Paraíba is one of the states of Brazil. It is in the northeastern part of the country, on the Atlantic coast. It is the easternmost point of the Americas. João Pessoa is the capital city.
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In the mid-1500s, Portuguese settlers from Pernambuco founded Filipéia de Nossa Senhora das Neves (today João Pessoa) at the mouth of the Paraíba do Norte River.
The area was found to be perfect for making sugar. The French, the Dutch and the Portuguese all fought to have the Paraíba region to grow sugarcane in. The fortress of Santa Catarina, near João Pessoa, was built to protect the city from the Dutch.
In late 1989 a team looking for gemstone and led by Heitor Dimas Barbosa found what some people believe are the best Tourmaline crystals ever found. Copper in the crystals gives the tourmalines a bright turquoise color that had never been seen before in the gems. The mountains have been searched after this, but no more crystals have been found.
The word nego is Portuguese for "I deny". It refers to protests in the 1920s in Paraíba against Júlio Prestes becoming the President of Brazil. State president João Pessoa supported these protests. João Pessoa joined the alliance to the overthrow of the federal government. This group caused Getúlio Vargas to become president. The rebellion lead to João Pessoa eing killed.
The official government site of the state of Paraíba says that the red is for the blood of the assassination of João Pessoa. The black is for the mourning after the assassination.
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