The Archipelago of Madeira

Madeira is a Portuguese archipelago that lies between 32°22.3′N 16°16.5′W and 33°7.8′N 17°16.65′W, just under 400 kilometres (250 miles) north of Tenerife, Canary Islands, in the north Atlantic Ocean and an outermost region of the European Union
The archipelago comprises the major part of one of the two Autonomous regions of Portugal (the other being the Azores located to the northwest), that includes the islands of Madeira, Porto Santo, and the Desertas, administered together with the separate archipelago of the Savage Islands.

Madeira was claimed by Portuguese sailors in the service of Infante D. Henrique (Henry the Navigator) in 1419, and settled after 1420. The archipelago is considered to be the first territorial discovery of the exploratory period of the Portuguese Age of Discovery.

Today, it is a popular year-round resort, being visited every year by about one million tourists, noted for its Madeira wine, flowers, landscapes and embroidery artisans, as well as for its annual New Year celebrations that feature the largest fireworks show in the world, as officially recognised by the Guinness World Records, in 2006. The main harbour in Funchal is the leading Portuguese port in cruise liner dockings, being an important stopover for commercial and trans-Atlantic passenger cruises between Europe, the Caribbean and North Africa.

Madeira is currently (as of 2010) the second richest region in Portugal, after Lisbon, with a GDP per capita of 104% of the European average.

Taken from the introduction on the Madeira page at Wikipedia

 The Regional Government of Madeira

Should you be interested in the political administration of the islands then you might want to start here.

It many be helpful if you have some knowledge of Portuguese as the site is in the native language!

The shield to the left includes the Cross of Portugal with the colours of Madeira. The colours possibly showing the ocean on either side of the island with the island as the colour yellow. Any other thoughts?

On further research on-line we find the following :

The flag of the Madeira archipelago consists of a blue-gold-blue vertical triband with a red-bordered white 'Cross of Christ' in the centre, alluding the fact that it was discovered by two knights of the Household (of) Henry the Navigator: João Gonçalves Zarco and Tristão Vaz Teixeira; symbol of connection to the República Portuguesa. Many have claimed its design to have been inspired by the flag of the now deceased Madeira Archipelago Liberation Front.

And about the Frente de Libertação do Arquipélago da Madeira we find the following :

The Frente de Libertação do Arquipélago da Madeira (English: Madeira Archipelago Liberation Front), or FLAMA (which could be read as an archaic Portuguese word for "flame", flama), was a right-wing terrorist paramilitary organisation from Madeira, whose main goal was to achieve Madeira's independence from mainland Portugal.

FLAMA carried out some armed and bomb attacks between 1974-1976, during the revolucionary period that followed the Portuguese Carnation Revolution (April 25 1974). The Carnation Revolution effectively changed the Portuguese regime from an authoritarian dictatorship (the Estado Novo) to a democracy (the Third Republic), but only after two years of a transitional period known as PREC (Processo Revolucionário Em Curso, Portuguese for Ongoing Revolutionary Process), characterized by social turmoil and power dispute between left and right wing political forces.

FLAMA's demands were more a right-wing political reaction by some of the regional elites to the left-wing nature of the Revolution and its main actors, than a truly ethnic or nationalist separatist goal.[citation needed] After the normalization of the Portuguese political system, early in 1976, and the constitutional grant of autonomy to the Portuguese North Atlantic archipelagos of Madeira and Azores (where a similar organization existed, the Frente de Libertação dos Açores), the organization vanished.

Allegedly one of FLAMA's most important activists was the controversial Alberto João Jardim, the present President of the regional government of Madeira, co-founder of the Madeiran branch of the popular centre-right-wing Portuguese party PSD and former Vice-president of the European People's Party.[citation needed]

And so the history lesson could continue - but not here and not now.

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