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Viamão, Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil)

Last modified: 2012-02-10 by ian macdonald
Keywords: rio grande do sul | viamao | cross: order of christ | spears: 2 (black) |
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Viamão, RS (Brazil) image by Joseph McMillan

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About the Flag of Viamão

The flag is white with a red cross of the Order of Christ superimposed on two black spears in saltire, and overall an oval showing two towers flanking a liberty pole, surrounded by the name and founding date of Viamão on a yellow oval ring.
Joseph McMillan, 17 March 2003

The municipality of Viamão (239,234 inhabitants; 1,494 sq. km) is located 25 km east of Porto Alegre.

Viamão emerged in 1741 as a settlement founded around a chapel by Francisco Carvalho da Cunha. In 1752, the first immigrants from the Azores Islands landed in Itapúa and colonized the area. As an early nucleus of colonization, Viamão is the source of the settlement of Porto Alegre, Santo Amaro, Triunfo, Rio Pardo, Taquari and the towns of the northern coast of Rio Grande do Sul. In 1763, the Spanish invasion prompted the transfer of the State capital from Rio Grande to Viamão; the capital was eventually transferred to Porto Alegre in 1773. In 1808, Viamão seceded from Porto Alegre as an independent municipality.

The origin of the name of Viamão is disputed. Some say that five tributaries of river Guaíba - Jacuí, Caí, Gravataí, Taquari and Sinos - form a palmed hand, Viamão therefore meaning "Vi a mão", "I have seen a hand". Other say that Viamão comes from "ibiamon", "Ibis land". Yet another explication alludes to a road ("via") between hills ("monte"). Finally, Viamão could also be related to the former name of the Guimaraes province in Portugal, Viamara. - Municipal website

On the coat of arms of Viamão, the oval shield recalls the arms of the Rio Grande Republic, which Viamão supported under the name of Vila Setembrina. The golden border of the shield represents the increase in wealth of the settlement thanks to cattle-breeding, and includes the date of erection of the first chapel dedicated to Our Lady of the Conception, the patron saint of the Royal House of Portugal. The blue field represents the religious feelings of the first colonists and the aforementioned chapel, represented by the two towers, around which the settlement grew up. The white saber [placed vertically in the middle of the shield] recall the proclamation of the Rio Grande Republic on 11 September 1836, as well as the camps and the trenches of the revolutionaries set up near Lomba da Tarumã. The green base represents the fields, the profusion of new land and the triumph of the pioneers The two white stripes symbolize the primitive paths used by the early cattle breeders to access their domains. The two crossed black spears symbolize the virtue of the warriors and freemen who have developed Viamão's domains. The Cross of Christ, which was shown on the seals of Pedro Álvares Cabral's ships, recalls the remote history of the colonization from Portugal and the Azores. Red represents audacity, while white represents integrity. - Municipal website

Ivan Sache, 14 January 2012