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Barra do Quaraí, Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil)

Last modified: 2020-07-13 by ian macdonald
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Barra do Quaraí, RS (Brazil) image by Ivan Sache, 12 July 2020

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The municipality of Barra do Quaraí (4,404 inhabitants in 2016; 105,440ha) forms the westernmost point of Rio Grande do Sul, on the Triple Border with Uruguay and Argentina. Barra do Quaraí is Rio Grande do Sul's most distant town from Porto Alegre (more than 700 km due west).
Barra do Quaraí is named for the confluence ("barra") of rivers Quaraí and Uruguai. Brasileira island (200 ha), was incorporated to the municipality of Uruguaiana on 21 December 1887. Uruguayan claims on the island started in the 1930s.

Barra do Quaraí was settled in 1814 by Portuguese border guards to prevent invasion by Spanish colonists. The international borders were eventually fixed in 1851.
Barra do Quaraí was granted the status of "vila" by Decree No. 7,199 issued on 31 March 1938.
The municipality of Barra do Quaraí was established by State Law No. 10,655 promulgated on 28 December 1995, separating from Uruguaiana.

The jerky ("charque", dried, salted beef meet) factory ("saladero") of Barra do Quaraí was established on the right bank of river Quaraí by Hipólito Lessa in 1887. Supplied by the local cattle-breeders from the three countries, the factory became the main industrial center in the region, employing up to 250 workers in 190!. Exportation of jerky to national and international markets was favored by the railway connecting Barra do Quaraí to Uruguaiana, built by the English company Brazil Great Southern and inaugurated on 20 August 1887. The factory's by-products were used by the Lagraña cheese factory, established in 1896, the tannery established on 1901 by Colonel José Lagraña, and the João Peró & Cia. factory, which manufactured the "Gladiador" candles. The jerky factory started to decline in 1917 when refrigeration systems were introduced to Rio Grande do Sul and superseded the traditional process of food conservation.

The railway bridge spanning over river Quaraí and connecting the town to Montevideo (Uruguay) was inaugurated in 1915 and opened to car traffic in 1952. The international Rio Quaraí bridge has been paralleling the old bridge since 19 February 1976.
Municipal website

Ivan Sache, 12 July 2020


The flag of Barra do Quaraí is prescribed by Municipal Law No. 68 promulgated on 1 September 1997.

Article 1.
§1. The municipal flag shall used the tinctures of the coat of arms prescribed by Law, as its basic colors: green (vert), yellow (or), blue (azure) and white.
§2. Green shall form the flag's lower part, yellow its central part and blue its upper part, in a pattern similar to that of the flag of Rio Grande do Sul; in the center, a white circle charged with the coat of arms.
§3. In the central field centered on the flag, the municipal coat of arms shall be reproduced in its original tinctures (mural crown for a "cidade", shield in proper proportions, scroll argent and supporters, one on the left and the other on the right).
§5. The municipal flag is composed of a rectangle divided in three stripes as described in §2 of this Article, in proportions 20 units on 14 units, the lower, green stripe covering 4 units, the central, yellow stripe, six units, and the upper, blue stripe, 4 units, all perpendicular.
§6. The reproduction of the coat of arms in the center of the flag shall be inscribed in a circle of 5 units on 4 units.
§9. The symbolic meaning of the colors of the municipal emblem follows that of the coat of arms. Green (vert) is a symbol of honor, civility, courtesy, glee, abundance, hope, tenderness, fecundity, hope in the future, triumph of life over death, and growth. Yellow (or) is a symbol of royalty, celebrity, splendor, greatness, command, force, wealth, sovereignty, and maturity. Blue (azure) is a symbol of justice, perseverance, zeal, loyalty, royalty, harmonization of communities in search of common objectives, rivers, beauty, recreation, infinity, and creative force. White is a symbol of peace, friendship, integration, work and harmony within the community.ão
Leis Municipais database

§5 describing the flag was amended by Municipal Law No. 280 promulgated on 27 May 1999.

§5. The flag of the municipality is described as follows:
I. The flag is composed of three panels: green, yellow and celestial blue, the green and the celestial blue parts forming right-angled triangles and the yellow part forming an ascending quadrilateral surrounded by the two triangles, the celestial blue right-angled triangle's right angle being placed in the flag's upper left corner, the green right-angled triangle's right angle being placed in the flag's lower right corner.
II. The flag shall feature in the center a vertical ellipse charged with the municipal coat of arms.
III. The two sides of the flag shall be exactly the same, mirroring each other.
Leis Municipais database


The coat of arms of Barra do Quaraí is prescribed by Municipal Law No. 67 promulgated on 1 September 1997.

Article 1.
§1. The coat of arms is composed of a Portuguese shield divided in the following parts; the upper part, azure, a golden yellow sun on a celestial blue background, indicative of the municipalities located on the borders with Spanish colonization, with stylized variation representing heroic, creative and ruling force, the rays representing light, warmth, glory, spirituality, abundance, divine kindness, as the provider of daylight and conscience and the symbol of good prognosis; in the central part, on a field azure and or, on a golden yellow and celestial blue background, a bridge representing a specific landmark and the history of the municipality; in the outer upper left part on a field and background golden yellow, the symbol of fraternity representing peace, friendship, solidarity and union; in the outer upper right part, on a field and background or, the symbol of food industry representing this past and present activity; in the outer lower right part, on a field and background leaf green (vert), the symbol of cattle-breeding in the municipality; in the intermediate units at the field's left and right on a field azure representing the local rivers; a Spanish crown argent with four towers, meaning that the place was granted the rank of municipality; as supporters, two rice plants, one at the left and the other at the right, with golden yellow panicles and flag leaves vert, symbolizing the main sources of income for the municipality; a scroll gules inscribed argent with the date of the plebiscite - 22/10/1995.
Leis Municipais database

Ivan Sache, 12 July 2020