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Blumenau, Santa Catarina (Brazil)

Last modified: 2021-12-11 by ian macdonald
Keywords: santa catarina | blumenau | stripes: 4 (red) | stripes: 3 (white) | coat of arms |
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[Flag of Blumenau, SC (Brazil)] image by Ivan Sache, 1 November 2021

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The municipality of Blumenau (357,199 inhabitants in 2019, therefore the 3rd most populated municipality in the state and the 8th in Brazil's Region South; 51,980 ha) is located 130 km north-west of Florianópolis.
The municipality is composed of the town of Blumenau and of the districts of Vila Itoupava (est. by State Law No. 941 promulgated on 31 December 1943) and Grande Garcia (est. by Complementary Law No. 251 promulgated on 17 December 1999).

Blumenau was established in 1950 by the German chemist Otto Blumenau (1819-1899). The first colonists settled the place on 2 September 1850. Originally owned by its founder, Blumenau was taken over in 1860 by the Brazilian Empire, which established a colony with Dr. Blumenau as its director.
The municipality of Blumenau was established by Law No. 860 promulgated on 4 February 1880. A flood that destroyed roads and bridges in October 188O caused the delay of the municipality's inauguration to 10 January 1883. In 1934, the municipal territory covered 106,100 ha. The subsequent establishment of 38 new municipalities decreased its area by one half.
Municipal website

Ivan Sache, 1 November 2021

Description of the Flag

The flag of Blumenau is prescribed by Municipal Law No. 1,287 promulgated on 20 November 1964.

Article 2.
The flag of Blumenau shall have the regulated dimensions and be composed of six red horizontal stripes and another three white, charged in the center with the coat of arms of the municipality, in full colors, superimposed to a yellow sphere.
Leis Municipais database

The coat of arms of Blumenau is prescribed by Municipal Law No. 19 promulgated on 21 June 1948.

Article 1.
The coat of arms adopted by the municipality of Blumenau was designed by Dr. Afonso d'Escragnolle Taunay.

Article 3.
The arms of the municipality of Blumenau are composed of a Portuguese rounded-off shield, surmounted by a mural crown proper to municipalities, quartered in six parts with an escutcheon superimposed to 3 and 4. In chief dexter angle, on a field gules a leopard. Sinister, on a field argent, an eagle sable armed langued and crowned or the wings outlined of the same holding dexter a scepter and sinister a sword. On the dexter flank, on a field azure the main charge of the Brazilian national arms. On the sinister flank, also azure a "St. Catherine's armed road" and an anchor and key argent crossed, from Santa Catarina's old coat of arms, all argent. In base dexter on a field barry or and sable a crancelin sable. In base sinister, on a field argent a lion azure. Inescutcheon, on a field azure five stars or simulating the Southern Cross, a field flory proper and a river argent. Supporters dexter Dr. Blumenau, after a photo dated 1860, sinister a lumberjack armed with an axe after a photo from the colony dated from the same period. A scroll azure inscribed the motto "Por Santa Catarina e pelo Brasil" "Pro Sancta Catarina et Brasilis". Behind the scroll an iron cogwheel proper.

Article 4.
This design stresses that Blumenau, founded by the illustrous civilizator for whom it was named, Hermann Blumenau, had in its early days colonists from Prussia, Saxony, Bavaria, Tirol and Württemberg. These origins are recalled by the leopard of Brunswick (Dr. Blumenau's fatherland), the Prussian and Tyrolean eagles, the Bavarian lion and the Saxon crancelin, located in the chief and base's quarters. The shield's central part was reserved to recall the German-Brazilian fusion, jointly using heraldic charges from the arms of Germany, Brazil and Santa Catarina. The escutcheon superimposed in the center, the arms' main part, makes the arms canting since Blumenau means "a flory field", here a flory field on the bank of a river (here, Itajaí) and under the Southern Cross. The cogwheel recalls Blumenau's great industry that so much contributed to Brazil's industrial offer.
Leis Municipais database

As stated in the Law, These arms were offerred to the municipality of Blumenau in the second semester of 1936 by Afonso d'Escragnolle Taunay (1876-1958). Known as "the São Paulo historian" for his numerous contributions, the monumental "História geral das bandeiras paulistas" (11 volumes, 1924-1950) and "História do café no Brasil" (15 volumes, 1939-1943), Afonso de Taunay was born in Nostra Senhora de Desterro (today, Florianópolis) from Viscount de Taunay (1843-1899), then President of the Santa Catarina province. He designed the arms of several municipalities in São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro and Bania, and of four Santa Catarina municipalities: Blumenau, Joinville, Laguna and São Francisco do Sul.
The new Constitution promulgated on 10 November 1937 in the aftermath of the 1930 Revolution abolished the coats of arms of the Brazilian states and municipalities. The next Constitution, promulgated in September 1946 re-established them. Several towns re-adopted their original arms, first of them Blumenau, without changing anything in Taunay's original description.

The coats of arms designed by Afonso de Taunay were far from being compliant with norms of heraldry. In articles published in 1931 and 1932 in the Journal de Commércio (Rio de Janeiro), the historian admitted that he really enjoyed designing arms but that his heraldic knowledge was extremely limited and that he would not care increasing it. His designs often include too many quarters and escutcheons arbitrarily arranged, break the tincture rule and use inappropriate outer ornaments. The blazons use inappropriate or erroneous heraldic worlds, mix heraldic description and symbolic meaning; it was also pointed out that the description of family arms is sometimes incomplete or fanciful.
Edison Mueller. 1986. Afonso de Tunay e a heráldica municipal catarinense. Conclusão do numéro anterior. ÁGORA: Arquivologia Em Debate, 2(4), 10-23

Image by "Josedar", Wikimedia Commons

Ivan Sache, 1 November 2021