Haitian Flag Day is commemorated on May 18 every year. Celebrations for the 217th edition have been cancelled this year, as Coronavirus cases continue to increase in Haiti and around the world. Haitians still observed their special day with activities that were not in violation with the current COVID-19 restrictions.
Haiti prides itself as being the first independent nation in the Western world.
In 1803, Toussaint Louverture the Haitian Revolution leader was captured. Other leaders in Port-au-Prince, including Jean Jacques Dessalines who was the first ruler of independent Haiti continued to fight and protest. As a representation of its troops, they pieced together a design for an official flag known to be sewed by Catherine Flon on May 18th of the same year. Since that time, the day has been observed as Haitian Flag Day till date. Even though the flag has been modified many times after Haiti’s independence, it still sets aside May 18th for celebrating Flag Day without any changes.
The Flag of Haiti
The initial adopted flag design of Haiti was red, blue and white bands. White was however removed later on to signify the end of French control of the colony.
Currently, the flag features strips of blue and red horizontal bands with a white box containing the Coat of Arms in the middle. Written below the Coat of Arms is “L’Union Fait La Force”, translated as “Unity is strength.”
Haitians in the Diaspora have taken to social media to express love for their country by sharing national photos, videos, encouraging words as well as using the occasion to highlight social issues rampant in Haiti.
The Haitian flag remains a source of history, heritage and culture for its nationals; with the country being the first Black Republic in the Americas.