Flag of Haiti
Adopted May 18, 1803 [1]
Designed by Alexandre Pétion [2]
Proportions 3:5 [3]

The flag of Haiti consists of two equal horizontal bands of blue (top) and red with a centred white rectangle bearing the coat of arms, which contains a palm tree flanked by flags and two cannons above a scroll bearing the motto L'UNION FAIT LA FORCE ("Union Makes Strength").[4]

The Flag Day is celebrated in Haiti on May 18th. It commemorates the events of 1803 when the national leaders Dessalines and Petion in the city of Arcahaie agreed on an official flag.[5]

Haiti (civil)

Civil flag and ensign


The colours on the flag depict the French tricolour. The top part of the flag is blue in colour which signifies the coloured population and its African connection. The red colour of Haiti flag is the symbol of the multi ethnic race of the country. The blue and red bands represent the union of black and mulatto Haitians.[3]


The ideas of the French Revolution of 1789 permeated Haitian society, then under French rule, and eventually led to a slave revolt in 1791. At first the French Tricolor was used as a symbol of belief in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen. In 1803, however, Haitians removed the white stripe from the Tricolor, and the new blue-red flag, representing the black and mulatto populations only, became the symbol of the Haitian masses. Through the 19th century different flags were in use by independent Haitian states, although the basic designs were either vertical stripes of black and red or horizontal stripes of blue and red with distinctive coats of arms added in the centre.

After the overthrow of Emperor Faustin-Élie Soulouque in 1859, Haiti remained under the blue-red flag. In 1936, during the Olympic Games in Berlin it was discovered that the civil flag of Haiti is identical to the flag of Liechtenstein. To avoid confusion, Liechtenstein decided to modify its flag (a yellow crown was added).[6] When François ("Papa Doc") Duvalier came to power. He spoke of a "black revolution" for the nation and in 1964 altered the national flag to the black-red vertical stripes that had been used by Faustin-Élie, King Henry I, and Emperor Jacques I. Duvalier was succeeded by his son, Jean-Claude ("Baby Doc"), but the latter was forced to flee the country in 1986. As of February 25 of that year the old blue-red flag was re-established.[7]


  1. The Flag of Haiti at Enchanted Learning
  2. Le Drapeau National d'Haïti at Site culturel de la communauté haïtienne de Suisse
  3. 3.0 3.1 National Flag of Haiti at
  4. Flag of Haiti at CIA World Factbook
  5. The Haitian Flag at Discover Haiti
  6. The 1936 Liechtenstein Flag Olympic Incident at World History Blog
  7. Haiti, flag of. (2009). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved March 26, 2009, from Encyclopædia Britannica
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