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In 1501 the coast of Sergipe was visited by Gaspar de Lemos. In 1534 when Brazil was divided into hereditary captaincies the territory of today’s Sergipe was made a part of the capitaincy of Baía de Todos os Santos. (All Saints Bay) of which Francisco Pereira Coutinho became the first fiefholder. Later in the century the coast was colonized by French sailors. They were opposed  by Garcia d’Avila who, with the help of Jesuit friars, came to control the region between Pernambuco and Bahia.

In 1637 Sergipe was captured by the Dutch who incorporated it into their colony of Nieuw Holland.

After the Portuguese had regained Sergipe in 1645 the territory was re-incorparated into the Captaincy of Bahia. In 1823 Sergipe became a province separate from Bahia and in 1889 a state of the Union of Brazil. In 1892 it promulgated its first constitution.



ï 16th century arms of the Coutinho Family [1]








The first arms of Sergipe were adopted in the time of Dutch Rule (1637). They were: [Azure] a sun radiant and three crowns in base [Or]. [2]



In the time of the Principality, the Kingdom and the Empire the emblems of  the central government were valid in Sergipe.


An emblem for the state of Sergipe was adopted by Law  n° 2 of 5 July 1892. It is:


Emblem: A landscape with hills and trees in the distance and a Brazilian Indian embarking on a balloon on which is written PORVIR (Future); and in base a scroll with the motto SUB LEGE LIBERTAS (Freedom under the Law) and the date 18 DE MAIO DE 1892.

Emblem of Sergipe, about 1930.

A garland of a stalk of sugar-cane and a branch of cotton added, the ribbon blue


The law reads:


Art. 1.° - Ficam criados o grande e o pequeono sello do Estado para authenticidade dos actos administrativos, legislativos e judiciarios.

Art. 2.° - O grande sello será apposto aos actos assignados pelos presidented do Estado, da Asssembléa Legislativa e da Relação; e o pequeno aos expedidos pelas demais autoridaded.

Art. 3.° - O presidetnre do Estado fica autorisado a mandar fazer ambos os sellos a que refere esta lei.

Art. 4.° - Em um e outro será representando o seguinte emblema: Um indigena em acto de embarcar em um aerostato, em cujo centro se lerá a palavra - Porvir. - No alto do emblema figurará a data 18 de maio de 1892; embaixo, a legenda: Sub lege libertas e ao lados: “Estado de Sergipe”.

Art. 5.° - Revogam-se as disposiçãos em contrario.

Palacio do Governo de Sergipe, em 5 de julho de 1892, 4.° da Republica

(a) José Calanzans. [3]


A newer version shows the ribbon red and the garland (not mentioned in the law) omitted.


ð See illustration in the head of this essay.


Armed Forces







Arms of Sergipe Military Police

Sergipe is a part of the  6th Military Region  together with the state of Bahia.

Its headquarters are in the city of  Salvador (BA)






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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] Barlaeus, Caspar: Nederlandsch Brazilië onder het bewind van Johan Maurits van Nassau, 1637-1644. pp. 121-122. The arms on the frontispiece (ill).

[3] Ribeiro, Clovis: Brazoes e Bandeiras do Brazil. Editoria Sao Paolo. Sao Paolo, 1933. Pp 222-223

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