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Pinheiral, Rio de Janeiro State (Brazil)

Last modified: 2012-04-07 by ian macdonald
Keywords: rio de janeiro | pinheiral |
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Pinheiral, RJ (Brazil) image located by Dirk Schönberger, 26 October 2011

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Description of the Flag

A white field with the municipal arms centred.

Official website at On the official site is shown a description of flag and coat of arms at
Dirk Schönberger, 26 October 2011

The municipality of Pinheiral (22,724 inhabitants in 2010; 77 sq. km) is located in southern Rio de Janeiro State, 120 km of Rio de Janeiro. Together with Volta Redonda and Barra Mansa, Pinheiral forms a single urban unit with more than 450,000 inhabitants.

Pinheiral originates in the São José do Pinheiro estate, built in 1851 for Commander José Joaquim de Souza Breves (1804-1889), the first "coffee king" in Brazil. Born in Piraí, Breves was the biggest owner of land and slaves (more than 6,000) in Imperial Brazil; he accumulated a huge fortune after purchasing and inheriting several estates and, mostly, following his marriage with his niece Maria Isabel de Moraes Breves, the daughter of the Baron of Piraí. His accounts, published in 1891, included more than 100 properties, 72 estates, buildings in different towns, islands and ships. Breves did not care of the prohibition of slave' traffic issued in 1850; sued in 1852, together with Manoel de Aguiar Vallim, another "coffee king", in the "Bracuí case" for the illegal landing of African slaves in Bracuí, he was eventually acquitted. Breves was a familiar of the Imperial Court. Aged 18, he witnessed in Ipiranga the proclamation of the independence of Brazil by Prince Peter on 7 September 1822; the last living participant to the event, Breves used to remember that the prince was in a bad mood because of the "feijoado" he had eaten the evening before. On 15 August 1830, Breves was made Commander of the Order of the Rose an started a political career, supporting Peter I until his abdication and opposing to the next governments. Breves was one of the leaders of the liberal uprising that broke out in Rio de Janeiro against the conservative government. In 1870 Breves ceded a piece of land for the building of the Peter II Railways, renamed the Brazil Central Railways after the proclamation of the Republic. The station of Pinheiro was established next year; the Pinheiro-Barra Mansa line was inaugurated by Princess Isabel and her husband, the Count of Eu. In 1879, Breves died without heir and his goods were transferred to the Federal State; in 1897, the old Pinheiro estate was transformed in barracks for the 2nd Chasseurs Battalion. In 1909, the Zootechnics Federal Station of Pinheiro was set up, where Hector Raquet, Professor at the State Agricultural Institute in Gembloux (Belgium), introduced bovines of the Schwyz breed to increase dairy production; the Station was also used as a college where the first Brazilian veterinarians were taught. The Station was visited in 1920 by King of the Belgians Albert I and Queen Elisabeth, invited by Epitácio Pessoa, President of the Republic of Brazil. The district and station of Pinheiro were renamed Pinheiral in 1940, to prevent confusion with an other town of Pinheiro also located in the Rio de Janeiro State. In 1953, some local politicians asked for the transfer of Pinheiral from Piraí to Volta Redonda, to no avail. The municipality of Pinheiral was established by State Law No. 2,408 of 13 June 1995, approving Bill No. 2,055 of 23 May 1995. - Biography of Commander Breves, by Aloysio Clemente Breves Beiler

The coat of arms of Pinheiral shows, from top to bottom: - a chief azure charged with five stars or, representing progress; - a fess divided per pale, dexter, azure the Pinheiral railway station proper, which contributed to the development of the town, sinister, azure an oil mill proper, representing a significant source of income for the town; - a fess azure charged with the São José do Pinheiro estate proper surrounded by two araucarias ("pinheiros") vert, representing the establishment of the "vila" of Pinheiral by José Joaquim de Souza Breves, a member of one of the most important "Coffee Barons" families; - a fess azure charge with a bend argent representing river Rio Paraíba do Sul, of which depended all the economic development of the municipality. The shield is surrounded dexter by a branch of coffee proper, representing the main crop at the time of the "Coffee Barons" and sinister by symbols argent of economy and commerce. The shield is surmounted by a mural crown argent representing the municipal emancipation. Below the shield a scroll is inscribed "1851 Pinheiral 1995", the dates being the years of establishment of the Pinheiro estate and of the municipality, respectively.

Ivan Sache, 14 March 2012