This page is part of © FOTW Flags Of The World website


République d'Haïti, Repiblik Dayti, Republic of Haiti

Last modified: 2001-11-09 by dov gutterman
Keywords: haiti | caribbean | mdn | cabbage palm | palm | royal palm | emperor palm | liberty cap | phrygian cap | anthem |
Links: FOTW homepage | search | disclaimer and copyright | write us | mirrors

[State flag of Haiti]
National and War Flag and Ensign
by Zeljko Heimer, 30 October 2001

Flag adopted 25 February 1986, coat of arms also adopted 25 February 1986.

See also:

Other site:


[Civil flag of Haiti]
Civil Flag and Ensign
by Zeljko Heimer, 30 October 2001


Constitution of 1987 (Article 3):

The emblem of the Haitian Nation shall be a flag with the following description:

  • Two (2) equal-sized horizontal bands: a blue one on top and a red one underneath;
  • The coat of arms of the Republic shall be placed in the center on a white square;
  • The coat of arms of the Republic are: a Palmette surrounded by the liberty cap, and under the palms a trophy with the legend: In Union there is Strength [L'Union Fait la Force]

Dov Gutterman, 7 January 1999

I have found the original French version (national languages in Haiti are French and Creole) of the Constitution at: (Website of the General Consulate of haiti in Montreal)

Les couleurs nationales sont: le bleu et le rouge. (National colours are: blue and red)

ARTICLE 3: as above, but: Les Armes de la République sont : Le Palmiste etc...

What is puzzling is that the original French text and the English translation do not refer to the same tree!
According to DOD Bourke's French-English horticultural dictionary (CAB International, 1989), palmette (Fr) = palmetto (En) = Sabal palmetto, palmiste (Fr) = cabbage palm (En) = Roystonea oleracea. Palm cabbage is the growing point eaten as a vegetable. DK Pocket Book calls the tree the 'royal palm', thus referring to local palmist species (Roystonea regia in Cuba, R. oleracea in Barbados, and R. borinquena in Puerto-Rico). I suggest to change 'palmette' to 'cabbage palm' to avoid confusion. Smith (1976) calls it 'emperor palm', a palm I have not found in any of the botanical books I have searched in.
The motto on the emblem (L'Union fait la Force) is NOT the national motto, which is Liberte - Egalite - Fraternite, fide Article 4 of the Constitution , as erroneously reported in DK Pocket Book and Smith (1976 & 1980)
According to Album des Pavillons, the flag with the emblem is the national flag and ensign as well as the war ensign, and the 'plain' flag is the civil ensign. This is seconded in Pedersen (1970) showing the Duvalier's era flags (with black instead of blue) .DK Pocket Book  shows the flag without the emblem, with the caption 'For official and state purposes, the flag is charged with the national arms on a central white disc . Smith (1976 & 1980) also shows the Duvalier version (black instead of blue) without emblem as state and war flag and ensign.
Ivan Sache, 12 December 1999

I have here a letter dated 01 12 1987 sent to Roman Klimes by Ministère de l'Information et de la Coordination of Haiti . It says more or less the same as your sources, with the following details
- "Palmiste royal"
- flag 2,90 x 1,74 m
- a drawing  b & w showing the flag with coa on a white rectangle 0,55 x 0,45 m

I also have a photo of President Preval in Jane's Defence Weekly dated 14 01 98, the white rectangle is much bigger in the flag than in your web photo.

When visiting me here on 25 09 97, an Haitian hydrographer brought me a flag and told me that :
- the size of rectangle is variable
- blue should be the same as french blue but we often see a variable blue
- civil flags are without rectangle and coa
- there is no war navy, airforce (last aircrafts have been sold), so no jack, no aircraft markings.
Armand du Payrat, 13 December 1999

Palmiste royal agrees with royal or emperor palm mentioned in my first message, so it makes sense to consider the tree as a cabbage palm, locally called royal palm, in Latin Roystonea sp. (sp. for species because the species status of this particular palm is not clear).
Ivan Sache, 13 December 1999

I suddenly noticed that Sesam Encyclopedie (1977) has two coloured plates of flags. Concering Haiti (State flag), the central rectangle noticably larger, with the same ratio as the flag. If there ever was an official description saying this should be a square, than it's never followed; all flags I can recall have always had clearly rectangular shapes in the center. it's not exactly the same ratio as the above flag. The rectangle takes almost half the height of the flag, and just over half the length. The difference is just enough of to stop the rectangle from looking like a flag (or hole) inside the flag, if one pays attention to it.
I noticed we have the English description, and though we don't have the relevant part of the French description, we do have a link showing it. Both describe the white field as a square, but I would like to hear from anyone who ever saw an actual square white field on an Haiti flag. I'm beginning to think that, regardless of what the law says, even the Haiti government will most likely use an oblong field, simply because it fits the CoA better.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 6 October 2000

At "Nouveau Petit Larousse Illustre" (1924) - Haiti: Version with rectangle (not square), with a very wide image. I'd say some three quarters of the rectangle's width is taken up by flag cloth, or higher up by palm leaves, this being wider than the rectangle's height.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 29 October 2000

Pavillons Nationaux et Marques Distinctives [pay00] clearly states that:
- the flag with the arms is the National and War Flag and Ensign.
- the flag without the arms is the civil flag and ensign.
Note that Dorling-Kindersley Pocket Book shows the flag without the arms only and says "for official and state purposes the flag is charged with the national arms on a central white disc" (sic).
The flag is sometimes 3:4 in proportion and several variations in shade and size of the rectangle including the arms have been reported.
Ivan Sache, 5 January 2001

According to Album 2000 [pay00] - Civil Flag and Ensign (C--/C-- 3:5) - Civil variant of the flag is without the CoA, so just a blue over red bicolour. This is the flag that once "inspired" Lichenstein to add the crown on
its flag. Recently we discussed an objection from a visitor, claiming that the flag with CoA is "true" national flag of Haiti. Either this has changed since 1930's (when the Lichenstein "incident" happened) or indeed the visitor's perception of the
national flag is somewhat distorted.
Zeljko Heimer, 30 October 2001

[gmc17] show the CoA, state and civil flags (fig. 486, 490, 491) that are virtually the same as those reportedly used today accurding to Album 2000 [pay00] , with some differences in the representation of the CoA, that could be ascribed to artistic redention, and are of no significance.
[neu92] agrees again, but giving the size of the CoA much bigger and more elongated (and again with different artistic redention).
[smi75c] and [smi82] show the 1964 version of the flags, vertically divided black and red.
Zeljko Heimer, 31 October 2001

National and War Flag and Ensign

Flags of participating nations are vertically displayed in the arena where the Judo World Championships take place in Munchen (Germany). The Haitian flag appears clearly to have non-rotated arms (i.e. their basis remains parallel to the original flag basis, now vertical.) I have not found reference to this case. Since there is a ribbon with a motto below the arms, I would expect a rotation of the arms to keep them horizontal and legible.
Ivan Sache, 30 July 2001

In all sport events I have seen on TV, Haiti is represented by the flag with coat of arms. All sources (except DK Pocket Book, which mentions a disk!) agree that the flag with coat of arms is not only the state flag and ensign, but also the national one, whereas the flag without coat of arms is the civil flag and ensign.
Ivan Sache, 13 October 2001

According to Album 2000 [pay00] - National Flag (-SW/-SW 3:5) - Blue over red bicolour with rectangular white panel in the middle with the national coat of arms. The ratio of the panel itself is somthing like 4:5. It apears to be less the 1/3 of the hoist high, but it seems to me that this size is (and never was) firmly decided on.

3:4 variant
by Zeljko Heimer, 30 October 2001

Note to the figure explains that beside this flag a variation with lighter blue, larger panel and in ratio 3:4 is also used.
Zeljko Heimer, 30 October 2001

Coat of Arms

by Zeljko Heimer, 30 October 2001

According to Album 2000 [pay00] - Coat of Arms - Shown with white rectangular background, but I choose to show it on transparent one. Of course, using the Corel clipart for this drawing, with very minor corrections and coloured after Album 2000. The main difference between the two are the chains under the trumpets shown in Album.
Zeljko Heimer, 30 October 2001

Haitian Flag Anthem

The Haitian flag anthem is shown at,words by Christian Werleigh (My translation):
"Hail, beautiful Vertie'res flag
Holy emblem of the Union
Inspire us, Dessalines and Pe'tion's
Haughty colours

On this great day of our history
The 18th of May 1803
Thou appeared to guide our rights
Towards the sun of victory
And the ruler trembled all over when he saw,
Announcing the new dawn,
His beautiful tricolour standard,
Looming up, diminished of the white

In front of Vertie'res flag
Which call us to union
Let us remember Dessalines and Pe'tion's
Haughty souls."

The French troops were defeated during the battle of Vertie'res (18 November 1803). Their capitulation allowed the proclamation of Haitian independence on 1 January 1804 Dessalines and Pe'tion's were among the leaders of the anti-French insurrection movement. The 18 May 1803 was the closing day of the Arcahaie congress (15-18 May 1803), during which Dessalines had been appointed general-in-chief of the insurrection army and had adopted the motto "L'inde'a'pendance ou la mort" (Independence or death) He also "diminished" the French Tricolor of its white stripe to design the first blue-and-red Haitian flag. The flag anthem is very popular in Haiti. It is sung during flag hoisting ceremonies in school, barracks etc.
Ivan Sache, 2 December 2000

Haitian Voodoo Flags

A friend referred me to a special exhibit: - Click : The Electric Art Gallery: Haitian Voodoo Flags. Very different designs from what we inculcate, but the purpose is very different, too.
John Ayer, 9 October 1999

Aircraft Markings

by Zeljko Heimer, 31 October 2001

Album 2000 does not give anything about the aircraft markings, but [coe98] pictures two and describes the third:
1943-1971 white disk with "sidebars" with blue over red disk in the middle (described in text that 1964 blue was changed back to pre-1806 black).
1971 onwards, white disk with "sidebars" with blue and red concentric disks.
Zeljko Heimer, 31 October 2001

Previous Roundels

by Zeljko Heimer, 31 October 2001

by Zeljko Heimer, 31 October 2001

CHANNELS :: Compare Country infoCountry guide & StudyFlagsMapsSightseeingTravel WarningsHotel Directory DESTINATIONS :: AsiaAfricaCaribbean Middle EastNorth AmericaSouth AmericaCentral AmericaOceania PacificEuropePolar Regions UTILITIES :: WeatherWorld TimeISD CodesTravel Links Link Exchange
DestinationsMonuments WONDERS :: AncientModernNatural | Privacy Policy