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History & Heraldry


European presence in today’s Santa Catarina began with the Spanish settlement of Santa Catarina island in 1542. The Portuguese took control in 1675 and established the captaincy of Santa Catarina on 11 August 1738. A government was installed on 7 March 1739. Ints first governor was  José da Silva Pais.

On 28 November 1821 the captaincy was made a province of the Kingdom of Brazil.  In 1889 the province was made a state of the United states of Brazil.


The Spanish settlement of Santa Catarina Island was subordinated to the Spanish crown  and the Supreme Royal Council of the Indies, formally functioning  from 1 August 1524. The emblem of the council consisted of the royal arms and a sailing vessel below, between the Piles of Hercules.

These in itself, together with the motto PLUS ULTRA were the emblem of the Spanish West-Indies.


After 1675 these emblems were replaced by the emblems of the Portuguese Empire and the Principality of Brazil.


In 1839 Santa Catarina was the scene of the ephemeral rebellious ‘Republica Catarinense’ (or ‘Republic of July’) founded on 24 July 1839 as a result of the Farhoupilha Revolution in the neighbouring state of Rio Grande do Sul. On 15 November 1839 the republic was abolished.

According to L.A. Boiteux the emblem of the Republic consisted of a shield with the date of  “22 de Julho 1839” surrounded by the motto LIBERDADE, IGUALDADE, HUMANIDADE  (Liberty, Equality Humanity) which was also the motto of the Republica Rio-Grandense.[1]



An emblem of the Estado de Santa Catarina was granted after the establishment of the United States of Brazil in 1889.

The emblem was adopted by law 126 of 15 August 1895. It was designed by Admiral Henrique Boiteux. [2] It is:


Emblem: A five-pointed star Argent charged with an eagle proper holding a key and an anchor in saltire Or, on his breast an escutcheon Argent with the date 17 DE NOVEMBRO DE 1889.

Crest: A phrygian cap Gules

Garland: Ears of wheat and a branch of coffee proper tied with a red ribbon with the legend ESTADO DE STA CATARINA in white lettering.


ð See illustration in the head of this essay.


The sections of this law about the emblem read:


Art. 1.° - Ficam estabelecidasas armas e bandeira do Estado.

Art. 2.° - As armas consistirão em una estella branca, anteposta á qual uma aquia, vista de frente, de aza estendidas, segurará com a garra direita uma chave e com a esquerda uma ancora, encruzadas, ornando-lhe o peito um escudo com o distico “17 DE NOVEMBRO”, escripto horzontalmente. Um ramo de trigo do lado direito e um de café do lado esquerdo, ligados na parte inferior por um laço com as pontas fluctuantes, de côr encarnada, que terá o distico “ESTADO DE SANTA CATHARINA”, inscripto com letras brancas, circumdarão a mesma aguia, sobre a qual se fimará o barrete phrigio, de côr encarnada.


The law was promulgated by President Hercilio Pedro da Luz and signed by his secretary Julo Caetano Pereira. [3]


Armed Forces





Santa Catarina is a part of the 5th Military Region together with the state of Parana.

Its headquarters are in Curitiba (PR)


Polícia Militar


The arms of the Military Police of Santa Catarina are:

Arms: Tierced per fess, the chief Gules, two pistols in saltire and a key and an anchor also in saltire Or; the fesse a landscape with three hills and a rising sun above, proper; the base Azure, a castle Or.

Crest: A five-ponted star Or with a Phrygian cap Gulkes on top.

Garland: Ears of wheat and a branch of coffe proper, tied with a red ribbon with the legend 05 DE MAIO DE 1835 in white lettering.


The achievement was designed by Joféli Paes de Carvalho, Lieutenant-colonel of the Military Police of Santa Catarina, and was presented on 3 May 1985 at the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the corps.






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© Hubert de Vries 2011-12-13


[1] Lucas A. Boiteux: Historia de Santa Catharina. p. 152.

[2] Boiteux op. cit. p. 187.

[3] Ribeiro, Clovis: Brazoes e Bandeiras do Brazil. Editoria Sao Paolo. Sao Paolo, 1933. Pp. 147 & 222

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