Flag of Haiti

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Haiti
Flag of Haiti.svg
NameBicolour
UseNational flag
Proportion3:5
Adopted26 February 1986
DesignA horizontal bicolour of blue and red, charged with the Coat of Arms in a small white box in the center.
Flag of Haiti (civil).svg
Variant flag of Haiti
UseCivil flag and ensign
Proportion3:5
Adopted26 February 1986
DesignA horizontal bicolour of blue and red.

The flag of Haiti is a bicolour flag featuring two horizontal bands coloured blue and red, defaced by a white panel bearing the coat of arms. The coat of arms depicts a trophy of weapons atop a green hill, ready to defend freedom, and a royal palm symbolizing independence. The palm is topped by the Cap of Liberty. The motto L'Union Fait La Force ("Unity Is Strength") appears on a white ribbon below the arrangement.

Present design[edit]

National flag[edit]

The present design was first used by the Republic of Haiti under President Alexandre Pétion in 1806.[1] It was most recently readopted on 25 February 2012 under Title I, Chapter I, Article 3 of the current Constitution of Haiti:

L'emblême de la Nation Haïtienne est le Drapeau qui répond à la description suivante:

  1. Deux (2) bandes d'étoffe d'égales dimensions: l'une bleue en haut, l'autre rouge en bas, placées horizontalement;
  2. Au centre, sur un carré d'étoffe blanche, sont disposées les Armes de la République;
  3. Les Armes de la République sont : Le Palmiste surmonté du Bonnet de la Liberté et, ombrageant des ses Palmes, un Trophée d'Armes avec la Légende: L'Union fait la Force.

The English translation adopted by the Embassy of Haiti in Washington, D.C., reads:[2]

The emblem of the Haitian Nation shall be a flag with the following description:

  1. Two (2) equal-sized horizontal bands: a blue one on top and a red one underneath;
  2. The coat of arms of the Republic shall be placed in the center on a white square;
  3. The coat of arms of the Republic are: a Palmette [sic][a] surmounted by the liberty cap, and under the palms a trophy with the legend: In Union there is Strength.

Contrary to the constitutional mandate, the white field is rarely (if ever) rendered as a square. A rectangle with a 11:9 ratio has been adopted by the Haitian Ministry of Information and Coordination since 1987 or earlier.[3]

Civil flag[edit]

The civil flag and ensign omits the coat of arms.[4]

History[edit]

The first purely Haitian flag was adopted on 18 May 1803, on the last day of the Congress of Arcahaie, about 80 kilometres (50 mi) north of Port-au-Prince. Haitian lore holds that the newly appointed revolutionary leader Jean-Jacques Dessalines created the flag by taking a French tricolor and ripping out the white center, which he discarded. He then asked Catherine Flon, his god-daughter,[5] to sew the remaining bands together. The white pale removed, the blue was taken to represent Haiti's black citizens and the red the gens de couleur. The story is widely known in Haiti: the anniversary of the date is celebrated as the Haitian Flag Day and images of Catherine Flon have appeared on Haitian currency and stamps.[6]

Following his proclamation as Emperor Jacques I, Dessalines promulgated a new constitution on 20 May 1805. In it, the colors of the flag were altered to black and red.[7] This flag being subsequently adopted by Henri Christophe, the republicans under Alexandre Pétion returned to the colors blue and red, subsequently turning them horizontal and adding the newly adopted Haitian coat of arms.

During the period of the Haitian Empire of Faustin I, his coat of arms was used on the flag and for official functions, but it was subsequently abandoned upon his removal from office.

Between 1964 and 1986, the family dictatorships of François "Papa Doc" and Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier returned to Dessalines' black and red design. They included the national coat of arms, but altered the flags in its trophy to black as well.

Because the coat of arms is only used for national and military flags, whereas the civil flag consists solely of the two unaugmented horizontal bands, it was discovered at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin that Haiti and Liechtenstein were using the same flag. This led to the addition of a crown to the design of the flag of Liechtenstein.[8]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ palmiste correctly translates to "royal palm", not palmette.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Beauvoir, Max G. "Colors of the Flags." Accessed 11 February 2011.
  2. ^ "Flag and Coat of Arms". Embassy of the Republic of Haiti, Washington, DC. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  3. ^ a b Željko Heimer; Armand du Payrat; Zoltán Horváth; Ivan Sache (13 December 1999). "Haiti". Flags of the World. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  4. ^ CIA- The World Factbook. Liechtenstein- Flag Description Archived 16 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine.. Accessed 19 August 2012.
  5. ^ Various sources Archived 10 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.. Op. cit. L'histoire d'Haiti. "18 Mai." Accessed 12 February 2011.
  6. ^ Clinton, Hillary. Remarks on Republic of Haiti Flag Day. 18 May 2010. Accessed 12 February 2011.
  7. ^ New York Evening Post: "Constitution of Hayti." General Dispositions: Article 20. 15 July 1805. Op. cit. Corbett, Bob. The 1805 Constitution of Haiti Archived 28 December 2005 at the Wayback Machine.. 4 April 1999. Accessed 12 February 2011.
  8. ^ CIA- The World Factbook. Liechtenstein- Flag Description Archived 16 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine.. Accessed 19 August 2012.

External links[edit]