Today, Lauderhill Mall celebrates Haitian Flag Day, recognizing the establishment of the Haitian Flag in 1803 and the freedom of the Haitian people.
Haitian Flag Day
Haitian Flag Day celebrates the creation of Haiti’s flag and the revolution that freed Haiti from French authority and inspired slave revolts in the United States. It is observed annually on May 18, which is the anniversary of when the flag was first used in 1803. Haitian Flag Day is celebrated in several US cities with a large Haitian community.
A brief history
During the 1700s, a few French families in the French West Indies colony of St. Domingue (later named Haiti) held massive sugar plantations. They imported almost half a million enslaved Africans to work the fields. Many plantation owners treated enslaved people cruelly, frequently working them to death, as they did in other regions of the Western Hemisphere.
In 1789, France had a revolution, and the rebels' ideals of liberty and equality swiftly extended to colonial plantation owners and merchants, who desired independence from French sovereignty. People of mixed race and free blacks demanded social equality. Slaves were also willing to fight for their freedom.
In August 1791, the most significant successful slave insurrection in history started. Toussaint Louvertur, a former Creole enslaved person, was a crucial player in the revolution. He raised a slave army that battled tens of thousands of French, Spanish, and British troops. The Haitian Revolution claimed the lives of an estimated 350,000 individuals, most of whom were slaves before the country gained freedom in 1804.
Toussaint was apprehended by the French in 1802 and sent to France, where he died in jail in 1803. Jean Jacques Dessalines and Henri Christophe, two additional Haitian leaders, joined the struggle.
How Haitian Flag Day is celebrated
Haitians living in and outside of Haiti recognize and celebrate Haitian Flag Day. Every year on the last Sunday in May, the Toussaint Louverture Boulevard in New York City hosts a Haitian Flag Day Parade. The Haitian-American Carnival Association established the parade in 2002 and it is followed by a festival showcasing Haitian culture, including music and cuisine.
Boston, which honors the difficulties each year during Haitian Heritage Month in May, is another city that participates in the ceremonies. Events promoting Haitian Flag Day and its culture are also held in Florida locations such as Miami, Tampa, Delray Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and Fort Myers. The MOCA Plaza festivities in Miami are known for bringing together important Haitian-American celebrities, artists, singers, performers, and politicians.
Interesting facts about Haiti
- It lies on the island of Hispaniola.
The island of Hispaniola, once known as Espaola, is shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Christopher Columbus arrived in the area in 1492 and gave it the name La Isla Espaola or Spanish Isle. It is located in the Caribbean's Greater Antilles and is the most populated and second-largest island in the West Indies, behind Cuba. The eastern two-thirds of the island is occupied by the Dominican Republic, while Haiti occupies the western one-third.
- Haiti refers to the land of the mountains.
Before Columbus arrived, the Tano people had already settled on the island. The island was given Ayiti, which means "mountain land." It is the Caribbean's most mountainous country. Saint Domingue was the name given to the island by the French when they colonized it in 1697. When the island won freedom in 1804, it reverted to its Tano name of Haiti, or Ayiti in Kreyol, as its colonial name.
- It has two official languages.
Haiti has two official languages: French and Haitian Creole. Haiti and Canada are the only nations in the Americas where French is an official language.
- Vodou is a recognized religion.
Vodou became an officially recognized religion in Haiti in April 2003. It is the world's only country that acknowledges Vodou in this way. Vodou is a creole word that means "spirit." 'Voudou' and 'Vodon' are two further spelling possibilities. When referring to the Haitian religion, the conventional spelling of 'voodoo' is often avoided when referring to the Haitian religion.
- It was the world’s first black-led republic.
The Haitian Revolution took place between 1791 and 1804 and was inspired by the French Revolution of 1789. Slave Africans led by Jean-Jacques Dessalines rose against the British and French colonizers' forces. It was the Americas' first successful slave insurrection. On January 1, 1804, Haiti declared independence from European authority, becoming the world's first black-led republic and the Western Hemisphere's second country. Haiti was also the first Caribbean country to break free from European rule.
- The French flag inspired the Haiti flag.
Jean-Jacques Dessalines became the first ruler of Haiti following the victorious revolution. He also designed the first flag of Haiti. He created the Haitian flag by removing the white stripe from the French flag in 1803. He said that the departure of the whites represented the expulsion of all colonizers from the land. The remaining red and blue stripes reflect the country's indigenous people. Red represents individuals of mixed European and African origin, while blue represents the country's Black population. The Haitian coat of arms has since been added to the flag. A liberty cap sits on a palmette, with a trophy underneath it that reads: L'Union Fait la Force (In Union there is Strength).
Show your support for Haiti Flag Day
- Be an advocate
Advocating and celebrating Haitian Flag Day on social media is a simple method to get the word out. As a result, you will be able to spread the word and build awareness among your followers.
Some organizations, such as J/P HRO, created by actor and humanitarian Sean Penn, provide instructions on putting up your fundraising website to collect money for the group. You may e-mail your pals and post it on social networking sites after it's set up.
- Support Haitian-owned businesses
Show your support on Haitian Flag Day by supporting Haitian-owned businesses. Haitian entrepreneurs are passionate about their work and play an essential role in helping their communities. These local companies serve individuals who live nearby in various ways, from giving a hometown feel to neighborhoods to working hard to get to know their neighbors. When it comes to demonstrating your support for Haitian businesses, it's crucial to do so for more than simply the sake of assisting them in gaining money and staying in business.
- Donate to foundations supporting Haiti
Donating to one of the numerous relief groups can help make an impact on Haitian Flag Day. Most NGOs make it simple to donate money by text message, online, phone, or mail.