Last modified: 2022-03-05 by ian macdonald
Keywords: parana | mercedes |
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The municipality of Mercedes (5,536 inhabitants in 2019; 20,086 ha) is
located on the border with Paraguay, here Itaipu International Lake, 620 km west
Mercedes was established in 1952 by Empresa Colonizadora Rio Paraná S. A.-Maripá, a colonizing company headquartered in Porto Alegre (Rio Grande do Sul). The district of Mercedes was established, within the municipalities of Toledo and Foz do Iguaçu, by Municipal Law No. 142 promulgated on 23 March 1958, and transferred to the newly formed municipality of Marechal Cāndido Rondon by State Law No. 4,245 promulgated on 25 July 1960. Renamed to Nova Mercedes by State Law No. 5,645 promulgated on 3 October 1967, the district was elevated to the municipality of Mercedes by State Law No. 9,370 promulgated on 13 September 1990.
The origin of the name of Mercedes is not clearly established. The early colonists claimed that Pedro Dalprá, representative of Colonizadora Maripá, planted a wooden stick at the junction of two trails on 11 November 1952, fixed a plaque inscribed "Here is Mercedes", and built a hut. Other refer to a more romantic explanation alluding to a young Paraguayan girl called Mercedes, who was the daughter of a lumberjack owner of a store. Mercedes became soon popular among visitors of the place, who said "We go to Mercedes'".
The flag and arms of Mercedes are prescribed by Municipal Law No. 28 promulgated on 15 July 1993.
The municipal flag of Mercedes was designed by Angela K. Vanderlinde, winner of a public contest organized by the municipal administration. It was adopted to municipal heraldry by vexillologist Reynaldo Valascki, as follows.
The municipal flag of Mercedes shall be divided into three equal rectangles: two white (argent) rectangles in the upper and lower part, and, in the center, a red (gules) rectangle. In the center of the rectangle in the upper part is displayed a sun with seven rays. Between the rays, the letters that form the name "MERCEDES".
§1. In compliance with the tradition of Portuguese heraldry, whose canons and rules were inherited, municipal flags shall be divided into eight, six, four or three parts, using the colors of the field of the coat of arms.
Symbology. The municipal flag of Mercedes has three colors: red (gules), white (argent) and yellow (or).
a) Red symbolizes, in a stylized way, the soil of the municipality of Mercedes, the rural properties that are the base of the municipality's income, with agriculture and breeding as the sources of municipal income, in a safe development and progress. In heraldry, red (gules) is a symbol of dedication, patriotic love, audacity, intrepidity, courage and valiance.
b) Yellow (or) represented by the sun, represents production proper, that is production of resources for the municipality of Mercedes. This production is not only material but relies also on cultural, social and religious values. The seven sun rays (a number representing perfection) represent through its shining the harmonious development of all the sectors and potentials of the municipality, as well as the irradiation of municipal power to all the parts of the territory.
c) White (argent) symbolizes in heraldry peace, friendship, work, prosperity, purity and religious spirit. It has also a specific meaning: the municipality of Mercedes, to reach its development, shall have unarmed minds, conducive to reasoning, since rivalry can lead only to disintegration of the possibilities of progress and social welfare. White also reflects the only possibility of survival in the future, an unpolluted environment rationally used, unarmed mind spiritually in permanent symphony with the Creator of everything, God.
Article 7. In compliance with heraldic rules, the municipal flag shall have the official dimensions prescribed for the national flag, 14 units in width on 20 units in length.
Ivan Sache, 5 February 2022