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Rafael Fernandes, Rio Grande do Norte State (Brazil)

Last modified: 2015-01-11 by ian macdonald
Keywords: rio grande do norte | rafael fernandes |
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Rafael Fernandes, RN (Brazil) image by Ivan Sache, 4 April 2014
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Description of the Flag

Quartered white and blue with the municipal arms centred in a white rectangle.

No official website found.
Dirk Schönberger, 20 November 2011

The municipality of Rafael Fernandes (4,726 inhabitants in 2011; 7,823 ha) is located in the south-west of Rio Grande do Norte, 400 km from Natal.

Rafael Fernandes was founded around 1917 by the Oliveira family in a place known as Varzinha, located close to river Apodi-Mossoró. Antônio Justino de Oliveira offered in 1942 a plot to erect a chapel dedicated to St. Lucy. The first mass was celebrated in the chapel on 7 February 1944. The district of Varzinha was established by State Law No. 56 of 21 December 1953, as part of Pau dos Ferros. The municipality of Rafael Fernandes was established by State Law No. 2,964 of 21 October 1963. the municipality is named for Rafael Fernandes Gurjão (1891-1952), State Representative ( 1918-1923) and Governor ( 1935-1937) of Rio Grande do Norte.

The symbols of Rafael Fernandes were designed on 8 September 1980 by civil servants of the municipal administration; those symbols were never officially regulated and were, therefore, subjected to several variations.

The flag is rectangular, quartered blue, representing the firmament, and white, representing peace. In the middle is placed the coat of arms. The coat of arms is made of a shield of Samnitic shield, outlined argent. In the middle of the shield is represented a register of births, a chapel and eyes, symbolizing the town's patron saint, St. Lucy*. The shield is supported dexter by a branch of cotton proper and sinister by a branch of oiticica**. Beneath the shield is placed a scroll or inscribed with "1943 - RAFAEL FERNANDES - 1963".

*Lucy of Syracuse was tortured by eye-gouging. Other traditions say that Lucy took her own eyes out in order to discourage a persistent suitor who admired them.
**Oiticica (Licania rigida Prance) is a tree species endemic to Brazil and Puerto Rico.

A Bill of Law prescribing he symbols was tabled on 30 May 2011 by José Alexivando Alves Maia. The amended coat of arms, designed by a "competent designer", Junior Sousa, was similar to the original one, with the addition of river Apodi-Mossoró in base. The author believes that the river has to be represented on the arms because of its significance for the municipality: most settlements forming the municipality are indeed located along the river, for instance Gangorrinha, Gangorra, Espaduado, Vazinha, the municipal seat, Malhada Alta and Cacimbas. Whether the Bill was adopted or not is unknown.

Ivan Sache, 4 April 2014