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Flags, Symbols, & Currencies of Macao

Macao, also known as Macau, is a Special Administrative Region of China, located in western Pearl River Delta. Therefore, the national flag hoisted in the region is the Five-starred Red Flag of the People's Republic of China. However, Macao has a regional flag, bearing the five stars found on the flag of China. The flag was approved in 1993 by the National People's Congress and used for the first time in December 1999. 

The regional flag of Macau consists of a green field with a lotus flower between a stylized bridge and water in white (below) and an arc of five gold, five-pointed stars: one large in the center of the arc and two smaller on either side. The lotus is the floral emblem of Macau. The three petals represent the peninsula and two islands that make up Macau. The five stars are those on the flag of China, signifying the region's reationship with China. 

History of the flag

Prior to PRC taking control of Macao in 1999, the region was occupied by the the Portuguese. Therefore, the Portuguese flag was officially used in the region. The Portuguese flag comprises a green (smaller and hoist) and red vertical bands with the national emblem between the two bands. In 1993, several flag designs were proposed for consideration as the regional flag. Some of the proposed flags featured the design of the Portuguese flag, while others featured differently-stylized lotus. However, the National People's Congress of the PRC settled on the current design on March 31, 1993, six years before the Portuguese handed over the region to PRC.

Historical and Other Flags of Macao

First Colonial Flag

Portuguese flag
Portuguese flag

Second Colonial Flag

Portuguese Flag
Portuguese Flag

Third Colonial flag

Blue banner charged with coat of arms
Blue banner charged with coat of arms

Symbols of Macao

Regional Emblem of Macao

The current emblem of Macau was adopted on December 20, 1999, after the Portuguese Republic handed over the region to PRC. The emblem is officially known as "Regional Emblem of the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China." The emblem is a circle and features the same design elements of the regional flag, with the name of the territory in a white outer ring, in both traditional Chinese and Portuguese. 

National Anthem

  • Anthem Title: "March of the Volunteers"
  • Music Composer: Nie Er
  • Lyricist: Tian Han
  • Date of Adoption: December 4, 1982

Being a Speccial Administrative Region of China, Macau uses "March of the Volunteers" is its national anthem. The anthem's lyrics were authored by the famous poet Tian Han and set to music Nie Er. The song was the theme song of the film "Young Heroes and Heroines in Stormy Years". The song is inspiring and expresses the determination of the people of China to sacrifice themselves for national liberation and their traditions of bravery and unity in their fight against agggression. The song was officially adopted as the national anthem of the People's Republic of China on December 4, 1982. 

Yìyǒngjūn Jìnxíngqǔ (Chinese)











March of the Volunteers

Arise, ye who refuse to be slaves!

With our flesh and blood, 

let us build a new Great Wall!

As China faces her greatest peril, 

From each one the urgent call to action comes forth.

Arise! Arise! Arise!

Millions of but one heart

Braving the enemies' fire! March on!

Braving the enemies' fire! March on!

March on! March, march on!

The Currency of Macao is the Macanese Pataca

Although Macao is a special administrative region of China, It has its own currency. The region's currency is the Macanese pataca, subdivided into 100 avos. The currency is abbreviated as MOP$. The currency is issued and redeemed by the the Monetary Authority of Macau. Pataca has been the currency of Macau since 1894.

Coins and Banknotes

Pataca coins were not issued until 1952. The first coins in circulation were in denominations of 5, 10, and 50 avos, 1 and 5 pataca. 20 ovos, 2, 5, and 10 pateca coins were introduced between 1992 and 1998. Currently, the coins in circulation are 10, 20, 50 avos, MOP$1, MOP$2, MOP$5, MOP$10. 

Although the Monetary Authority of Macau issues the coins, the banknotes are issued by two commercial banks; Bank of China and Banco Nacional Ultramarino. Banknotes are printed in Chinese and Portuguese. The first pataca banknotes were introduced in 1906, followed by 10 and 25 pataca notes in 1907. 5, 10 and 50 avo notes were added in 1920 and 10 pataca note in 1923. The current bannotes are issued in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 patacas.

Macanese pataca Banknote

Macanese 100 pataca Banknote
Macanese 100 pataca Banknote

Macanese pataca Coin

Macanese 1 pataca Coin
Macanese 1 pataca Coin

Historical Currencies of Macau

Pataca was introduced in 1894 to replace the Portuguese real. Although real had been the currency of Portugal since the early 1400s, it was introduced in Macao as a legal tender in the 16th century. Real was issued in coin and banknote denominations, although the notes were introduced in the 18th century. The coins and notes were denominated in reis, with large sums expressed in milreis. The first real notes were introduced in 1797, issued in denominations of 1,200, 2,400, 5,000, 6,400, 10,000, 12,000 and 20,000 réis. 

Portuguese real Banknote

Portuguese real 2,400 reis Banknote
Portuguese real 2,400 reis Banknote

Portuguese real Coin

Portuguese real 200 reis Coin
Portuguese real 200 reis Coin

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