MAPLEWOOD, NJ — Maplewood Township is inviting the public to join them in celebrating Haitian Flag Day on Wednesday (May 18) at the Municipal Building Flag Pole at 5 p.m. The building is located at 574 Valley St.
The ceremony will include remarks from Township Officials, the raising of the flag, and the playing of the Haitian national anthem.
Why is the day significant? According to the Haitian Embassy, the day represents an important milestone in Haiti’s independence from France.
In May 1803, during the Congress of Arcahaie, various segments of Haitian society united under military leaders who opposed the French colonial army.
“This union, sealed by Jean Jacques Dessalines, a former slave, and Alexandre Petion, a free colored man, paved the way for a victorious revolution that would lead to the only successful slave uprising in the world and eventually the birth of a nation,” the embassy explains.
“At the Congress of Arcahaie, Dessalines ripped the white section out of the Red, White and Blue French flag. The Red and Blue cloths were then sewn together by his goddaughter, Catherine Flon, to form the first Blue and Red flag of the Republic of Haiti.”
Professor Laurent Dubois is quoted by the embassy as saying, “The culture of these masses, forged in bondage – the Kreyol language, the Vodou religion, the focus on community, dignity and self-sufficiency – that ultimately enabled them to destroy slavery and produce something new in its place.”
Flag Day helps them celebrate their national pride and honor their forefathers and ancestors.
For more information on the event, click here.
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