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Matias Barbosa, Minas Gerais (Brazil)

Last modified: 2012-03-17 by ian macdonald
Keywords: minas gerais | matias barbosa |
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[Flag of Matias Barbosa, Minas Gerais image by Dirk Schönberger, 3 August 2010
Source: adapted from

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About the Flag

A green flag, bearing a large yellow diamond, with the municipal arms in the center.

Official site at
The flag was adapted from andregoth's data at
Dirk Schönberger
, 2 August 2010

The municipality of Matias Barbosa (13,435 inhabitants in 2010; 157 sq. km) is located in southern Minas Gerais, 300 km of Belo Horizonte.

Matias Barbosa originates in a domain ("sesmaria") granted in 1709, therefore one of the oldest in the region, to Mathias Barboza da Silva. The "Caminho Novo" (New Trail) was inaugurated the same year. The "Registro" (tax post) of Matias Barbosa was a mandatory stopping place where tax on gold and diamond transported to Rio de Janeiro was perceived. After Barboza's death, the tax post was sold to Colonel Manuel do Valle Amado, who increased it. The "União & Indústria" company built the first macadamized road in South America to ship coffee, with Matias Barbosa as a post for carts and stagecoaches. The carts were succeeded by the trains of the Imperial Railway, with a station built in Matias Barbosa and inaugurated by Emperor Peter II in 1875. The urban nucleus of the town moved near the station.

The symbols of Matias Barbosa, designed by Pr. Newton Barbosa de Castro, are prescribed by Municipal Law No. 663 of 21 September 2001, superseding Law No. 240 of 27 March 1986.

The shield is Portuguese or Iberic, as use predominantly in the civic heraldry in Brazil, reflecting our remote Lusitanian origins. The chief is made of mountains wavy vert (green) symbolizing the local landscape. The fess or (golden yellow) recalls the "Caminho Novo" (New Trail), the first way of communication in the region, linking Rio de Janeiro to the mining districts. The chief is charged in the middle with a chapel representing the chapel dedicated to Nossa Senhora da Conceição do Registro do Caminho Novo, recalling the tax office that existed in Manuel do Vale Amado's estate, then a mandatory place of tax perception. In 1781, he was granted the office of Commander of the Patrol of the Caminho Novo, for three years. The facade of the chapel is depicted, the single and last remaining building from the 18th century in the region, built in 1777. The "inconfidentes" rebels, including Colonel Francisco de Paula Freire de Andrade. used to pray in the chapel on their way to Rio. The chief is charged dexter with an escutcheon argent charged with a pioneer ("bandeirante")'s cloak gules (red) as a tribute to the pioneers who built the "Caminho Novo". The chief is charged sinister with an escutcheon argent charged with a triangle gules (red) recalling Tiradentes, who owned three estates in the region, and the rebels who stayed overnight in Manuel do Vale Amado's estate and prayed in the chapel.

The field is gules with a depiction of the Zamba bridge argent as it was originally made (with wooden superstructure) and with stone pillars also as it was originally). The bridge was built for the Parabuina road by Henrique Guilherme Fernando Halfeld. It was also used by the road built by the "União e Indústria" company, owned by Mariano Procópio Ferreira Lage. The bridge symbolizes two roads that contributed, together with the "Caminho Novo", to the development of the region. On the bridge is a cart transporting coffee for the "União e Indústria" company, drawn by two mules, the whole or (golden yellow) to highlight coffee as the main resource of the region, or "green gold".

River Paraibuna is represented as fesses wavy sable (black) and argent. According to Antenor Nascentes, Paraibuna ("para" + "iwa" + "uma") means in native language "a worthless, dark river". The river was indeed used as a main way of communication. The base of the shield is vert (green), charged with a beef cattle's head argent, surrounded by two maize cobs fructed or (golden yellow). The whole symbolizes agriculture and cattle-breeding on a greening land, watered by the Paraibuna, conducive to agriculture and cattle-breeding.

The shield is surmounted by an eight-towered mural crown argent, the heraldic symbols of municipalities with the rank of "cidade". The gates gules represent the commitment of the town to welcome everybody looking for a safe shelter. The shield is supported by branches of coffee fructed, recalling the most important economical activity in the region. The scroll gules (red) is inscribed in or (golden yellow), dexter, "1709", the year Matias Barbosa was granted the piece of land on which the municipality named for him would develop, sinister, "7/9/1923", the date of secession from Juiz de Fora, in the middle, the name of the municipality. - Municipal website

Ivan Sache, 5 February 2012