Pro-democracy Movements Bring Back Yellow as a Symbol

In the flag it represents wealth, in the military dictatorship it served to stimulate pride, in Diretas Já it pushed people to the streets to clamor for direct vote and, in Brazil today, it is disputed by detractors and supporters of Jair Bolsonaro.

Yellow has already been used and recycled as a symbol in different contexts of national politics, now associated with the establishment, now with contestation.

Color (which, combined with green, is synonymous with Brazil anywhere in the world) is at the center of a war that pits civil society movements that defend democracy against groups loyal to Bolsonaro.

While the second group takes to the streets in yellow and proudly displays the national flag and sings anthem, sectors critical of the government want these items returned to Brazil as common goods.

“When the Bolsonaristas take ownership of these symbols, they are able to reinforce a false narrative that they are the true Braziliansâ€, said the writer Antonio Prata, one of the organizers of Somos Juntos, a democracy manifesto that has amassed more than 283 thousand signatures.

The movement, launched in May, adopted yellow as its official color.

“We have to make this rescue. Just as we need to embrace the flag and sing our hymn again. Who said that the hymn is exclusive to Bolsonarism?,†added Prata, who is a columnist for Folha.

The proposal is endorsed by members of soccer team fan clubs who, together with the Somos Democracia movement, gained space in recent weeks with self-styled anti-fascist protests.

Danilo Bird, leader of the group, said in a video calling for the protests that part of society now has disgust for the green and yellow “due to their appropriation by intolerant
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