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Barão, Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil)

Last modified: 2012-03-28 by ian macdonald
Keywords: rio grande do sul | barão |
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Barão, RS (Brazil) image by Dirk Schönberger, 1 January 2012

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Description of the Flag

A horizontal blue-white-red tricolour, with the municipal arms in a white central disk.

Official website at
Dirk Schönberger, 19 December 2011

In contrast with the common use, the municipal website of Barão provides detailed information on the municipal symbols (drawing, photo and legal document), which is worth being explored.

The municipality of Barão (5,742 inhabitants in 2010; 124.497 sq. km) is located 100 km of Porto Alegre. According to Rubem Neis, the name of the municipality recalls Baron (Portuguese, "barão") Luiz Henrique von Holleben (1832-1894), born in Thuringia (Germany) as Ludwig Heinrich von Holleben, one of the early German colonists of the area. The settlement founded by the baron at the colonization front was originally known as something like "At the Baron's". Another baron, Francisco Pedro de Abreu, Baron of Jacuí, is given as the origin of the name of the municipality by the historian Campos Neto. Anyway, Barão was early settled by German and Italian colonists, subsequently joined by Swiss, French, Dutch, Bolivian and Portuguese immigrants. The development of Barão actually started on 1 December 1909 with the inauguration of the railway station, located on the Porto Alegre-Caxias do Sul line; the station was eventually closed on 10 June 1979.

Barão originally belonged to the municipality of São João de Montenegro; on 1 December 1914, the seat of the 4th district of the municipality was transferred from Badensberg to Barão, whose status was upgraded to "Vila" by Municipal Decision No. 34. In 1963, Barão was made a 2nd district; the villagers, however, rejected a proposal of municipal emancipation. A new plebiscite organized on 24 April 1988 approved the emancipation, which took effect on 12 May 1988 by Decree- Law No. 8,65.
- Municipal website

The municipal symbols (coat of arms, flag and anthem) of Barão are prescribed by the Municipal Law No. 047, adopted on 28 August 1989.

Chapter II
Section II
a) Municipal flag
Article 6. The municipal flag of Barão is "of tierced shape, with its field divided into three equally proportional parts divided by two horizontal parallels" (that is, simply, horizontally divided into three equal stripes!).
Colors: at the bottom, a red stripe, "pure dark cadmium" [cadmium is primarily known to painters for yellow, but other shades, including red, also use it, symbolizing strength (energy), victory, audacity and highness. At the center, a white stripe representing peace and serenity (purity, integrity, obedience, firmness, vigilance and eloquence). At the top, a blue stripe representing justice, zeal, truth, loyalty, charity and beauty.
Paragraph 1. The style of the flag, its composition and colors shall follow the international norms of heraldry. In the middle of the flag, on its horizontal and vertical axes, is placed the coat of arms,as the symbol of the municipal government.
Articles 7-17 prescribe in great details the rules of use of the municipal flag.

Chapter III
Section III
b) Municipal coat of arms
Article 19. The municipal coat of arms of Barão is based on the international norms of heraldry. It was researched and designed by the local artist Sérgio Afonso Flach.
- Basic element: the shield.
The shield used on the coat of arms of Barão is commonly used for the [Brazilian] municipalities, a Samnite shield of Portuguese origin, as a tribute to the founder of "Vila Barão", to our origins and to the preservation of our historical memory.
Content: in chief, agroindustrial products of main economical significance, in the most noble part of the shield, corresponding to the human face, the site of reason: American potato, gear, cheese and chickens, in "negative" [white] on gules (pure dark cadmium red). Per pale, a Brazilian pine, typical of the region, on or (pure cadmium yellow). The pine in relation with a human face placed below its eyes, nose and lips, which represent vigilance and honor, "patronato" [?], and "ponto de pretensão", respectively [This sentence is very obscure to me]. Gold, wealth, power of light. The Brazilian pine (Araucaria angustifolia) symbolizes a sentinel through its elegant shape and majesty. In base dexter, a small house as a genuine representation of the rural landscape of the municipality of Barão. In base sinister, a haystack and, in base, a "palo" cart, representing two characteristic elements of our smallholders' life. All the elements in "negative" [white] on green, representing hope, faith, friendship, commitment and respect. On the horizon line, per fess, the skyline of the region.
On the lateral sides of the shield, dexter, figs with green leaves, sinister, a bunch of grapes. These two crops are commonly grown by the inhabitants of the municipality of Barão [moreover, the fig is the official fruit of the municipality].
Below the shield a scroll per fess with the writing "12 de maio 1988" (12 May 1988). Black outline and letters. Dexter and sinister two green branches with geranium, the official flower of the municipality [prescribed by Law No. 025 of 13 April 1989] , gules. The shield ensigned with an eight-towered mural crown. the universal symbol of rule, doctrine and predication, virtue and strength. Yellow outlined in black, showing in perspective only five towers. Articles 20-22 prescribe the rules of use of the municipal coat of arms. - Municipal website

The official website shows both a drawing of the flag and the photo of its official unveiling in 1990. On the real flag, there is no white disk around the arms, which are placed directly on the colored background of the upper and lower stripe. Moreover, the figs and the grapes flanking the shield are white instead of purple. Such a version of the coat of arms is indeed presented on the old municipal website, together with the "erroneous" flag ( The Law does not prescribe a white disk around the arms neither does it state the color of the fruits.

Ivan Sache, 1 January 2012

A photograph at shows a flag with no disk. Which should we follow?
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 21 March 2012

 According to the law about the municipal symbols (at both variants seem to be valid. As far as I understand the text, the disc in the center is not explicitly defined, so the photographs seems to be "more true" to the law.

However, the variant with the disc seems to be easier to manufacture, at least if you assume some manufacturing methods (sewing the bands together and stitching or gluing the coat of arms onto the flag). A regular shape like a disc is much easier to handle than some complex shape like a full coat of arms. So I would think the variant is a "commonly used variant" (the pattern quite often occurs with the Brazilian municipal flags).
Dirk Schönberger, 21,22 March 2012