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Santa Cruz das Palmeiras, São Paulo State (Brazil)

Last modified: 2013-02-02 by ian macdonald
Keywords: sao paulo | santa cruz das palmeiras |
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Santa Cruz das Palmeiras, SP (Brazil) image by Dirk Schönberger, 26 January 2013
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Description of the Flag

A green flag with a white-red-white central stripe and a white triangle extending from the hoist bearing the municipal arms.

Official website at
Dirk Schönberger, 26 January 2013

The municipality of Santa Cruz das Palmeiras (29,974 inhabitants in 2010; 29,570 ha) is located in northeastern São Paulo State, 250 km of São Paulo. Santa Cruz das Palmeiras was founded by Manuel Valério do Sacramento, who built on 3 May 1876 a chapel dedicated to the Holy Cross ("Santa Cruz"). The village that developed nearby was called Santa Cruz dos Valérios. Countess Maria Eugênia Monteiro de Barros soon offered land from her Palmeiras Estate to increase the town; accordingly, the name of the place was changed to Santa Cruz das Palmeiras on 10 August 1881 The municipality of Santa Cruz das Palmeiras was established on 20 March 1885 and inaugurated on 3 May 1886. The name of the municipality was shortened to Palmeiras on 20 December 1905, a change that was reverted on 30 January 1944.

The flag of Santa Cruz das Palmeiras, designed by João Gabriel Fagundes Prado, is prescribed by Municipal Law No. 476 of 20 November 1971. The flag is green with a white-red-white horizontal stripe. Along the hoist is placed a white triangle charged with the municipal arms.

The flag follows the Portuguese heraldic traditions. The coat of arms represents the municipal government, while the triangle represents the town as the seat of the municipality. The stripe represents the municipal power spreading all over the municipal territory. The quarters represent the rural estates located on the municipal territory.

The coat of arms of Santa Cruz das Palmeiras, designed by Arcinóe Antonio Peixoto de Faria, is prescribed by Municipal Law No. 302 of 30 November 1965. "A Samnitic shield surmounted by an eight-towered mural crown argent, argent a cross patty gules voided throughout cantonned with four palm trees proper. The shield supported by two smoking chimneys gules supporting dexter a branch of coffee fructed proper and sinister a branch of cotton proper. Beneath the shield a scroll vert inscribed with the motto 'RECANTO DE FÉ, AMOR E TRABALHO' in letters argent."

The Samnitic shield, of French origin and the first style of shield introduced to Portugal, inherited in Brazil for the family and domain coats of arms as well, evokes the colonizing race and the main builders of our nation. The eight-towered mural crown argent stands for a second-rank municipality, seat of a "comarca". Argent is a symbol of friendship, equity, justice, innocence and purity - according to Guelfi*. The cross ("cruz") and the palm trees ("palmeiras") for a rebus of the municipality's name, making the arms canting. The palm tree is also a symbol of justice, through the balance of its foliage, and of force, through the constancy of its branches. It is also a symbol of victory, palm wreaths being used in games and sacred festivals in classical antiquity. The palm tree is also useful for mankind; Plutarch reports that the Babylonians had 360 different uses of the tree, one for each day of the year except for five days when it was harmful**. The cross patty gules voided throughout, aka the Sailors' Cross, the Christian symbol adopted by the Portuguese sailors, represents also the Christian faith of the people/ The smoking chimneys represent ceramic industry, one of the main sources of income for the municipality. Coffee and cotton are the main crops growing on the fertile and generous soil. The motto (Faith, Love and Work Corner) is a friendly invitation to everybody to visit the town. Vert is a symbol of hope, being the colour of greening fields in spring promising profuse harvests.

*Most probably, Count Piero Guelfi Camajani's "Dizionario araldico", published in 1940.
**I have not found Plutarch's primary quote. Indexes of Plutarch's work indeed list the 360 uses of the tree, but I am quite suspicious about the five ill-fated days, since the Babylonian year counted only 360 days.
Ivan Sache, 27 January 2013