Happy Haitian Flag Day!

Dear Readers, 

Today I celebrate the flag day of my country of birth as I sit here in the country I was raised. 

To share this celebration with you, this post captures a brief history of the flag. 

Hope it enlightens you.



Brief History of the Flag:

The first Haitian flag was created on May 18, 1803

Catherine Flon, a seamstress in Archahaie (a town outside of Port-au-Prince), stitched together the first version of the flag

 Flag Day is a nationally recognized holiday in Haiti

Army General Jean-Jacques Dessalines made the first rough draft of a flag by grabbing France's red, white and blue, ripping the white stripe to pieces and joining the blue and red together.

This makeshift flag symbolized the union of the mulattoes and the blacks against the colonialist, pro-slavery France.

The arms are composed of a palm tree surmounted by the Phrygian cap of liberty and ornamented with trophies with a banner across the bottom saying "L'Union Fait La Force" (through Unity there is Strength). 

In 1805, after Dessalines proclaimed himself emperor, the Haitian flag colors were changed to black and red bands placed vertically, respectively.

After his death in 1806, the country was divided into two republics for 14 years. Henri Christophe and the northern part of the country retained Dessalines' flag.  

The southern and western parts of the country, led by Alexandre Petion, went back to the 1804 blue and red flag. This time a square patch was added to the middle that included the country arms and the L'Union Fait La Force motto.

The flag was in use until 1964 when Papa Doc Duvalier modified Dessalines' version by adding the arms of the Republic.  

After the fall of the Duvalier regime in 1986, the people took back the flag. They changed it to two-equal sized horizontal bands, a blue on one top and a red one underneath. The coat of arms of the Republic remained in the center. 

This is the version of the flag that is in use today.  

Catherine Flon  

The version of the flag that is in use today. 

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