You know Haitian Flag Day is coming when you suddenly see an abundance of blue and red flags flashing down the highways and streets of your everyday commute in South Florida.
This day is not to be confused with Haitian Independence Day, which is Jan. 1, but as the day when the unofficial Haitian Flag was sewn by Catherine Flon. Jean-Jacques Dessalines, one of the leaders in the Haitian revolution against France, publicly removed the white in the French flag to make a statement that Haiti no longer wanted to be recognized as a French territory. By repositioning them horizontally, the blue, set on top, is said to stand for the slaves brought to Haiti and the red is for the people of mixed ancestry. In 1806, the succeeding president, Alexandre Pétion, personally designed the coat of arms and placed it in the center of the flag, along with the motto “L’Union fait la Force”, which is translated into there is strength in unity. This version of the flag is the one most are familiar with in the present day.
Fun Fact: Haiti is the first black republic in the world and was the first independent Caribbean state after winning said battle against the French. This makes the Haitian flag, drapo in Kreyol, one of the oldest flags in the world, so when you see it, make sure you put some respect on it!
Whether you were born in Haiti, are Haitian-American, or just Haitian by association like myself, be sure to enjoy local festivities, practice your sexy Kompa moves, or challenge your culinary skills by trying a new Haitian cuisine dish.
Happy Haitian Flag Day from the Island360 Family!!