Last modified: 2010-08-15 by ian macdonald
Keywords: brazil | minas gerais | congonhas | aleijadinho | cartouche | daniel | jonah |
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image by Joseph McMillan
Congonhas is the home of one of the treasures of Brazilian rococo art, the statues of
the Old Testament prophets by Antônio Francisco Lisboa, known as Aleijadinho, at the Church of Bom Jesus.
Based on the official
description of the flag at the city council's website,
the flag of Congonhas, made official by law no. 975, is composed of a white field with a golden
yellow cartouche on the center inspired by one on the entrance of the Basilica of Bom Jesus.
On the center of the cartouche, within a circle, are the figures of the prophets Daniel and Jonah. Flanking the
circle are two branches of foliage of the shrub known as congonhas. Three dates also appear
on the flag: 1691 (in Roman numerals above the center), when the settlement began; 1746, when
Congonhas was raised to the status of town; and 1938, when it became a city.
The cartouche is a spiritual landmark of the city, its yellow color
symbolizing mineral wealth, transformed through the circle of gold to a
circle of iron, representing the strength of the people of Congonhas as
well. The sky blue of the landscape on the center and the stripes (of
cloud) symbolize the ideals of justice, serenity and loyalty; the green
represents the congonhas bush, which covers the mountains and gives its name
to the city. The white symbolizes traditions of peace and concord. The
scene with the prophets Daniel and Jonah portrays the statuary art of Aleijadinho,
whose series of sculptures give Congonhas the nickname "City of the Prophets." The
cartouche also constitutes the coat of arms of the municipality.
Joseph McMillan, 4 June 2002