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São Luiz Gonzaga, Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil)

Last modified: 2020-08-08 by ian macdonald
Keywords: rio grande do sul | são luiz gonzaga |
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São Luiz Gonzaga, RS (Brazil) image by Ivan Sache, 5 August 2020

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The municipality of São Luiz Gonzaga (34,556 inhabitants in 2010; 129,584 ha) is located 500 km north-west of Porto Alegre. The municipality is composed of the districts of São Luiz Gonzaga (seat), Afonso Rodrigues (est. by Municipal Law No. 372 promulgated on 20 June 1960), Capela São Paulo (est. by Municipal Law No. 2,352 promulgated on 18 March 1992), Rincão de São Pedro (est. by Municipal Law No. 477 promulgated on 26 February 1964), Rincão dos Pintos (est. by Municipal Law No. 3,873 promulgated on 3 September 2001), Santa Inês (est. by Municipal Law No. 408 promulgated on 18 October 1951) and São Lourenço das Missões (est. by Municipal Act No. 4 issued on 14 June 1921, renamed to Missioneiro by State Decree-Law No. 7,199 promulgated on 31 March 1938, to Quarepoti by State Decree No. 7,842 issued on 30 June 1939, to Missioneiros by State Decree-Law No. 720 promulgated on 29 December 1944 and, eventually, to São Lourenço das Missões by Municipal Law No. 77 promulgated on 20 December 1950).

São Luiz Gonzaga was established as a reduction in 1687 by Father Miguel Fernandes, who came from Conceição (now in Argentina) with 3,000 christened Indians. The new town was composed of six quarters of 100 m in side arranged around a central square. On the model of the Spanish town, São Luiz Gonzaga was regulated by Ordinances.
After the expelling of the Jesuits, the region was fiercely disputed between Spain and Portugal, being eventually incorporated to Portugal in 1801. Quite decadent, São Luiz Gonzaga was sacked in 1828 and 1829 by the Uruguayan warlord Frutuoso Rivera. Several abandoned houses were re-settled in 1835 by families fleeing the frontline of the Ragamuffin War.

São Luiz Gonzaga was elevated to the 5th district of Santo Ângelo by Provincial Law No. 431 promulgated on 8 January 1859. The municipality of São Luiz Gonzaga was established by Law No. 1,238 promulgated on 3 June 1880, separating from Santo Ângelo and São Borja, and inaugurated on 7 January 1881.
The town owes its modern development to Senator Pinheiro Machado, who pushed the connection of the missionary region with the rest of Brazil via roads, railways and bridges. His death in 1915 inaugurated a new era of stagnation for São Luiz Gonzaga.
Municipal website

Ivan Sache, 5 August 2020


A horizontal tricolour, deep yellow-white-red with the municipal arms in the centre and four yellow stars on each side.

Official website at and an unofficial site of the camara de vereadores (municipal council) is at
Dirk Schönberger, 4 April 2012

The flag of São Luiz Gonzaga is prescribed by Municipal Law No. 824 promulgated on 22 October 1974.

Article 1.
The flag of the municipality of São Luiz Gonzaga has for official colors gold, white and red, arranged in three horizontal stripes, representing:
a) Gold, the soil resources;
b) White, the peace message conveyed by people;
c) Red, the Bible and faith affirmation of people.

§1. The gold, white and red colors shall be arranged in the flag's upper, median and lower stripes, respectively.
§2. In the center of the flag's white stripe is placed the coat of arms of the municipality; in the arms' lateral parts are placed golden stars, assigned to each side, matching the number of districts in the municipality.

Article 2.
The flag's features shall obey the following rules.
I. The flag's width is 12 units.
II. The flag's length is 18 units.
III. The width of each stripe is 4 units.
IV. The coat of arms shall be 3 units in width, leaving 0.5 unit above and below it in the white stripe.
V. The stars shall be five-pointed, in dimension 0.5 unit, distant from the coat of arms and from each other by 1 unit, centered and placed horizontally on the white stripe.
Leis Municipais database

The coat of arms of São Luiz Gonzaga is prescribed by Municipal Law No. 724 promulgated on 29 November 1971.

Article 1.
A Portuguese shield horizontally divided azure and vert (blue and green). In chief or a missionary (Lorraine) cross recording the missionary foundation by the Jesuits in the 17th century. In base in saltire 2 + 1 a horse, an oxen and a sheep recalling the introduction of the first bovines, horses and sheep in the missionary times by Father Cristovaõ de Mendonca Orelhano [...]. The shield supported by a wheat plant proper fructed or and a soybean plant proper fructed representing the agricultural achievements of the municipality. A scroll gules (red) charged with the words "SÃO LUIZ GONZAGA" argent. The shield surmounted by a four-towered mural crown or.

The colors represent:
- blue (azure), the sky that covers the municipality, the people's nobleness, [...], and the region's beauty;
- vert (green), abundance, liberty and aspiration to a better future, and the fertile fields;
- gules (red), valor, intrepidity and people's fighting spirit;
- or, wealth, force, faith and constancy;
- argent, kindness and population's fairness.
To summarize, the coat of arms represents the history of São Luiz Gonzaga, its missionary origin as part of the Seven Mission's Settlements of Rio Grande do Sul, cattle-breeding (horse, bovine and sheep), agriculture (wheat and soybean), the national colors, green, gold and blue, and the colors of Rio Grande do Sul, red, gold (yellow).
Leis Municipais database

The number of districts to be represented by as many stars fluctuated with time: 5 in 1911, 6 in 1920, 9 in 1933, 8 in 1939, 10 in 1950, 13 in 1963, 7 in 1988, 10 in 1995, 6 in 1999 and 7 in 2005. Oddly enough, the number of eight stars was retained while there were 13 districts in 1974, the year of adoption of the flag. The number of stars was probably never changed since the adoption of the flag.


The flag is also used, seemingly in limited circumstances, without the stars.

São Luiz Gonzaga, RS (Brazil) image by Ivan Sache, 5 August 2020


The flag is also used with the central stripe larger.

São Luiz Gonzaga, RS (Brazil) image by Ivan Sache, 5 August 2020


Ivan Sache, 5 August 2020

1ª Cavalgada da Mulher Missioneira

São Luiz Gonzaga, RS (Brazil) image by Ivan Sache, 5 August 2020

The 1st Missionary Women's Cavalcade was organized on 7 March 2020 by the municipality and the local traditionalist associations.

The flag of the event is yellow with the event's emblem in the center, which features the black silhouette of a riding woman in front of a white missionary cross.


Ivan Sache, 5 August 2020