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Parati, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)

Last modified: 2010-10-23 by ian macdonald
Keywords: rio de janeiro | brazil | parati | stars: 3 (white) | coat of arms | festa do divino |
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Parati, RJ (Brazil) by Joseph McMillan

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About the Flag of Parati

The flag was adopted 12 August 1967. Red, white, and blue, are the colors that have traditionally decorated the houses of the city, today a national monument. The colors are arranged in three vertical stripes, with the coat of arms on the center. On the red stripe in the hoist, a large white star symbolizes the first district, and on the blue stripe two small stars symbolize the second and third districts. The stars are placed in a triangular form, recalling the strong influence of Freemasonry in the history of the municipality. The coat of arms was adopted 30 November 1960. Quarterly: 1st quarter green with an Indian feathered headdress above two crossed arrows, all gold (representing the original inhabitants, Indians of the the Guaina tribe); 2nd quarter red with a white elliptical stamp outlined in gold bearing the Portuguese royal arms surrounded by the word "Remédios," the first four letters reading from bottom to top to dexter of the shield and the last four reading from top to bottom on the sinister (from the seal used in colonial times to authenticate acts of the municipal government; Our Lady of Remedies has been patron saint of the town since 1646); 3rd quarter, divided vertically white and blue with the outline of the municipality overall in yellow, on the blue field a fish naiant silver (for the plentiful fishery of the surrounding waters); 4th quarter, blue with the corner of a colonial house and an iron rail (characteristic of the colonial-style houses that led to Parati's designation as a national monument). Supporters are a branch of coffee and a stalk of sugarcane. Red scroll inscribed 1660 Paraty 1844 (the dates Parati achieved town and city status respectively). The shield ensigned with a a silver mural crown with five towers visible, the center one charged with a red oval bearing a yellow fleur-de-lis (representing Our Lady of Remedies). With regard to the colors, gold is intended to signify strength, silver innocence, red intrepidity, blue serenity, and green abundance.
Joseph McMillan, 23 July 2002

Festa do Divino Flags

The Festa do Divino, or Feast of the Holy Ghost, is a religious festival brought from Portugal to colonial Brazil during the 18th Century. It is still celebrated in the old colonial town of Paraty, located on the coast of Rio de Janeiro State. Intrinsic to this festival is the use of special flags, which are illustrated at the Maria-Brazil web site; a description of the festival itself can be found at this site as well.
Ron Lahav, 14 May 2005

Festa do Divino is the local name for Pentecost in various sections of Brazil, primarily those settled by miners of Portuguese origin. It is short for Festa do Espírito Divino (or Divino Espírito Santo), Festival of the Divine Spirit. The festival seems to take a form similar to Carnaval, with a lord of misrule, costumed processions, etc.

Most of the pictures I've seen of this kind of "flag of the divine" are red (the color of Pentecost) with a royal (arched) crown. An elaborately embroidered "bandeira do divino" is paraded through the town, with stops at houses specially selected for the honor. A new flag is made each year, and being given the task is considered a great honor. These flags are described as showing a white dove (symbol of the Holy Spirit) on a red field, sometimes with the dove surrounded by seven gold rays symbolizing the seven gift of the Holy Spirit.

The anti-government forces in the 1896-97 Canudos rebellion--one of the seminal events in Brazilian history--are said to have used a "bandeira do divino" as their flag. Government reports of the rebel force describe it as having in the front ranks a "bandeira do divino" and a wooden cross.

There is no standard design for this flag, but it should be possible to draw a typical flag.
Joe McMillan, 14 May 2005

A site on Brazilian folklore, gives the following account of the origin of this festival: "The Festa do Divino was instituted in Portugal in the first years of the 14th century by Queen Isabel, wife of Dom Diniz, when she constructed a Church of the Holy Spirit in Alenquer. In Brazil, it was popularized in the 16th century and is still celebrated in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Paraná, Santa Catarina, Maranhão, Amazonas, Espírito Santo and Goiás [states] with chanted Mass, procession, leilão de prendas [lit. "auction of gifts," but does it have some other idiomatic meaning?] and folkloric displays peculiar to each region. In preparation for the festival, a "folia" [dictionary says "jollification, merry-making;" cognate with folly?] takes place, with the flag of the Divine [a bandeira do Divino], for fund- raising, and bandstands, stages, and a throne are decorated for the "Emperor of the Divine." This term refers to a child or adult who, during the festival, exercises magisterial powers, even extending in some regions of Portugal and Brazil to liberating common prisoners. The festival of the Divine, a movable religious feast, lasts ten days and ends on Pentecost Sunday in the month of May."
Joe McMillan, 15 May 2005