The creation of the Haitian Flag

Cite as: Philippe R. Girard, “Birth of a Nation: The Creation of the Haitian Flag and Haiti’s French Revolutionary Heritage,” Journal of Haitian Studies 15:1-2 (Spring-Fall 2009), 135-150.

Abstract: How and when did Haiti's blue-and-red flag appear? Official story: on 18 May 1803, when Dessalines cut the French flag in half to show his hatred of France and Whites. But the creation of the national flag and that of the coat of arms were far more convoluted--and, as it turns out, these symbols initially reflected the Haitian rebels' admiration for the French Revolution!

Résumé: Comment est né le drapeau rouge et bleu d’Haïti? Version officielle: le 18 mai 1803, quand Dessalines coupa en deux le tricolore français pour exprimer sa haine des Français et des blancs. Mais le drapeau national et le blason naquirent de manière bien différente... En fait, ces symboles furent largement inspirés de symboles de la révolution française!