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Pará (Brazil)

Last modified: 2012-02-10 by ian macdonald
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[Flag of Pará (Brazil)] 7:10 image by Željko Heimer


See also:

Flag of the State of Pará

The white stripe is the imaginary "planetary belt" representing the zodiac. The star is of magnitude 1.0 and belongs to the constellation of Virgo. The red color symbolizes the vigor that is in the blood of the Paraense people.
Željko Heimer, 13 Mar 1996

The Republic was proclaimed in Pará on 16 November 1889. The following year, the municipalities of the state accepted the proposal of Governor Arturo Indio do Brazil to recognize the flag of the Republican Club as the official flag of the city of Belém. Afterwards the traditional republican symbol was adopted as the flag of the state. In it, the red symbolizes the revolutionary victory, valor, and blood, and the white band suggests a planetary belt representing the zodiac. The star symbolizes the constellation of Virgo.
Jaume Ollé, 28 June 1996

Information on the flag of Pará can be found at the official state website, http://www.pa.gov.br/conheca2.htm and "http://www.pa.gov.br/conheca4.htm.
"Elso," 13 February 2000

According to information at www.brasilrepublica.hpg.ig.com.br, the flag was approved by the Pará state legislature on 3 June 1890 (but see below). It flew for the first time on the occasion of Pará's accession to the Republic of Brazil on 16 November 1889 as the symbol of the Paraense Republican Club. On 10 April 1890, the municipal council of Belém approved a proposal making the club's emblem the flag of the municipality of Belém. The decree that finally transformed the municipal flag into the state flag read as follows:

The flag which served as the emblem of the Paraense Republican Club before the proclamation of the Republic, and which was adopted as the flag of the municipality at the session of 10 April 1890, is hereby to be considered the flag of the State of Pará.
According to this site, the white stripe not only represents the belt of the Zodiac but also the equator and the Amazon River. The star, part of the constellation of Virgo, is also known as Spica, and symbolizes the position of Pará above the equatorial line, just as on the national flag Pará's star is the only one placed above the stripe inscribed Ordem e Progresso. The red field is for "the strength of Paraense blood, which runs through our veins as a true spirit of harmonized struggle, giving proof of the dedication of our patriots to the causes of Paraense support for Independence and for the Republic. The design of the flag is attributed to the republican Philadelfo Condurú.
Joseph McMillan, 10 July 2002

Early Variant Flag

Early Variant Flag of Pará (Brazil) image by Joseph McMillan

Pará used a different flag in 1889-1890.
Jaume Ollé, 8 December 1999

Clóvis Ribeiro (1933) agrees that Pará adopted and used a flag similar to that shown above, but contends that it was not red with a white diagonal stripe and star, like the current state flag, but a vertical triband, red-white-red, with a blue star on the center. The text of the decree gives us no help, since it does not describe the flag in any way. Secondly, Ribeiro says that, although legislation to adopt this flag was passed by the state chamber of deputies on 3 June 1898 [sic], it was rejected by the state senate on the urging of the governor, who did not believe states should have symbols. As a result, Ribeiro concludes that the flag was still unofficial in 1933. On the other hand, on plate 23 Ribeiro shows the state coat of arms as it is presently, and says it was officially adopted by law 918 of 9 November 1903, the same time [he says] that the Senate rejected the proposed flag. The current flag is essentially a banner of these arms. He goes on to say that the coat of arms was already in de facto use as early as 1901, with the national flag and the vertical version of the Pará flag as "supporters." Tentatively, I think we can conclude that Pará used a flag, at least de facto and possibly de jure from 1890 until President Vargas abolished state symbols in 1937, and again from some time in the late 1940s to the present; and that the vertically stripoed flag shown by Ribeiro was at least a variant if not the only flag used up to the 1930s.
Joseph McMillan, 2 September 2002


19th Century Merchant Ship Pennant

19th Century Ship Distinguishing 
Pennant, Pará (Brazil) image by Joseph McMillan

Some states had old maritime ensigns in the 19th century, including Pará.
Jaume Ollé, 8 December 1999

The French Navy's Album de Pavillons of 1858 shows a set of galhardetes (normally translated pennants) flown by Brazilian merchant ships to indicate their province of origin. The galhardetes were rectangular, approximately 1:6. They were all simple geometric patterns, more or less like signal flags.
Joseph McMillan, 17 April 2001


Discussion about new states in Pará

Some discussion has been found on blogs about a possible split of the state of Pará into two new states, Carajas and Tapajós. A flag has been proposed for Tapajós and is posted at http://blogdowaldyr.blogspot.com/2007_08_19_archive.html. Although the proposal has been circulating for some time, it is not yet official.
Condensed from comments by Pascal Prince, António Martins-Tuválkin, and Jaume Olle, 11-28 September 2008

On 11th December 2011 two plebiscites will be held for the creation of two new states in Brazil. The new State of Carajás would be split from Pará. Here is the proposal for the new state flag: http://blogdowaldyr.blogspot.com/2011/05/aprovado-plebiscitos-para-criacao-dos.html. The second state would be Tapajos, created also from the state of Pará. Here is the proposal for its new flag: http://www.jesocarneiro.com.br/comentarios/bandeira-do-tapajos.html#.Tqhyd5vlMtA.
Valentin Poposki, 3 December 2011

In a referendum held on December 11, 2011, the residents of the state of Pará were asked to vote on proposals to split the state into three parts: Carajás in the southeast, Tapajós in the west, and a rump Pará in the northeast. The proposal to create Carajás was defeated by a margin of 66.6% to 33.4%. The proposal to create Tapajós was defeated by a margin of 66.1% to 33.9%. Voting was highly polarized regionally, with voters in the territory of the proposed new states voting strongly in favor while voters in the rump Pará voted strongly against.

Detailed results (in Portuguese):
http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plebiscito_sobre_a_divis%C3%A3o_do_estado_do_Par%C3%A1 and
http://www1.folha.uol.com.br/poder/1019929-tse-conclui-apuracao-e-confirma-vitoria-do-nao-no-para.shtml
Zoltan Horvath, 8 January 2012