Wednesday, May 18, 2016


Jan Jak the red rooster leads the barnyard animals holding his  Haitian flag strong.
Every Haitian is fiercely proud of their flag, and knows that it symbolizes how the Great Slave Revolt established the first free republic ruled by former slaves. Tradition holds that Jean Jacques Dessaline created the flag on May 18, 1804 by  shredding the white out of the French tri-color flag. His God-daughter Catherine Flon sewed the red and blue bands together, and is much honored for her role in creating the flag. The red band is said to symbolize the African slaves and the red those Haitians of mixed blood. An alternative view is that the red and blue are the colors of Ogou, the Vodan god of war.

The coat of arms show palms symbolizing independence, and a trophy of weapons representing the struggle to preserve the freedom of the republic. Every Haitian is also aware that the Great Slave Revolt continues as the people are still enslaved by poverty and illiteracy.

Not only do the Haitian people hold their flag dear to them, but the animals do as well, as shown in the photo above. The painting is taken from a children’s book , Jan Jak, The Rooster Couldn’t Wake Up, by Medicine For Peace Board Member, K.J.Crane. and three young Haitian artists. The final picture in the book shows Jan-Jak, a talented dancer, leading the farm animals up a hill, his arm raised high holding his beloved Haitian flag.