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Paraná (Brazil)

Last modified: 2012-01-13 by ian macdonald
Keywords: brazil | paraná | pine | mate | southern cross | diagonal | araucaria |
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[Flag of Paraná] 7:10  image by Joseph McMillan
Basic design adopted 1892; 1947 version restored 27 May 2002

See also:

Flag of the State of Paraná

Around the sphere, a branch of pine on the observer's right side and another of erva mate on the observer's left symbolize what in earlier times represented the economical basis of the State.
Željko Heimer, 13 June 1996

"The flag of Paraná State was adopted by state decree no. 8 on 9 January 1892. It changed in March of 1947 and again in September of 1990. The present flag is a green rectangle, with a white strip and blue sphere. The blue sphere represents the constellation of the Southern Cross in the position where it was in the sky on 29 August 1853, the date when the province of Paraná was created by law n. 704, signed by the Brazilian Emperor Dom Pedro II. . . . The stars are Alpha crucis (Magalhães), Beta crucis (Mimosa), Gamma crucis (Rubídea), Delta crucis (pálida or pale) and Epsilon crucis (Intrometida or Nosey). Two green branches follow the curve of the sphere: one of yerva-mate (Ilex paraguariensis) on the [observer's] left and the other of pinheiro-do-Paraná (Araucaria angustifolia, or Paraná pine) on the right."
Source: Carlos Renato Fernandes, "O Paraná"
Translated by Érico Germano Hack, 3 August 1998

Usually Brazilians use the word pinheiro to refer to trees of the genus Araucaria, (the "Monkey Puzzle") or sometimes Podocarpus, while in European Portuguese it retains the meaning of "pine tree." [Erva-]Mate, or congonha, is a kind of South American holly, Ilex paraguariensis, used for timber and herbal tea.
António Martins, 16 December 2001

According to Fabio Werlang of Paraná, the flag of the state has recently been changed back to the 1947 pattern, reversing the alterations made in 1990.
Joseph McMillan, 21 March 2003

I think the main reason for the change is political. Roberto Requião, the new governor of Paraná is rival of Alvaro Dias, who was the governor back in 1990, when the flag and coat of arms were remodeled. The new governor (Requião) took over in January 2003 and one of the first things he did was to sign a law restablishing the 1947 state symbols. He said there was no reason for the 1990 change. So, the new (current) Paraná flag and coat of arms are the same as the ones created in 1947. Paraná used the variants from 1990 until 2002.
Fabio Danilo Werlang, 20 March 2003

It seems this actually happened almost a year ago [2002]. I'm not sure what that means for Fabio's interpretation of the politics of the change. Here's the full text of the decree, from the state supreme court's website:

Decree no. 5,713, of 27 May 2002
THE GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF PARANÁ, by virtue of the powers granted to him by article 87, clause V of the State Constitution, and considering the definitive judicial decision relating to Direct Action of Unconstitutionality no. 15.494-5, proposed for the purpose of suspending the effect of Complementary Law no. 52 of 24 September 1990, decrees that:
Art. 1 - The symbols of the State of Paraná, represented by the flag, the shield or coat of arms, and the state anthem, are hereby reestablished in conformity with Decree-Law no. 2,457 of 31 March 1947.
Official Journal of the State, Curitiba, no. 6239, p. 1, 28 May 2002
I take the preambular language to mean that the (now former) governor, Jaime Lerner, suspended the effect of the 1990 law on symbols and reinstated the 1947 flag, and other symbols because of a judicial determination that the 1990 law was unconstitutional. I don't know enough about Brazilian constitutional law to understand how this all works and I haven't been able to find the action cited in the text.
Joseph McMillan, 21 March 2003

You are completely right. When the 1990 law changed the symbols, someone brought a judicial action saying that the changes were unconstitutional. I took a look at the Paraná Constitution and I did not find any article that would void the change. So I don't know either why they changed the flag or why the action was successful.
Fabio Werlang, 21 March 2003

Historic Flags of Paraná

Paraná Flag, 1892-1905

Flag of Paraná, 1892-1905 by Falko Schmidt

The flag of Paraná was adopted in 1892 and had in its center the shield of the state.
Jaume Ollé, 28 June 1996

In Vexillinfo No. 51 is an image of the first emblem of Paraná which remained until 1905 the first state flag of Paraná.
Falko Schmidt, 16 December 2001

In Clóvis Ribeiro (1933) is the text of the flag law from 9 January 1892:

There is hereby adopted as the particular standard of the State of Paraná the flag presented by citizen Manoel Correia de Freitas at the session of the Legislative Assembly of 3 July 1891 and executed by the artist Paulo de Assumpçao. This flag consists of a green rectangle cut transversely from left to right by a wide white stripe, having on the center upon this stripe a blue sphere containing in the equatorial zone, set obliquely descending from left to right, the motto Ordem e Progresso [Order and Progress] in white letters inscribed between two circles of the same color. Perpendicular to these lines falls another of the preceding color representing the line of the zodiac. Upon the sphere, in the supper left angle, is a red Phrygian cap. In the lower hemisphere in the left angle, one of the stars of the constellation of the Southern Cross and, in the right, the other four stars of the same constellation. Surrounding the lower hemisphere, a branch of araucária to the left and another of erva mate to the right, interlaced, all according to the annexed model.
Klaus Günther, translated by Joseph McMillan, 9 January 2002

It seems to me that the extra line representing the zodiac must not be perpendicular to the inscription, and that the circles surrounding the motto are not really supposed to be circles but lines above and below the inscription as if encircling the sphere.
Joseph McMillan, 12 August 2002

Michel Lupant, who provided the material on which the above image of the 1905 flag was based, tells me his source is Símbolos da República Federativa do Brasil e do estado do Paraná by Sebastião Ferrarini (1976), and sent me the scan of Ferrarini's image. The image is an accurate rendition of what Ferrarini shows as the first flag of Paraná. That doesn't mean Ferrarini is necessarily right, but it's the only graphic we have of this flag. I would simply note the apparent conflict between written and graphic sources.
Joseph McMillan, 4 September 2002

Paraná Flag, 1905-1923

Flag of Paraná, 1905-1923 image by Falko Schmidt

In 1904 [1905?] the shield was modified.
Jaume Ollé, 28 June 1996

According to Ribeiro the text of law No. 592 of 24 March 1905, Article 2, reads:

The flag will be the one used up to now [i.e., until 1905], consisting of a green rectangle, cut transversely from top to bottom and from the upper right angle to the [angle] opposite by a wide white arched stripe, its center and that of the flag occupied by a blue sphere, whose equatorial zone, tilted obliquely, descending [toward the fly] contains a white stripe bearing the word "Paraná," and whose lower hemisphere bears the five stars of the Southern Cross; embracing the lower half of the sphere a wreath of crossed branches of pine and mate.
This law was changed by law No. 2182 of 15 March 1923. I hope that the image above is according to this description. The copy of the book shows such an image in black and white.
Falko Schmidt, translation by António Martins, 16 December 2001

Ribeiro mentions that the 1905 flag of Paraná was abolished by state law 2182 of 15 March 1923. The governor at the time believed states should not have their own flags and spearheaded a campaign to encourage a number of states to drop theirs. He succeeded in a few states including Paraíba and Mato Grosso, but not in many.
Joseph McMillan, 4 September 2002

A set of cards of Brazilian state flags issued with Eucalol soap bars in the 1930s shows this as the flag of Paraná, but with the stripe a straight diagonal rather than arched.
Joseph McMillan, 13 February 2003

Paraná Flag, 1947-1990

[Flag of Paraná 1947-1990] image by Joseph McMillan

The flag was not used between 1937 and 3 May 1947, when it was reestablished by decree. The pre-1990 design of the shield and flag (which basically conserved its original aspect) was by Rodolfo Doubeck. It contained a sky-blue circle with the constellation of the Southern Cross, and a band with the word PARANÁ.
Jaume Ollé, 28 June 1996

Paraná Flag, 1990-2002

[Flag of Paraná, 1990-2003] image by Jorge Candeias

The 1947 flag was altered in 1990 by deleting a white band inscribed with the name of the state across the blue celestial sphere on the center and by changing the artistic rendering of the branches surrounding the sphere.
Joseph McMillan, 21 March 2003

When the flag and coat of arms were altered in 1990, the main reason was that the old symbols (from 1947) weren't in conformity with heraldic rules. For instance, the hawk over the coat of arms was looking to the wrong side; it was not considered correct right to have any inscription on a flag.
Fabio Danilo Werlang, 20 March 2003