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Palmas, Paraná (Brazil)

Last modified: 2012-03-03 by ian macdonald
Keywords: parana | palmas |
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[Flag of Palmas, PR (Brazil)] image by Dirk Schönberger, 7 September 2011
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About the Flag

Vertically divided red-white-green, with the municipal arms centred on the white field.

Official website at
Dirk Schönberger, 7 September 2011

The municipality of Palmas (42,887 inhabitants in 2010; 1,567 ha) is located in central southern Paraná, on the border with Santa Catalina, 380 km of Curitiba. Built at an elevation of 1,115m, Palmas has the oldest permanent settlements in Paraná and is the coldest town in the state, with an average temperature of 16 deg C. Palmas and the neighboring region ("Campos de Palmas", lit. "Palm groves") were discovered in 1720-1726 by Zacarias Dias Côrte, a pioneer from Curitiba seeking gold. The name of "Campos de Palmas" was coined by Major Atanagildo Pinto Martins, who commanded a Royal expedition in 1814-1819. The expedition was guided by the cacique Yongong, who explained that the region was well-known to the natives as Bituruna / Ibituruna, "The Highlands / The Palm Lands". However, the local historian Roselys Velloso Roderjan believes that the Major rather named the place "Campos de Palmas" as a tribute to the Count of Palma, then President of the São Paulo Province, to which today's Paraná belonged at the time. The parish of Palmas was established by Provincial Law No. 22 of 28 February 1855. Law No. 155, adopted in 1838, prescribed the building of a road linking Guarapuava to Palmas. Law No. 484 of 13 April 1877 made of the Vila do Senhor Bom Jesus dos Campos de Palmas the seat of a municipality, inaugurated on 14 April 1879. The Bishopric "Senhor Bom Jesus da Coluna dos Campos de Palmas", with its seat in Palmas, was established on 14 January 1958. The Palmas Question was a bone of contention between Brazil and Argentina, which both claimed sovereignty on the Campos de Palmas. The Treaty of Montevideo, signed on 25 January 1890 between Argentina and the Provisory Government of the new Brazilian Republic, shared the disputed area between the two countries; however, the Brazilian Congress rejected it in 1891, claiming that the Minister who had signed the treaty was legally not allowed to leave parts of the national territory to Argentina. Commissioned for arbitration, President of the USa Grover Cleveland stated on 5 February 1895 that the disputed territory should remain Brazilian. The town of Clevelândia, located in the disputed area, was named as a tribute to the American president.

The symbols of Palmas are prescribed by Municipal Law No. 458 of 21 May 1971. The symbols were drafted by His Grace Jorge Antônio da Costa Guimarães, Bishop of Palmas-Francisco Beltrão, while the details of the arms were completed by Josué Guimarães.

On the flag, red represents faith, associated to the cloak of Lord Jesus of the Column of the Palm Groves ("Bom Jesus da Coluna dos Campos de Palmas", - image), the patron saint of the town since 6 August 1838. The faith protected the early pioneers, who materially and spiritually developed the vast area limited by rivers Iguaçu and Uruguay. White is a symbol of peace, also representing frost and snow common in winter in the region. Green is a symbol of hope, representing the forests and fields.

The coat of arms is of classical shape and surmounted by a mural crown. It depicts the column of Lord Jesus of the Palm Groves, erected in front of the Bishop's palace, surrounded dexter by two araucarias, recalling the forests at the origin of the development of the local industry and that Palmas is one of the biggest producers of timber in southern Brazil, and sinister by a bovine, recalling that cattle-breeding was a pioneer activity in the region. The shield is surrounded by a branch of yerba maté (Ilex paraguariensis) and a palm. Yerba maté was one of the early sources of income while the native palm tree is the namesake of the town. The colors of the field are green and yellow.

On the image of the flag, the coat of arms is shown with little colour. The coat of arms in full colors does not seem to be used on the real flag, as (partially) seen on a photo taken in the Palmas Campus of the Paraná Federal Institute.

Ivan Sache, 20 February 2012