Republic of Haiti Flag Day

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
May 18, 2010

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I salute the people of Haiti and Haitians living in Diaspora communities around the world as you celebrate Flag Day.

The Haitian flag was created on May 18th, 1803, in the town of Arcahaie during a congress held in the midst of the country’s war for independence. By removing the middle white stripe of the French tricolor, symbolizing European domination, and stitching together the remaining red and blue stripes, representing Haiti’s black and interracial citizens, the flag came to embody your nation’s spirit of freedom, unity, and individual liberty.

In the aftermath of January’s devastating earthquake, it took on new resonance. The world rallied around the Haitian flag in an unprecedented outpouring of generosity and support. And like the stitched-together stripes of the flag, the Haitian people joined in solidarity to confront the challenges facing your country.

Today’s celebrations across Haiti and the Diaspora community are a testament to your resilience and determination even during the most challenging time. As we commemorate Flag Day, we must pay special tribute to those Haitians who despite having lost so much continue to work to build a stronger, more prosperous nation and a better tomorrow.

As the flag inspired an earlier generation of Haitians in their struggle for freedom, may it now inspire all of us to work for Haiti’s future. The United States will continue to stand with you as a friend and partner. And we send you our warmest wishes on this special day.

PRN: 2010/647