Haiti National Flag Symbol of Might, Endurance, and Triumph

On May 18, 2013, the Haitian National Flag will celebrate 210 years of independence from French foreign oppression. The history of the flag dates back to 1803 when--in a defiant move--revolutionary leader, Jean Jacques Dessalines, desecrated the French flag. He removed the white-center panel of the tri-color and created the first national Black Republic flag.


The lore of the Haitian National Flag is rich in symbolism. The most popular meaning of the blue-and-red horizontal panels is representation of skin tones: blue for black and red for white. When Alexandre Petion became the next leader of Haiti, he added a unifying element, the nation's first coat-of-arms. Situated within a small, white square, fusing blue-and-red side-by-side panels, a tableau reveals the history of slavery, the fight to end it, and its ultimate abolishment.

At the center stands a Royal Palm, crowned by a red cap, representing strength. It rests upon a green globe, symbolizing the richly verdant island. Six blue-and-red standards surround the palm, three apiece. Six muskets, also three, stand nearest the palm, pointing skyward towards freedom. More objects of military strength and pageantry fill the scene, denoting Haitian military supremacy over land and sea.

Below the broken chains of slavery representing abolition lays a ribbon scroll with the words L'Union Fait La Force (Unity Makes Strength). The Haitian National Flag represents pride, strength, struggle, and victory of an enslaved people, who established the first black-led republic in the world.

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Read more: Haitian flag, First Independent Nation, Independence, Jean Jacques Dessalines, Alexandre Petion, Union Fait La Force, Flag, Union, Endurance, Triumph, Haiti

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