On May 18th, the people of Haiti celebrate the culture and heritage of their country on Flag Day. All across Haiti there are parades, brightly colored red & blue clothing, face painting and the Haitian flag flying high. Haitians love and take pride in their country.
Flag Day has been celebrated over the years as a way to commemorate the first sewing of the Haitian Flag in 1803.
It is said that revolutionary leader Jacques Dessalines tore out the central white stripe of the French tricolor flag, symbolizing the unity of the nation’s people and the rejection of its French colonizers.
Jacques’ goddaughter, Catherine Flon, then stitched together the country’s first independent flag of just a red and a blue stripe.
The Haitian flag today has two horizontal bands – one blue and one red – with the Coat of Arms in the middle. The motto “L’Union Fait La Force,” which means “unity is strength,” is printed below the coat of arms.
Like the 4th of July in the United States, the people of Haiti celebrate Flag Day by holding parades, dancing to lively music, carrying small flags, wearing red and blue clothing and joining with friends and family for festive celebrations.
Traditional foods eaten on Haitian Flag Day include Griot (cubed pork shoulder seasoned with Scotch Bonnet Chiles), Banan Peze (fried smashed plantains), and black rice made with djon-djon mushrooms that grow wild in parts of Haiti.
Many of the students in the WWV schools say that Flag Day is their favorite holiday!
As we celebrate Haitian Flag Day on May 18th, we also recognize the struggles of this beautiful country with its beautiful people.
Many are not celebrating as they struggle to put food on the table.
Many are not celebrating as they are forced from their homes due to violence.
Many are not celebrating as they cannot even afford to educate their children.
Join with us, and one day we will be celebrating a Haiti where all children have access to education!