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Touros, Rio Grande do Norte State (Brazil)

Last modified: 2014-09-20 by ian macdonald
Keywords: rio grande do norte | touros |
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Touros, RN (Brazil) image by Ivan Sache, 30 August 2014

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Description of the Flag

A blue flag, with the municipal arms on a centred white five-pointed star.

Touros is a seaside town about 30 000 inhabitants, located in the so-called "corner of South America". For more info this municipality, see the links below:
Aristobulo Lima, 18 August 2014

The municipality of Touros (31,089 inhabitants; 83,867 ha) is located on the northern coast of Rio Grande do Norte, 80 km north of Natal. Touros is known as Brazil's Corner due to its geographical location. The Touros lighthouse (62 m in height) is known as the Heel's Lighthouse, referring to the boot-shaped map of Brazil. The lighthouse, the biggest in Brazil and the biggest concrete-built in South America, is indeed the Brazilian closest to Africa by a straight line. Touros is the zero-point of BR-101, the 4,542 km-long road that crosses Brazil from Touros to São José do Norte (Rio Grande do Sul); the zero-point is figured by a monument designed in 1999 by Oscar Niemeyer (1907-2012).

Touros was originally settled on 7 August 1501 by the Gaspar de Lemos' expedition. The explorers put a marking stone on the beach, known as "Marco de Touros". Engraved with the Cross of the Order of Christ, the stone was deemed miraculous by the first colonists, who erected nearby a chapel and a cemetery. The stone was believed to be able to regenerate, which caused several attempts to steal it; in 1974, it was decided to keep it in a safer place, today the Fort of the King Magi. The Touros stone is indeed considered as the oldest colonial monument in Brazil. State Law No. 7,831 of 30 May 2000 prescribed the date of foundation of the town of Touros as the 7 August 1501. Touros was settled a second time in the 17th century, when Luiz Barbalho Bezerra's expedition, sent to fight the Dutch, could not moor at Recife and was redirected to Touros. Several canons used in subsequent fighting were disembarked in Touros. The permanent settling of Touros occurred in the 18th century. A stone chapel was built from 1778 to 1800 to keep the statue of Jesus of the Sailors, the town's patron saint. The origin of the statue is unknown yet.

The place called Lagoa de Avião (Aircraft's Lake) was on 5 July 1928 the place of landing of the Savoia-Marchettil S.64 plane, piloted by the Italians Carlo Del Preto (1897-1928) and Arturo Ferrrarin (1895-1941). They ended there a successful travel over the Atlantic Ocean (7,188 km; 49 h 19'), after having missed Natal because of the bad weather.

The municipality of Touros was established by Provincial Law No. 21 of 27 March 1835. The origin of the name of Touros is unknown. A local tradition says that Phoenician sailors who once landed there named the place for the town of Tyre / Tyros. A more probable explanation relates Touros to "touros", in Portuguese "bulls", referring either to a herd of bovines or a bull-shaped rock noticed by the early Portuguese settlers in the 17th century.

The flag of Touros was adopted on 23 March 1970, on the initiative of Dr. Orlando Flávio Junqueira Ayres, Judge of the Touros District. The flag is blue with a big white star in the middle. The star is charged with a shield representing the main agricultural resources of Touros, such as sisal and coconut palm. In the middle of the shield stands a lighthouse. A rustic raft ("jangada") represents fishing, one of the main sources of income for the municipality. - Municipal website



Ivan Sache, 30 August 2014