PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti – According to the history of Haiti, the Caribbean country Haiti celebrates its flag day on May 18th every year, but it seems like the COVID-19 crisis has shut down the Haitian flag day celebrations across Haiti and diaspora.
One of Bon Déjeuner! Radio’s top journalists called Olritch said that even one of the most successful Haitian events called ‘Haitian Compas Festival’ was canceled until further notice. Unfortunately, the event promoters have no idea when they will re-launch the Haitian Compas Festival.
“La crise du coronavirus a tout arrêté en Haïti. Elle vise maintenant les célébrations du jour du drapeau haïtien à travers le pays. Selon le gouvernement haïtien, Haïti a annulé ses célébrations du jour du drapeau”, said Mr. Olritch while on air on Bon Déjeuner! Radio.
If we go back to the history of Haiti, the flag of Haiti is a bicolor flag featuring two horizontal bands colored blue and red, defaced by a white panel bearing the coat of arms.
The coat of arms depicts a trophy of weapons atop a green hill and a royal palm symbolizing independence.
The first purely Haitian flag was adopted on 18 May 1803, on the last day of the Congress of Arcahaie.
After the decisions of the current Haitian Government about the cancelation of the Haitian flag day celebrations, some political leaders, students, and everyone else said the COVID-19 has caused a lot of damages.
“Nous célébrons le jour du drapeau haïtien chaque 18 mai pour célébrer notre liberté et notre victoire, mais il est regrettable qu’Haïti ait annulé ses célébrations du jour du drapeau en raison de la peur causée par la pandémie de COVID-19”, said Mr. Werley Nortreus, a political leader and founder of Vanyan Sòlda Ayiti and A New Haiti Before 2045 (ANHB 2045).
Sadly, for the second year in a row, the Cap-Haitien Flag Day parade has been canceled. In 2019, it wasn’t held due to safety issues amid a political crisis.
This year 2020, it was the novel coronavirus that robbed the Cap-Haitien residents of the celebration of their flags.
“Ah, this is more than sadness,” secondary school’s, C.P.N. EDITH, band leader Fritz Rhodson Jules told.
“It really hurts that the parade won’t happen. I can’t even explain it, it’s a big event. It’s one of the biggest moments we lived each year. This year we’re left with a bitter taste in our mouth”, said Mr. Fritz Rhodson Jules during an interview with the diaspora in the United States.
Fritz Rhodson Jules has been participating in the parade since he was eight years old in 1998. He played the trumpet, the trombone, the small and the big drum and the cymbals before becoming EDITH’s chief maestro.
According to reports, on Sunday, May 17th, 2020,the current President of Haiti and the Prime Minister of Haiti demanded owners of venues and the promoters to cancel all the events they have on Monday, May 18th, 2020.
“I understand why the Haitian Government is demanding the cancelation of the flag day celebrations, this is why we agreed with their decisions to protect each other and the citizens during this very difficult time”, said Mr. Werley Nortreus on Sunday.