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Flag and Universities Day in Haiti 2019

Public Holiday in Haiti

Flag and Universities Day is a public holiday in Haiti on 18 May. It celebrates the educational system and the creation of the flag in 1803.

When is Flag and Universities Day in Haiti?

How long until Flag and Universities' Day?
This holiday next takes place in 300 Days.
Dates of Flag and Universities' Day
Year Weekday Date
2019 Saturday
2018 Friday
Duration
1 Day
Local Name
Jour du Drapeau et de l'Université
Summary
Celebrates its educational system and commemorates the creation of the flag at the 1803 Arcahaye Conference.

Flag and Universities Day (French: Jour du Drapeau et de l'Université) is a public holiday in Haiti on 18 May.

The date commemorates the creation of the Haitian flag in 1803.

History of Flag and Universities Day in Haiti

The Haitian flag was adopted on 18 May 1803, on the last day of the Congress of Arcahaie. The congress was a meeting that had two key outcomes;  the establishment of a united command of the revolutionary army under the supreme authority of Jean-Jacques Dessalines, and the adoption of a flag by the indigenous army.

Jean-Jacques Dessalines created the flag by taking a French tricolor and ripping out the white center. His god-daughter, Catherine Flon, sewed the remaining horizontal bands together. The blue in the Haitian flag is said to represent the Haitian's of African descent and red for the Gens de couleur (French for 'people of colour').

In the struggle for independence from France, Haitians of African descent had been set against the 'Gens de couleur'. They had made peace earlier in 1803 and were now united against the French. It is interesting that the Haitian struggle for independence was inspired by the French Revolution and now their flag was also based on the French one.

Over the intervening years, the flag has been changed several times. The bands became vertical in 1804. A red and black variation has also bee in in use more than once. The current flag was adopted on 17 February 1986, after the departure of Jean-Claude Duvalier and was ratified a year later by the official adoption of the 29 March 1987 Constitution.

The creation of the original flag was a seminal moment in Haiti's nationhood and was soon being celebrated each year on 18 May.

In 1919, the government added Universities Day as part of the celebrations. Highlighting the educational system was seen as important by the government as they saw the educational system was under threat due to the U.S. occupation of Haiti that started in 1915.


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