Today is Flag Day here. Haiti’s flag’s origin is tightly linked to a history of struggle for freedom. Today there will be parades and parties to celebrate it throughout the country.
On May 18, 1803, in the city of Arcahaie, not far from Port-au-Prince, they agreed on an official flag, with blue and red bands placed vertically. Blue and red placed vertically respectively. A lady named Catherine Flon sewed Haiti’s first flag.
On Independence Day however, January 1st 1804, the flag was modified again. The Blue and Red bands were placed horizontally this time, with the blue band on top of the red band. This was the first flag of the independent republic. In 1805, shortly after Jean-Jacques Dessalines proclaimed himself emperor, the Haitian flag color was changed to black and red bands placed vertically respectively. After the emperor’s death, in 1806, the country will be divided into two republics for 14 years. Henri Christophe, in the northern part kept the flag that Dessalines used.
In the south and the western part of the country, Alexandre Petion went back to 1804′s flag that was blue and red only this time he added the white squared portion that included the country arms and the famous phrase “L’UNION FAIT LA FORCE“, meaning that through unity we find strength.
That flag was in use until 1964 when Papa Doc Duvalier brought back the black and red flag of Dessalines and added a modified version of the arms of the Republic.
On February 25 1986, after the fall of Baby Doc and the Duvalier regime, the people requested that the red and blue flag be brought back. The constitution of 1987 describes the new flag in these terms:
The emblem of the Haitian Nation shall be a flag with the following description:
a) Two (2) equal-sized horizontal bands: a blue one on top and a red one underneath.
b) The coat of arms of the Republic shall be placed in the center on a white square.
c) The coat of arms of the Republic will be a Palm tree surmounted by the liberty cap and under the palms a trophy with the legend: In Union there is Strength.
That is the flag used until today.