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History & Heraldry


In the beginning of the 17th century the Portuguese tried to colonize the territory of todays’ Ceará. In 1534 a part of it was given as a fief to the De Barros family. In 1631 the Dutch started to invade the territory and established a captaincy there in 1637 an making it a part of Nieuw Holland.

After the defeat of the Dutch in 1649 the Portuguese returned and incorporated the territory into Pernambuco. In 1799 Ceará was separated from Pernambuco and had its own governor. After a period of unrest it became a part of the Confederation of Equador in 1825, which, in its turn was annexed by the Brazilian Empire. Today Ceará is one of the states of the Federal Republic of Brazil.


In the time of the Empire the arms used by the provinces were the Imperial Arms. At the proclamation of the Republic the states  were granted the right to adopt their own achievements.

The arms of Ceará are adopted by Law n° 393 of 22 September 1897.


They are:

Arms: Vert, parted per bend, the dexter base strewn with five-pointed stars Argent, and an oval shield showing the lighthouse of Mucuripe on the shore with a rising sun, a sailing vessel, a tree and a bird in sinister chief.

Crest: An ancient Fortress

Garland: Branches of tobacco and cotton.


The decree reads:


O povo do Estado de Ceará, por seus representantes, decretou e eu promulgo a seguinte lei:

Art. 1.° - As armas do Estado serão representada por um escudo encimado por um forte de antiga construcçao e desenhado da seguinte maneira: Uma ellipse atraverssada poruma zona em sentido obliquo, da esquerda para a direita, e semeada de estrellas, symbolisando os differentes municipios do Estado, mostrará no centro do escudo, uma parte do litoral, comprehendida a enseada, e o farol do Mucuripe; e um debuxo de passaro destacar-se-á do angulo direito do mesmo escudo, cercando-o ramos de fumo e algodão, tudo conforme o modelo annexo.

Art.2.° - Revogam-se as disposiçőes em contrario.-

Palacio da Presidencia do Ceará, em 22 de setembro de 1897, 9.° da Republica

(a) Antonio Pinto Nogueira Accioly

Servindo de secetario, Cezidio d’Albuquerque Martins Pereira.[1]


The Constitution of the Federation of 1934 abolished the symbols of the states and their achievements were replaced by the national emblem.

The Federal Constitution of 1946 restored the autonomy and also the achievements of the states.


Different versions are known, the bird sometimes in sinister chief of the main shield. Often the garland is omitted.


Armed Forces







Ceará is a part of the 10th Military Region together with Piauí and Maranhão (with the exception of the territories of the 8th RM)

Its headquarters are in Fortaleza (CE).






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© Hubert de Vries 2011-11-09


[1] Ribeiro, Clovis: Brazoes e Bandeiras do Brazil. Editoria Sao Paolo. Sao Paolo, 1933. Pp.214-215

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