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Caçapava, São Paulo State (Brazil)

Last modified: 2012-11-05 by ian macdonald
Keywords: sao paulo | caçapava |
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Caçapava, SP (Brazil) image by Dirk Schönberger, 6 October 2012

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About the Flag

A yellow upright cross on a green cross, with three red stars on each arm of the cross, and bearing the municipal arms in the centre on a yellow lozenge.

Official website at
Dirk Schönberger, 6 October 2012

The municipality of Caçapava (84,844 inhabitants in 2010; 36,990 ha) is located in the Paraíba Valley, 110 km east of São Paulo.

Caçapava is named for the Tupi-Guarani word "caassapaba", meaning a "forest path" or "a forest clearing". The town emerged from two old nuclei located 5 km from each other. The oldest one, today the borough of Caçapava Velha (Old Caçapava), grew around the Nossa Senhora d'Ajuda chapel, on an estate owned by Jorge Dias Velho, located on the Royal Trail linking São Paulo to Taubaté. The settlement was made a parish on 18 March 1813. On 3 May 1850, Provincial Law No. 01 transferred the seat of the parish and district to Capela Nova de São João Batista. The parish of Nossa Senhora d'Ajuda was made a "vila" on 14 April 1855 by Law No. 20, while the "cidade" of Caçapava was established in 1875.

The flag of Caçapava is green with a yellow cross and a yellow lozenge in the middle, charged with the municipal coat of arms. Three red stars are placed in each of the arms of the cross.

The cross is the symbol of the Christian faith of the inhabitants. The lozenge represents the seat of the municipality. The four stripes represent the municipal power exerted in the fourth quarters of the municipality (North, South, East and West). Red represents fighting the spirit, valor and intrepidity of the inhabitants. The three stars stand for the three towns of origin of the pioneers who founded Nossa Senhora d'Ajuda, the mother town of Caçapava - São João del Rei, Tiradentes and Campinas. Green symbolizes hope, honour and love for freedom.

Photo of the flag, 5 September 2012 

The coat of arms of Caçapava is prescribed by Law No. 1,332, adopted in 1969. A classical Flemish-Iberic shield, vert two mounds or issuant from a fess wavy argent. A chief gules a tower or charged above the gate with an escutcheon azure* and a pioneer's jack or. The shield surmounted by an eight-towered mural crown argent ports* sable. The shield surrounded dexter by a plant of rice and sinister by a branch of coffee. Below the shield a scroll gules inscribed with the toponym "CAÇAPAVA" surrounded by the years "1855" and "1875" in letters argent.

The style of the shield recalls the colonizers. The eight-towered mural crown stands for a second-rank town, seat of a "comarca". Azure is a symbol of nobleness, justice, zeal, loyalty and perseverance. The chief represents the pioneer's epic. which included the foundation of the towns of São João del Rei and Tiradentes (Minas Gerais) and Campinas (São Paulo). Red is a symbol of audacity, the essence of the pioneers. Or is a symbol of wealth, splendour, greatness and rule. Rice and coffee are the main present and past, respectively, crops** in the municipality. The dates on the scroll stand for the erection of Caçapava as a "vila" and a "cidade", respectively. Vert is a symbol of civility, joy, abundance and hope, as the fields greening in spring promise profuse harvest. Argent is a symbol of peace, work, friendship, prosperity, integrity and purity. The fess wavy represents river Paraíba do Sul, in the valley of which the town was built. The mountains represents the Serra da Mantiqueira and the Serra do Mar, which surrounds the Paraíba Valley.

*The description claims that the escutcheon is placed over the main port of the mural crown, while it is shown, on the drawing, over the port of the tower placed in chief. Moreover, the description seems to indicate that the escutcheon is charged a white cross of Christ surrounded by a scroll inscribed with the motto "ECCE AGNUS DEI", which is not shown on the image. The Cross would represent the religious faith on the inhabitants, while the motto would stand for St. John the Baptist, the town's patron saint.

**Rice is the main crop (980 ha) while coffee is now marginally grown (15 ha).
Ivan Sache, 4 November 2012