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Guaratinguetá, São Paulo State (Brazil)

Last modified: 2013-02-24 by ian macdonald
Keywords: sao paulo | guaratinguetá |
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Guaratinguetá, SP (Brazil) image by Dirk Schönberger, 5 November 2012

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About the Flag

A horizontal tricolour, blue-white-red, ratio 2-1-2, with three white birds flying toward the hoist in the upper stripe.

Official website at
Dirk Schönberger, 3 November 2012

The municipality of Guaratinguetá (112,091 inhabitants in 2010; 75,144 ha) is located in the Paraíba Valley, 180 km east of São Paulo.

Guaratinguetá originates in the establishment by Jacques Félix and his sons on 13 June 1630 of a chapel dedicated to St. Anthony. Granted the title of "vila" on 13 February 1651, Guaratinguetá was in the 18th century one of the main towns of the Captaincy of the Paraíba Valley.

Guaratinguetá is the birth place of the Franciscan Friar Antonio de Sant'Anna Galvaõ (1739-1822). Blessed on 25 October 1998 by Pope John Paul II and canonized on 11 May 2007 by Pope Benedict XVI, Friar Galvaõ is the first Brazil-borne Brazilian saint. Guaratinguetá is the birth place of the lawyer and politician Francisco de Paula Rodrigues Alves (1848-1919), President of São Paulo Province (1887-1888, 1900-1902, 1912-1916) and the fifth President of Brazil (1902-1906). Elected for a second tenure in 1918, he died from the Spanish flu before he could have taken the oath. Guaratinguetá is nicknamed "The Athens of the Paraíba Valley". The town is the birth place of the violinist Dilermando Reis (1916-1977), who was the music teacher of President of Brazil Juscelino Kubitschek (1956-1961) and of the heart surgeon Euryclides de Jesus Zerbini (1912-1993), who performed in 1968 the first heart transplantation in Latin America - and the third in the word.

The flag of Guaratinguetá, designed by Ernesto Sérgio Quissak Júnior, is prescribed by Municipal Law No. 530 of 9 August 1958. The design was previously approved - on 10 June 1958 - by the Heraldry Commission of the São Paulo History and Geography Institute.

The flag of is horizontally divided blue-white-red (c. 3:1:2) with three white herons in the blue stripe.

The colours of the flag are those of the uniforms wore by the soldiers of the Guaratinguetá Militia Corps, established in 1765-1766 by Morgado de Matheus (represented as supporters on the municipal coat of arms, designed by Afonso de Escragnolle Taunay). Red, a symbol of highness, audacity and glory, recalls the involvement of the people of Guaratinguetá in all the main events of the history, from the Emboabas' War [early 18th century] to the Paulista War [1932]. White is a symbol of nobleness, simplicity, purity, peace and union. The white stripe also represents the legendary river Paraíba. Blue, a symbol of zeal, charity, loyalty and knowledge, represents the cloak of Our Lady of the Apparition, the patron saint of Guaratinguetá [and of Brazil], as well as the town as "the Athens of Paraíba Valley". The three herons are a symbol of union and ascension. They also recall the etymology of the name of the town [from the Tupi-Guarani words "guará", "a heron", "tinga", "white", and "eta", "many". The town is nicknamed "The White Heron's Town"].

Photo of the flag 
Ivan Sache, 10 November 2012