Paraíba's flag honors the political events which involved João Pessoa [namesake of the state's capital city--ed.], the Liberal Alliance Party, and the Revolution of 1930. The inscription "NÉGO" printed in white characters on a red background originates from the contrary position adopted by Paraíba concerning the candidacy of Julio Prestes for the Presidency of the Republic, sent by telegram in answer to the consultation made by Mr. Tavares Cavalcanti, intermediator of the Catete Palace. The black color expresses the mourning the state wore after the assassination of João Pessoa--at that time President of Paraíba--by João Dantas in Recife on 26 July 1930. Thus the Revolution of 1930 began. Finally, the red color pays homage to the victorious revolution itself which, starting in Paraíba, spread all over the south, headed by Getúlio Vargas, and culminated in the deposition of Washington Luis as President of the Republic.
The flag of the state is the work of the Party of the Liberal Alliance, of which João Pessoa was the leader. The word NÉGO, translated "I deny," refers to the attitude of Paraíba against the candidacy of Julio Prestes for the presidency.
When the state legislature first passed the bill adopting this flag, the bill was vetoed by the state president, Álvaro de Carvalho, who had succeeded Pessoa. Carvalho was doing his best to get federal assistance to put down the landowners' uprising that had begun earlier that year as well as the revolutionary ferment throughout the state that had been triggered by the assassination of Pessoa. Adoption of a red (communist) and black (anarchist) flag was scarcely an action likely to gain sympathy in Rio. Nevertheless, the assembly overrode his veto--which definitively split Carvalho from the revolutionary rank and file--and the new flag was adopted by law 704 of 25 September 1930. Within weeks, the federal government of President Washington Luiz de Souza fell from power and Getúlio Vargas took over control of the country.