Haiti – 218th Flag Day : Message from Lesly Condé
As part of the celebration of the 218th anniversary of our national bicolor, Lesly Condé, Ex-Consul General of Haiti in Chicago (August 26, 2004 – May 25, 2018), delivered as every year a message to all Haitians that we invite you to read and share.
Message from Lesly Condé :
“Dear compatriots and friends everywhere,
Here we are at the time to commemorate the 218th anniversary of the creation of the Haitian flag. May 18 of each year is a date dear to all Haitians. This date, which represents our proud identity, is also a moment of great importance in the universal history of freedom. We will not stop paying homage to the courage of our ancestors. It takes extraordinary bravery to dare to venture down a path that no one has ever had the audacity to take. When you are Haitian, you have a heritage that the whole world should be proud of and a flag that represents the victory of freedom.
This year, we need to look, in a special way, on the importance of the symbolism of our bicolor. In its most difficult moments, a Nation always retreats to the most glorious aspects of its past. The story of this flag is so eloquent that we would like to tell it to the world. There is so much symbolism in these two colors. Today, we Haitians have a duty to look proudly on this symbol of our identity, this two-tone which also belongs to the heritage of humanity. The story of the creation of the Haitian flag speaks not only of the bravery and determination of our ancestors, but also of their pragmatism. The French slavers had cleverly exacerbated the conflicts which existed between blacks and mulattoes, slaves and freedmen. This is the kind of division that slavery thrives on. However, Jean-Jacques Dessalines and our other ancestors understood that it was necessary to unite to defeat the common enemy. The birth of our flag on May 18, 1803 in Arcahaie, sealed this historic union.
Indeed, on May 18, 1803, what happened in Arcahaie, was going to alter the course of the history of the human race because, all astonished, the world would, shortly, witness the birth of the first black State of the Americas. We should pay tribute to the bravery and pragmatism of our ancestors who managed to come together despite their disagreements, and defying the wrath of the most powerful slavers of the moment.
What makes the creators of our flag and the flag itself more worthy of admiration is the element of mistrust. By irreverently snatching the white from the tricolor of tyranny and uniting blue and red to symbolize a liberating alliance, our ancestors challenged the world order of the moment in the name of universal freedom.
Today, this bicolor calls out to us desperately. We need the pragmatism of our ancestors. Let us unite so that tomorrow, our two-tone floats proudly under the sky of the country which saw the birth of freedom.
Thank you for your attention, and wish you a happy Flag Day.