The flag of Haiti is composed of equal horizontal parts of blue and red defaced by the country’s coat of arms in the center. A country of multi ethnicity and color, these colors represent the union of the races that make up the country. Blue signifies the black population and its link to its African roots while the red symbolizes the country’s multi ethnic populace. These two colors are also an adaptation of the French flag.
The coat of arms in the flag of Haiti shows six draped flags, three on each side, and in the center lays a palm tree with a liberty cap of red and blue. These figures are resting on a green lawn and surrounded by cannons, cannonballs and other items such as a drum, a bugle and ship anchors (via rivera at dhead online). These weapons signify the willingness and the ability of the people to fight for their country and its freedom. Below is also a scroll with Haiti’s motto – L’ Union Fait La Force or Union is Strength – is inscribed.
There is a lore widely known among the Haitians that the flag was created when the new appointed leader, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, ripped the white part of the French flag. Haiti, being a colony of France, interprets the white color of the flag to be a symbol of the French colonial oppression. Dessalines gave the ripped flag to his god daughter Catherine Flon who later sewed the red and blue parts back on. These colors will then represent the union of the ethnicities that comprises the country. The date is May 18, 1803. This date in turn became the celebrated Haitian Flag Day.
Over the course of history, the Haitians have been changing the colors of their flags making it black and red instead of the blue and red pair. The coat of arms was added to differentiate the flag of Haiti from the Liechtenstein’s. It was found out at the 1936 Berlin Summer Olympics that the two nations are bearing the same banner.