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São Paulo State

São Paulo City



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16th century arms of the De Sousa family [1]



The territory of today’s São Paulo, given the name of São Vicente by King Manuel I (1495-1521) was ceded to Pedro Capico who became its first captain (1516-‘27). When, in 1534, the hereditary captaincies were established by King John III (1521-1557) the captaincy was given as a fief to Martim Afonso de Sousa. In 1567 he divided his fief in two parts, the northen part becoming the Royal Captaincy of Rio de Janeiro.

In 1709 the captaincy of São Vicente was transformed into the Captaincy of São Paulo and Minas de Ouro. It was renamed the captaincy of São Paulo when the separate captaincy of Minas Gerais was created in 1720.

In 1748 São Paulo was united with the captaincy of Rio de Janeiro but in 1765 the captaincy was restored. On 28 February 1821 the São Paulo was made a province of the Kingdom, later Empire of Brazil. By law n° 704 of 29 August 1853 the province of Paraná was split off from the province.

In 1889 the province of São Paulo was made a state of the Brazilian union.




Estado de São Paulo


The State of São Paulo was the last state of the federation to adopt a coat of arms. It was adopted by Decree n° 5.656 dated 29 August 1932. It is:


Arms: Gules, a sword upright surrounded by two branches of laurel and between the letters S and P in chief Argent

Crest: A five-pointed star Argent

Garland: Branches of coffee proper

Motto: PRO BRASILIA FIANT EXIMIA. (For Brazil we do Great Things).


ð See illustration in the head of this essay


The decree reads:


“O doutor Pedro de Toledo, Governador do Estado de São Paulo, por acclamação do Povo Paulista, do Exercito Nacional e da Força Publica;


Art. 1.° - Adopta o Estado de São Paulo o Brazão de Armas, lançado no desnho annexo e com os seguintes caracteristicas:

“Em campo de góles as letras SP em chefe e uma espada em pala com a ponta oa alto e o punho brocante sobre o cruzamento de dois ramos de louro e carvalho, tudo de prata. Timbre: uma estrella de prata. Fitão de góles com a divisa - “Pro Brasilia fiant eximia”- em letras de prata. Supportes: dois ramos de café, fritificados e de sua côr”.

Art. 2° - Entrará este decreto em vigor immediatamente, revogadas as disposições em contrario.

Palacio do Governo do Estado de São Paulo, 29 de agosto de 1932.

(a) Pedro de Toledo

Waldemar Ferreira

Francisco da Cunha Junquiera

Paulo de Moraes Barros

Francisco Emygydio da Fonseca Telles

J. Rodrigues Alves Sobrinho [2]


Cidade de São Paulo


The colonization of São Paulo started in 1532 when, on January 21, Martim Afonso de Souza founded the settlement that would become Vila de São Vicente (São Vicente Village), one of the oldest villages in Brazil.

During the period when the Iberian Crowns joined, from 1580 to 1640, it is said that Spanish was the second language in São Paulo. In 1681, São Paulo became the center of the Captaincy, stretching over an area that was much larger than that occupied today by the state.

In 1711, the village became a city.


Arms of São Paulo City, 1917

Arms of São Paulo City, 1974


The arms of the city of São Paulo were adopted by President Washington Luis (1914-’18) by decision n° 1057 of  8 March 1917


It was:

Arms: Gules an arm in armoury holding a sword upright and a four-pointed banner Argent, charged with the cross of the Order of Christ, issuant from the sinister.

Crown: A mural crown of three towers

Garland: Branches of coffee

Motto: NON DVCOR DVCO (Lead not be leaded)  in red lettering on a white ribbon.


The arms were confirmed on 9 December 1947.


By law nº 8.129 of 2 October 1974 the arms were changed by leaving out the sword in the hand of the arm and reversing the colors of the cross of the Order of Christ.

At the same time the crown was made a crown of five towers.



Again, by Law 10.260/87 of 5 March 1987 about the flag of the city, the arms were changed slightly  by reversing the colors of the motto and ribbon.


Armed Forces





The State of São Paulo  is the territory of the 2nd Military Region.

Its headquarters are in São Paulo City.


Military Police






The arms of the Military Police of São Paulo are:


Arms: Azure, two pistols in saltire Or, and a chief per pale the dexter Gules an armillary sphere crested with a five-pointed star and within a garland Or; tyhe sinister Argent, five barrulets Sable.


The armillary sphere is the emblem of the General Command of the Military Police

The barrulets symbolize the flag of São Paulo.


The emblem of the Military Police of São Paulo is:


Emblem: A disc Gules charged with a five-pointed star Or, surrounded by a bordure Azure charged with 18 five-pointed stars Argent, supported by the colors of the flag of the state of São Paulo and having the legend POLÍCIA MILITAR  SÃO PAULO.


The stars of the emblem symbolize important data in the history of the corps:


  1. 1831.12.15: Establishment of the Milícia Bandeirante
  2. 1838 Farrapos War
  3. 1839 Campos dos Palmas
  4. 1842 Revolution of Sorocaba
  5. 1865-‘70 Paraguayan War
  6. 1893 Rebellion of the Navy (Federal Revolution)
  7. 1896 Protocollary Crisis
  8. 1897 Canudos Campaign
  9. 1910 Rebellion of Sailor João Cândido
  10. 1917 Workers Strike
  11. 1922 The ‘18 of Copacabana Fort’ and siege of Mato Grosso
  12. 1924 Revolution of São Paulo and Southern Campaigns
  13. 1926 Campaigns in the Northeast and in Goiás
  14. 1930 October Revolution of Getúlio Vargas
  15. 1932 Constitutional Revolution
  16. 1935-‘37 Movements of Extremists
  17. 1942-’45 World War II
  18. 1964 March Revolution






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© Hubert de Vries 2011-12-14


[1] Livro de Torre do Tombo Antonio Godinho fol. IX at: Instituto dos Archivos Nacionais.

[2] Ribeiro, Clovis: Brazoes e Bandeiras do Brazil. Editoria Sao Paolo. Sao Paolo, 1933. Pp 204-211

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