Haitian Flag

The national flag of Haiti has two horizontal bars, blue over red with white rectangular scroll bearing the Haitian coat of arms in the center with message L'Union Fait La Force (Unity Makes Strength). The coat of arms portrays a royal palm for independence and weapons to defend freedom. The first national flag of Haiti was designed by Toussaint Louverture. He used to represent himself as a legitimate agent of French administration. As a result of this, his force used to fly the Revolutionary French tricolor flag with vertical bands of blue, white, and red.

The present national Haitian flag as we see now was first adopted on the last day of the Congress of Arcahaie on 18th May, 1803. It is believed that the Haitian revolutionary leader Jean-Jacques Dessalines created this flag by taking a French tricolor and ripping out the white center, which he discarded. He then asked his god-daughter Catherine Flon to stitch the remaining horizontal red and blue bands. The color blue was taken to represent Haiti's black citizens and the red for the free people of mixed-race or mulatto Haitians, primarily European and African.

The color blue was changed and replaced by black with different shades of red many times in history between the periods such as 1804- 1806, 1806 -1811, 1811-1820, 1849-1859, 1964-1986 and so on. . The family dictatorships of François "Papa Doc" and Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier between 1964 and 1986 reintroduced the Dessalines' black and red design with addition of national coat of arms, but altered the flags in its trophy to black as well.The present design was first used by President Alexandre Pétion in 1806. It was readopted and made square on 25th February, 2012 by Article 3 of the current Haitian constitution.