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Montenegro, Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil)

Last modified: 2020-07-31 by ian macdonald
Keywords: rio grande do sul | montenegro |
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Montenegro, RS (Brazil) image by Ivan Sache, 31 July 2020

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The municipality of Montenegro (59,415 inhabitants in 2010; 42,401 ha) is located 60 km of Porto Alegre. The municipality is composed of the districts of Montenegro (seat), Pesqueiro, Vendinha, Fortaleza, Costa de Serra and Santos Reis.

Montenegro was first settled in 1730-1740 by Antônio de Souza Fernando, Bartolomeu Gonçalves de Magalhães and Antônio José Machado de Araújo. The first house was erected in 1785 by José de Araújo Vilela; it was built of stone and covered with tiles, something very infrequent at the time. The house was later inhabited by Simas' son-in-law, Tristão José Fagundes, who is considered as the founder of the town of Montenegro.
Montenegro was first known as Porto das Laranjeiras, the 2nd district of Triunfo. State Law No. 630 promulgated on 18 October 1867 renamed it to São João de Monte Negro. This name refers to the São João hill, a black mount located in the center of the town, locally known to shelter a sleeping giant.

The municipality of São João de Monte Negro was established on 4 August 1873. Elevated to the rank of "cidade" by State Decree No. 2,026 issued on 14 October 1913, the municipality was renamed to São João de Montenegro, and, eventually, to Montenegro by Decree No. 7,199 issued on 31 March 1938.

The river port of Montenegro, designed in 1904 by Álvaro de Moraes, was a main place of disembarkation for colonists coming from Porto Alegre and heading to the new colonies set up in the highlands.
The railway station inaugurated in 1910 was the reference site of the trade roads heading to Porto Alegre from Santa Maria, Uruguaiana and the states of Paraná and São Paulo. Completely revamped in 1940, the station is now the town's Cultural Station, housing the municipal painting collection.
The Mauricio Cardoso power plant, inaugurated on 22 May 1938, once supplied the towns of Montenegro, Porto dos Pereiras, Porto do Maratá, Pareci Novo and São Sebastião do Caí with electricity produced by coal and firewood combustion. Elder remember that their houses quaked when the plant was operated, except on Saturday when it was closed. The plant, eventually closed in 1955, is now used as the seat of the Municipal Chamber.
Tannin industry, based on black wattle plantations, was established in Montenegro in 1946.
Municipal website
Ivan Sache, 31 July 2020


The flag and arms of Montenegro are prescribed by Municipal Law No. 1,897 promulgated on 15 September 1971.

Article 6.
The municipal flag of Montenegro, designed by the heraldist Arcinoé Antonio Peixoto de Faria, shall be quartered by a cross, with blue quarters formed by four white stripes superimposed with red stripes of one unit, arranged two by two in the horizontal and vertical dimensions, superimposed by a central white lozenge charged with the municipal coat of arms.

§1. In compliance with the Portuguese and heraldic traditions, and their inherited canons and rules, municipal flags have to be divided in eight, six, four or three quarters, the flag being here quartered by a cross symbolizing the Christian spirit of Montenegro's people.
§2. The coat of arms applied on the flag represents the municipal government while the white lozenge on which it is applied represents the town as the municipal seat. The stripes represent the spread of municipal power all over the territory, the quarters represent the rural estates scattered over the municipal territory.

Article 7.
In compliance with heraldic rules, the municipal flag shall have the official dimensions adopted for the national flag, 14 units in width on 20 units in length.

Article 19.
The coat of arms of Montenegro, designed by Valter Spaldinn and revised by the heraldist Arcinoé Antonio Peixoto de Faria, is described as follows:

A Samnit shield surmounted by an eight-towered mural crown argent. On a field argent divided by fess wavy azure an anchor gules surrounded by two oranges proper. A chief azure a cross argent outlined gules surrounded by the Latin words "Agnus Dei". The shield supported dexter and sinister by smoking chimneys gules charged in base with cogwheels argent and branches of black wattle proper. Beneath the shield a scroll gules inscribed in letters argent the toponym "MONTENEGRO" surrounded by years "1867" and "1873".

The coat of arms has the following symbolic interpretation:
a) The Samnit shield, used to represent the arms of Montenegro, the first style of shield introduced to Portugal under French influence, was inherited by Brazilian heraldry to evoke the colonizing race and main builder of the nation;
b) The mural crown surmounting the shield is the universal symbol of coat of arms of domains; argent (silver) with eight towers, five visible in perspective, it classifies the town as of second rank or county seat;
c) Argent (silver) is an heraldic symbol of peace, friendship, work and prosperity, purity, and religious feeling.
d) The fess wavy blue (azure) that divides the shield's field represents river Caí, whose right bank was before 1867 the site of emergence of a settlement named Porto das Laranjeiras, subsequently transformed into the town of Montenegro; this is represented on the arms by the anchor gules (red) placed in the center and surrounded by two oranges proper, recalling the primitive toponym "Porto das Laranjeiras" [Oranges' Port].
e) Blue (azure) is a symbol of justice, nobleness, perseverance, zeal and loyalty; gules (red) is a symbol of dedication, patriotic love, audacity, intrepidity, courage, and valiance.
f) In chief azure (blue), a cross argent (silver) surrounded by the Latin words "Agnus Dei" forms the symbol of São João de Montenegro, established as part of the municipality of Triunfo on 18 October 1967.
g) As outer ornaments, smoking chimneys gules (red) charged in base with cogwheels argent (silver) and branches of black wattle proper, representing tannin industry, which is one of the main sources of income for the municipality, represented by the big tannin factories: Tanac S/A, Tanino Mimosa S/A and Tanino Montenegro, which yielded to the town the nickname of "Taninocap - Tannin Metropolis".
h) On a scroll gules (red) in letters argent (silver), the identifying toponym "MONTENEGRO" surrounded by years "1867" for the creation of the parish and "1873" for political emancipation.

Symbolic meaning of the municipal coat of arms
[Skipped - totally redundant with the preceding paragraphs]
Municipal website


Ivan Sache, 31 July 2020