38 Important Facts About Haiti

Last updated on October 2nd, 2022

36. Christopher Columbus is also buried in Haiti in the Cathedral of Santa Maria.

37. Slaves were sold by Haiti to other countries, which brought them great wealth at the time.

38. The 2010 earthquake caused devastation to such an extent that as per experts, it will take decades to rebuild the lost infrastructure to support: health, governance, agriculture, and security. It also claimed the lives of more than 200,000 Haitians.

Interesting Facts About Haiti – Deforestation in Haiti. Source

The devastation caused by natural disasters becomes uncontainable because there is no way to bound the floods and obstruct their floor. The land also becomes infertile because of the removal of its top layer. Destruction in Haiti has had threatening impacts in the past and continues to endanger the current population unless strict measures are adopted and practiced.

About the flag of Haiti

Flag of Haiti
The national and official state flag of Haiti.

Haiti has a bi-color flag of blue and red horizontal sections. At the center is the coat of arms inside a white box. Below the coat of arms is the motto: L’Union Fait La Force (Unity is Strength).

A historic brief about the flag of Haiti will shed some insights.

The Origin of the Haitian Flag

The first flag was revealed by the first president and founding father, Alexandre Petion in 1806.

It was designed by Jean-Jacques Dessalines, the first Haitian ruler under the 1805 constitution who led the Haitian Revolution. One legend claims that he ripped the white part of the French flag and stitched the blue and red parts to make a new flag for Haiti on 18th May 1803. Dessalines’ goddaughter, Catherine Flon, helped him to sew the two pieces together, which were vertical.

The color blue represented African residents who lived in Haiti while red spoke for citizens of mixed descent (European-African). The two hues signified the unity of mulattos and blacks as they fought for freedom. In other historical accounts, Dessalines’ choice of color was inspired by the Vodun religion because he designed the flag while at the temple in Merote. So, the two colors represented Ogou, the god of war. The palm tree and weapons of the modern flag also symbolize Vodun, but they are associated with freedom in other contexts.

The celebration of Flag Days in Haiti started between 1915 and 1934, though in secrecy when the US occupied the island.

Other Flags

On 1st January 1804, the generals changed the vertical bands to horizontal. This was the first flag to mark an independent and free republic of Haiti. The design is affirmed in the 1843 constitution article number 192.

When Dessalines became emperor in 1805, he changed the colors to black (death) and red (freedom). He ordered an inscription of the slogan “Freedom or Death” on the flag.

Following Dessalines’ assassination on 17th October 1806 at Pont Rouge, Haiti split into two for the next 14 years. Then, Alexandre Pétion, the mulattos leader in the south, introduced the blue and red colors of today’s flag. He also ordered the addition of the “L’union fait la force” inscription and the coat of arms, which was further adorned with a liberty cap.

An attempt was made to bring back the black and red banner, but it failed. However, a self-proclaimed president, Faustin Soulouque, who took over power in 1849 maintained the blue and red flag but introduced a shield to replace the coat of arms. The coat of arms regained its position when his empire ended on 15th January 1859.

Other leaders may have changed the Haitian flag severally, but the nation reverted to the blue and red form. Overall, the flag was transformed about 10 times before its inauguration on 26th February 1986. It was reintroduced in 2012 and every 18th of May is Haiti’s Flag Day.

Haiti’s Flag Meaning

The coat of arms is the preeminent symbol on the flag of Haiti. It includes a royal palm tree and weaponry supported by a hilltop. The hillside features a white ribbon with the Unity is Strength motto. The weapons showcase Haiti’s passion for defending its freedom while the palm tree is a mark of independence. Behind the emblem, the white background enhances the vibrancy and brightness of the elements.

Haiti – the country at a glance

Independence1 January 1804 (from France)
Capital CityPort-au-Prince
(18°32′N 72°20′W)
Largest CityPort-au-Prince
(18°32′N 72°20′W)
National Anthem"La Dessalinienne" (The Dessalines Song)
National holidayIndependence Day, 1 January (1804)
National symbolsHispaniolan trogon (bird), hibiscus flower
National colors
blue, red
Total area27,750 sq km
Population11,334,637 (2022 est.)
Population growth rate1.22% (2021 est.)
Literacy rate61.7%
Official LanguagesFrench and Haitian Creole
BordersDominican Republic
CurrencyHaitian gourde (G) (HTG)
ReligionRoman Catholic
Life expectancy at birth65.95 years (2022 est.),
Life expectancy at birth indicates the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life.
Terrainmostly rough and mountainous
Mean elevation470 m
Highest pointChaine de la Selle 2,680 m
Lowest pointCaribbean Sea 0 m
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Natural resourcesbauxite, copper, calcium carbonate, gold, marble, hydropower, arable land
Agricultural land66.4%
Birth rate21.12 births/1,000 population (2022 est.)
Death rate7.23 deaths/1,000 population (2022 est.)
Sex ratio0.97 male(s)/female (2022 est.)
Government typesemi-presidential republic
PresidentAriel Henry (acting)
Prime MinisterAriel Henry (acting)
Industriestextiles, sugar refining, flour milling, cement, light assembly using imported parts
Exports$1.73 billion (2019 est.)
apparel, manufactures, oils, cocoa, mangoes, coffee
Imports$5.21 billion (2019 est.)
food, manufactured goods, machinery and transport equipment, fuels, raw materials
GDP - per capita (PPP):$2,800 (2020 est.)
Internet country code.ht
Time ZoneEST (UTC−5)
Calling Code+509
Drives on theRight
Data sourcesCentral Intelligence Agency, Wikipedia.org
Table last updatedAugust 01, 2022