Like every four years, Rio is getting ready for the great celebration of football, world Cup. We take out the flags, we decorate the streets and bars with garlands and colored pennants, we paint frescoes on the walls and the pavements, we organize spaces in the open air reserved for supporters only. Everything is to the glory of the Seleção, the national team. Who, of course, will win the cup! Everything is in yellow and green, the national colors.
Specialists say there is less mobilization in the streets and public spaces than before. It’s possible. A lot now happens in private, closed spaces, with friends: big screens, churrasco, batucada and unlimited beer! Without forgetting flags and jerseys.
Because the fervor is always very present in the land of football. It is said that the football is not a sport but a religion. Not false. Even if, like everywhere else, the stakes of money, the conflicts of power, the egos of certain players and the violence of the supporters have something to refresh the ardor.
This year, one word keeps coming back: HEXA! Like SIX. The mad hope of a whole people to win their sixth World Cup. The last dates from… 2002! Twenty years is a long time, far too long for torcedores (supporters). They may repeat that no country has yet won as many cups as them, it is high time to add a new one!
But this year, there is a little problem with colors and symbols. Because it is since September that the flags bloom in the windows of the apartments of certain districts and certain cars and that many Brazilians go to do their shopping wearing the jersey of the Seleção. It is not an anticipation of the Cup but the manifestation of their unconditional support for the president-candidate Jaïr Bolsonaro. Which quite simply preempted for its own account these two symbols of the country: the national flag and the shirt (jersey) of the Seleção. They have become the attributes of its national-populism: a perfectly organized confusion of genres, which leaves no space for its adversary. Complicated for a supporter of the Seleção supporter of Lula!
As a result, some people start dreaming: on December 18, Brazil finally wins its Hexa! All the Brazilians, dressed in the jersey of the Seleção, wave the national flag, all together, forgetting a division that has no reason to exist. A united, reconciled and victorious country. In yellow and green.
By the way, where do these two major colors of the national flag, which dates from the creation of the Republic in 1889, come from? You will be told that the green is that of the country’s forests, including the Amazon, and that the yellow represents the gold of Minas Gerais. Well found ! But in fact, they are the heritage of the imperial flag created at Independence, in 1822: the green is that of the family of Braganza, the emperor Dom Pedro, and the golden yellow comes from the Habsburg family, from the Archduchess, now Empress, Leopoldina.
But, today for a whole people, these are the colors of the Seleção auriverde (gold and green). And that’s all ! We forget history and politics.