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São Fidélis, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)

Last modified: 2012-04-07 by ian macdonald
Keywords: rio de janeiro | são fidélis |
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image by Francisco de Assis Seixas, 4 June 2006

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About the Flag

A plain green flag, with the municipal coat of arms in the center.

The municipality of São Fidélis (37,553 inhabitants in 2010; 1,028 sq. km) is located in northern Rio de Janeiro State, 350 km of Rio de Janeiro. The municipality is made of the town of São Fidélis proper and of the districts of Ipuca, Pureza (originally, Timbó; renamed by Decree No. 641 of 15 December 1938), Colônia (originally, Dois Rios; renamed by State Decree-Law no. 392A of 31 March 1938) and Cambiasca. São Fidélis emerged around a chapel dedicated to St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen*, built at the end of the 18th century and superseded by a church in 1809. The settlement was established a commune on 19 April 1850, a "vila" on 5 March 1855, and eventually a "cidade", by Decree No. 1,553 of 3 December 1870, seceding from Campos dos Goytacazes. During the coffee boom, São Fidélis was a wealthy town often visited by Emperor Peter II. The "coffee baron" Antônio Joaquim da Silva Pinto (1826-1884), was made on 10 July 1867 Baron of São Fidélis by Emperor Peter II; he was also Commander of the Imperial Order of the Rose and of the Order of Christ (Portugal). João Manoel de Souza, Baron of Vila Flor is credited the establishment of the "vila" of São Fidélis; he was also Commander of the Order of Christ and Colonel commanding the 15th Infantry Battalion of the Rio de Janeiro Province.

The flag of São Fidélis is prescribed by the Municipal Law adopted on 13 September 1972. The flag is green, in size 14 units x 20 units, charged in the middle with the municipal coat of arms designed by Alberto Lima and approved by Resolution No. 12 of 11 April 1963. 

*St Fidelis of Sigmaringen (1577-1622) was a Capuchin friar martyred in the Counter-Reformation in Switzerland - Catholic Encyclopedia

The coat of arms of São Fidélis is made of a Portuguese shield recalling the Lusitanian origin of the country. The church is a tribute to the Capuchin friars who built the São Fidélis church in 1799-1808. The feather crown and arrows stand for the Coroados and Puris natives, who lived there. The Franciscan-Capuchin emblem and the two stars represent Friars Victório de Cambiasca and Angelo Maria de Lucca*, the founders of the municipality. The five stars over the Sapateiro Range stand for the five pioneers ("sapateiros") Pedro Dias, ângelo Severo da Silva, Faustino Cabral, Luiz Coelho and an unknown pioneer. The fess wavy represents river Paraíba. The shield is surrounded by a sugar cane and a maize plants, the main crops in the municipality. The scroll is charged with the years of establishment of the commune ("1840", for Provincial Law No. 177 of 2 April 1840) and of the "cidade" ("1870", for Provincial Law No. 1,533 of 3 December 1870)/ Or represents force, argent represents candor, red (gules) represents intrepidness, blue (azure) represents serenity, green (vert) represents hope and black (sable) represents wisdom. 

*The two Capuchin friars Victório de Cambiasca (1750-1815) and Angelo Maria de Lucca (d. 1811) were commissioned by Vice-Roy of Brazil Luiz de Vasconcellos e Souza to christen the natives living near the town São Salvador dos Campos dos Goitacás; one century earlier, French missionaries had christened the Guarulhos living in the same area.

Ivan Sache, 18 March 2012