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Haitian Flag Day – May 18, 2023

Haitian Flag Day is observed every year on May 18. It is declared a national holiday in Haiti to commemorate the country’s independence from the French. The flag was hoisted for the first time on this day in 1803, and the people came together to establish the country’s first republic. The flag is a symbol of patriotism and nationalism and was a beacon of hope in Haiti during the colonial era. This day represents liberation and embodies the cultural heritage and resilience of the Haitian people as they reclaimed their land from the hand of oppressors.

History of Haitian Flag Day

Haitian Flag Day, observed every year on May 18, is a national holiday in Haiti that commemorates the establishment of the Haitian flag during the Haitian revolution. Several U.S. cities with a sizable Haitian population observe the day. Both inside and outside of Haiti, Haitians commemorate and enjoy the day.

The Haitian flag was approved on May 18, 1803, on the final day of the Arcahaie Congress. The convention resulted in two significant outcomes, the foundation of a united leadership of the revolutionary army under the supreme authority of Jean-Jacques Dessalines and the indigenous adoption of a flag.

Jean-Jacques Dessalines designed the flag by pulling away the white center of a French tricolor. Catherine Flon, his goddaughter, stitched the remaining horizontal bands together, transforming the tricolor into the bicolor. The blue in the Haitian flag is claimed to represent Haitians of African heritage, while the red represents ‘Gens de couleur,’ French for “people of color.”

The flag has been modified multiple times over the years. In 1804, the bands became vertical. A red and black variant has also been used on a few occasions. The present flag was approved on February 17, 1986, following Jean-Claude Duvalier’s resignation, and was reaffirmed a year later with the official approval of the March 29, 1987, constitution.

The creation of the first flag was a watershed point in Haiti’s history, and it became an annual event on May 18. Universities Day was added to the celebrations in 1919 by the government. The government considered highlighting the educational system as crucial because the schooling system was under threat because of the U.S. occupation of Haiti, which began in 1915.

Haitian Flag Day timeline

1791
Haiti's Revolution Begins

On August 21, the Haitian Revolution starts with a brutal insurrection.

1794
The End of Slavery

Slavery is abolished in Haiti.

1803
Haiti’s Victory

The Haitian flag is approved on May 18, the last day of the Arcahaie Congress.

1804
The Declaration of Independence

Saint Domingo gains independence from France and is renamed Haiti.

Haitian Flag Day FAQs

What does the flag of Haiti represent?

The coat of arms on the Haitian flag, placed in the middle of the bicolor backdrop, contains the country’s most important symbolism. The nation’s readiness to defend its freedom is symbolized by the use of weaponry on the coat of arms. The royal palm in this national emblem also stands for independence.

What do Haitians eat on Flag Day?

Griot, which consists of pork flavored with Scotch bonnet chiles, is eaten at almost every Haitian celebration.

What race are Haitian?

Around 95% of Haiti’s population is of African ancestry, making up the vast bulk of the country. Most of the remaining population is of mixed European and African origin. There are a few individuals with Lebanese and Syrian ancestry.

How to Observe Haitian Flag Day

  1. Raise the flag

    Today is the day to show your patriotism. Raise the national flag and let it float in all its splendor. You can also customize your automobiles by painting them or covering them with the Haiti flag.

  2. Share on social media

    Make everyone aware of the significance of this day. Share photographs of yourself commemorating Haitian Flag Day on social media.

  3. Study the country's history

    Learn about Haiti's history, particularly its resistance to colonial oppression. Learning about the country's turbulent history increases one's appreciation for its freedom.

5 Interesting Facts About Haiti

  1. The mountain peaks

    Haiti's mountain peaks rise above 8,000 feet, and the name ‘Haiti’ derives from the word ‘Ayiti,’ which means "Land of Mountains."

  2. Voodoo is a formally approved religion

    Haiti is the only nation on the planet that acknowledges Voodoo in this manner.

  3. The world's largest solar-powered hospital

    Following the 2010 earthquake, the Hospital Universitaire De Mirebalais was transformed into the world's biggest solar-powered hospital.

  4. The cave paintings

    There are cave paintings created by the Taino people all around the nation.

  5. It’s a vibrantly colored country

    Haiti has a strong artistic tradition known for its colorful, expressive, and profound paintings.

Why Haitian Flag Day is Important

  1. It allows us to be patriotic

    This holiday allows us to show off our patriotic side. It is a day to celebrate Haiti and its people.

  2. It broadens our knowledge

    Haitian Flag Day is a day for learning and sharing information. It is a day to learn about the land's history, forefathers, and many other fascinating stories.

  3. It represents unity

    The Haitian national flag represents the country's unity. A single flag can unite individuals of different races under one nationality as they work together with pride for the betterment of their country.

Haitian Flag Day dates

YearDateDay
2023May 18Thursday
2024May 18Saturday
2025May 18Sunday
2026May 18Monday
2027May 18Tuesday

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