister of the General Staff of the Armed Forces. At the same time, each service was given a commander to exercise the service-peculiar command functions previously vested in the service ministers.
Joseph McMillan, 11 May 2001

The legislation on the organization of the Brazilian armed forces is Provisional Measure 1.799-6 of 10 June 1999. It says, among other things that "the duties of the Ministry of State for the Navy are made extinct and that the Ministry of the Navy is transformed into the Commando da Marinha (Command of the Navy), with a Commander of the Navy in charge.
Joseph McMillan, 22 March 2001

Chief of Staff of the Navy

Chefe do Estado-Maior da Armada

Chief of 
Staff of the Navy (Brazil) image by Željko Heimer

Source: Album des Pavillons, 2000


Commander of Naval Operations

Comandante de Operacões Navais

Commander of Naval Operations (Brazil) image by Željko Heimer

Source: Album des Pavillons, 2000



Admiralty Council (Brazil) image by Željko Heimer

Commander in Chief of the Fleet

Comandante-em-Chefe-da-Esquadra (ComemCh)

Fleet Commander
(Brazilian Navy) image by Željko Heimer

Source: Album des Pavillons, 2000

The Cruzeiro flag defaced in the canton with three white stars set in points of an imagined isosceles trangle pointing up, in the lower hoist quarter a slanted white anchor, and in the lower fly quarter a single white star.
Željko Heimer

Patron of the Navy

Patrono da Marinha

Patron of the Brazilian Navy image by Joseph McMillan and Željko Heimer

In figure 24 of the MB Cerimonial, there is the flag of the Chief of the Navy (Patrono da Marinha), new to me. In canton, the flag bears the coat of arms of Marquês de Tamandaré, and the site gives a description in words of this coat of arms.
Santiago Dotor, 20 March 2001

The Patrono da Marinha is not the chief of the navy but the "patron of the navy" in the sense of a patron saint. The term refers to Admiral Joaquim Marques Lisboa, Marquês de Tamandaré (1807-1897). He is referred to in one item I found as o Nelson brasileiro, the Brazilian Nelson. Article 7-2-4 of the Brazilian Navy Ceremonial Code provides that "On Sailors' Day (Dia do Marinheiro), December 13, units of the Navy that are presenting the Tamandaré Medal of Merit conduct a ceremony consisting of the hoisting of the flag of the Patron of the Navy, the playing by the band of the "Exórdio do Patrono da Marinha," the firing of a 19 gun salute by each station designated to fire salutes, and finally the lowering of the flag of the Patron of the Navy. While the flag of the Patron of the Navy remains hoisted, only the following other flags may be flown at the mainmast or main flagpole:

  • the national flag;
  • the standard of the President of the Republic, if he is present at the ceremony;
  • the flag of the Vice President of the Republic, if he is present at the ceremony and the President is not.
Units that conduct ceremonies to present the Tamandaré Medal of Merit on other dates may, when authorized by the commandant of the naval district, follow the ceremonial provided for Sailors Day.
Joseph McMillan, 21 March 2001

The blazon of the arms provided in the MB Cerimonial is:

On a samnitic shield quarterly (1) or a cross of the Order of Christ throughout; (2) gules five flowers or; (3) argent a tree vert fructed or; (4) azure twelve stars in cross argent.
Joseph McMillan, 25 March 2001

According to the Brazilian Navy journal Revista Marítima Brasileira, 117:4/6, Apr-Jun 1997, page 18, the coat of arms on this flag was approved for the solemn commemoration of the 150th anniversary of Tamandaré's birth in 1957. There would have been no "ancient" Tamandaré arms because the admiral did not come from a noble family. He was born Joaquim Marques Lisboa in Rio Grande, State of Rio Grande do Sul, on 13 December 1807. He entered the Royal Midshipmen's Academy (Academia Real dos Guarda-Marinhas) in 1814 and went to sea in the frigate Niterói of the new Brazilian Navy in 1823. Marques Lisboa was promoted to chefe de esquadra (rear admiral) in 1854, to vice admiral in 1856, and ennobled as Barão de Tamandaré in 1860. (The Brazilian Empire had only life peerages, no hereditary titles.) He was elevated to viscount in 1865 and commanded the Brazilian naval forces in the War of the Triple Alliance against Paraguay. He was promoted to admiral in 1867 and elevated to count. In 1879, at the age of 72, the admiral was credited with saving Emperor Dom Pedro II from drowning. On his 80th birthday in 1887 he was made Marquês de Tamandaré. He retired from the Navy after the 1889 revolution and died on 20 March 1897.

Tamandaré was originally buried at Botafogo Beach in Rio de Janeiro, near the naval headquarters. In December 1994, however, his remains were moved, in accordance with his own wishes, to his home city of Rio Grande. The urns containing his remains and those of his wife were covered by small Imperial Brazilian flags during the transfer, reflecting Tamandaré's wish: "I want to go covered by the flag I defended all my life." When the urns arrived at the new grave in Rio Grande, the Patron of the Navy flag was hoisted on the monument.
Joseph McMillan, 12 June 2001