The Republic of Haiti is located in the Caribbean Sea and occupies the western part of the island of the same name and several smaller islands adjacent to it. Unfortunately, the history of the republic from its proclamation to the present day is full of riots, occupations, dictatorships and military conflicts. What does one of the state symbols of the republic – its flag – look like? Does it reflect the country’s troubled history?
This is what the modern flag of the Republic of Haiti looks like:
History of the Haitian flag
The island of Haiti was discovered by Christopher Columbus in December 1492 and was initially a Spanish colony. In 1697 the western part of the island came under French control.
On January 1, 1804, the first and only successful slave uprising in world history took place on the island, led by J.-J. Dessalines, which resulted in the Republic of Haiti appearing on the world political map.
This is the date on which the national symbols, the coat of arms and the flag, begin the history of the Republic of Haiti.
Subsequently, Haiti briefly returned to the control of France, became a kingdom, the empire, was occupied by the U.S., and regained its freedom …
Of course, the appearance of the flag also changed, but the changes were never too drastic. The flag almost always consisted of equal-sized stripes of two different colors (horizontal or vertical) and the corresponding coat of arms in the center.
The current national flag of the Republic of Haiti was approved on 26.02.1986 and is still in use today.
Description and colors of the flag
The national flag of the Republic of Haiti is a rectangular cloth with an aspect ratio of 3:5.
Two horizontal stripes of equal size are painted in blue (upper stripe) and red (lower stripe).
In the center is the national emblem, depicting:
- palm topped with Phrygian bicolored cap;
- blue-red banners and guns – 3 on each side of the palm;
- a drum (in the center under the palm), axes, horns, cannons and flagpoles (on either side of the drum), chains, cannonballs and anchors (on the green field to either side of the center);
- a white ribbon across the bottom of the coat of arms with the inscription “L’union fait la force” (Fr. “In unity is strength”, other translations: “Union creates strength”, “Unity gives strength”).
It should be noted that the approved national motto of the country is “Liberte – Egalite – Fraternite” (Fr. “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”), that is, the inscription on the coat of arms is not the official motto.
The image on the coat of arms is not completely symmetrical, there are the following differences:
- on the cannons on different sides of the palm tree are headdresses of different types of troops;
- Anchors are depicted differently: on the right side of the coat of arms the anchor is partially embedded in the ground.
Meaning of colors and symbols of the flag
The colors of the flag of the Republic of Haiti, blue and red, symbolize the unity and peaceful coexistence of the black (over 95%) and mulatto (together with Europeans, less than 5%) population living in the republic. The basis (base) was taken from the French flag, from which the white stripe was removed – “the symbol of the white race”, that is, the European colonial slave-owners, the extermination of which was the purpose of the Haitian rebellion.
The flag itself, or rather – the emblem in its center – is also quite militant: the weapon depicted on it is designed to perpetuate the military victories of the army and its readiness to continue to defend the freedom and independence of the country. The coat of arms depicts several types of weapons: firearms (guns), artillery (cannons), edged weapons (axes) and projectiles (cannonballs).
At the center of the coat of arms is the Euterpe palm (or Cabbage Palm), widespread in Central and South America and symbolizing wealth, while the Phrygian cap adorning it is a recognized symbol of freedom, which “moved” to the coat of arms of the former colony from France.
The banners on either side of the palm symbolize independence, the guns symbolize struggle, and the anchors symbolize hope. Horns, axes, and cannons symbolically signify the spoils of war. And the scraps of chains on a green background at the bottom of the coat of arms are a reminder of slavery and the republic’s colonial past.
The flag of the Republic of Haiti, like the flags of many other countries in the world, reflects both the history of the Republic and its reality and future hopes. Despite the very high level of militancy of its coat of arms, it contains both an understanding of the country’s troubled past and an expectation for a prosperous and free future.
General information about Haiti
|Official language||Haitian, Creole, and