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Paso de los Libres Department, Corrientes Province, Argentina

Last modified: 2021-12-24 by rob raeside
Keywords: paso de los libres department | corrientes province | argentina |
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Paso de los Libres Municipality

[municipal flag] image by Ivan Sache, 7 May 2017

The municipality of Pasos de los Libres (43,805 inhabitants in 2001) is located 360 km of Corrientes, on the border with Brazil, here river Uruguay. Pasos de los Libres is joined to the Brazilian border town of Uruguaiana (Rio Grande do Sul) by the road and railway international bridge "Getúlio Vargas-Agustín Pedro Justo".

Pasos de los Libres was established on the territory of the old St. George's Estate, located near the confluence of rivers Yatay and Uruguay. The estate was named for a mission's chapel consecrated on 23 April (St. George's Day) 1742 by the Jesuit Father José Gómez. After the suppression of the Jesuits missions, the region was reorganized in 1803 as the "Gobernación de Guaraníes y Tapes". In 1810, the territory, known as Patriolengas, was incorporated to the Misiones government, depending on Buenos Aires, and, subsequently, to the Corrientes Province. Provincial Decree of 2 September 1834 allowed the sale of the old St. George's Estate; the new owner of the domain, Blas Marquez, renamed the place San Jorge.

The name of Paso de los Libres ("Passage of the Freemen") recalls an historical event of the struggle that opposed the Corrientes patriots to Juan Manuel de Rosas, Governor - some say, Dictator - of Buenos Aires. On 31 March 1843, Joaquín Madariaga (1799-1848), exiled in Brazil since the defeat of Arroyo Grande (6 December 1842), crossed back river Uruguay with 108 patriots; joined by other troops, the "Freemen" eventually seized Corrientes on 13 April 1843. After the victory of Laguna Brava (6 May 1843), Madariaga was appointed governor of the Corrientes Province on 1 August 1843. The governor officially founded the town of Paso de los Libres on 12 September 1843. Madariaga was expelled by Rosas' partisans in 1847; the new provincial government renamed the town Restauración on 27 January 1848. Governor Miguel Ignacio Lagraña eventually re-established the town's original name on 28 February 1864.

The flag of Paso de los Libres is celeste blue with a shield-shaped emblem in the middle.

The flag of was unveiled on 12 September 2012, during the celebration of the 169th anniversary of the foundation of the town.

The organization of a public contest to design the flag was suggested by members of the local branch of Sociedad Argentina de Escritores (SADE - Argentine Writers' Society) and approved by the Municipal Council.

The contest was announced on 24 August 2012. Article 3 of the contest's rules prohibits the use of "alphanumeric typography and irreversible objects"; it further recommends to use symbols "representing the local and foreign ethnic races, cultural events, the town's border location and its contribution to the provincial and national history". The flag should have a white or celeste blue background, and should not include more than five colours. The dimensions of the flag should be the same as for the Corrientes Province flag [2:3]. The deadline for proposal submission was fixed to 24 August 2012.

The jury was made of the Director of Culture of the municipal administration, a history teacher, an heraldry specialist, a representative of SADE, and a visual arts professor.

Eight proposals were submitted. The jury selected the design proposed by San José College, which was subsequently validated by the Municipal Council.

The shield has a thin red-yellow-white-green-blue border. These colours represent the main countries of origin of the foreign settlers: Spain, Italy, France, Lebanon and Brazil

In the base is placed a plant with green alternated leaves, growing from a red mound, representing the locals. Behind the plant are two arms touching each other in the middle of the shield; the left arm is red and yellow, while the right arms is celeste blue and white. The two joint arms, in the colours of Brazil and Argentina, respectively, represent the international bridge, the first mark of material union between American peoples.

Over the bridge is a rising sun made of 108 red stylized birds. The 108 birds represent the 108 freemen for whom the town was named.
Ivan Sache, 05 Aug 2013

Ivan Sache, 7 May 2017

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