Ancient Emblems

Independence 1804

the north 1807-1820

the republic 1807-1849

Hayti 1807-1811

The Union of Haiti and San Domingo

The Kingdom 1811-1820

The Imperial Interlude 1849-1859

King Henri I

The Republic continued 1859 - present




The recorded history of Haiti began on December 5, 1492 when the European navigator Christopher Columbus happened upon a large island in the region of the western Atlantic Ocean that later came to be known as the Caribbean Sea. It was inhabited by the Taíno, an Arawakan people, who variously called their island Ayiti, Bohio, or Kiskeya. Columbus promptly claimed the island for the Spanish Crown, and renamed it La Isla Española ("the Spanish Island"), or Hispañola

French buccaneers established a settlement on the island of Tortuga in 1625. The first official settlement on Tortuga was established in 1659 under the commission of King Louis XIV.

In 1664, the newly established French West India Company took control over the colony, which it named Saint-Domingue, and France formally claimed control of the western portion of the island of Hispaniola. In 1670 they established the first permanent French settlement on the mainland of Hispaniola, Cap François (later Cap Français, now Cap-Haïtien). Under the 1697 Treaty of Ryswick, Spain officially ceded the western third of Hispaniola to France.

On August 22, 1791, slaves in the northern region of the colony staged a revolt that began the Haitian Revolution. Tradition marks the beginning of the revolution at a vodou ceremony at Bois Caïman (Alligator Woods) near Cap-Français.

With the colony facing a full-scale invasion by Britain, the rebel slaves emerged as a powerful military force, under the leadership of Toussaint Louverture, (*1743-†1803) Jean-Jacques Dessalines, and Henri Christophe. Louverture successfully drove back the British and by 1798 was the de facto ruler of the colony. By 1801, he was in control of the whole island, after conquering Spanish Santo Domingo. He did not, however, proclaim full independence for the country, nor did he seek reprisals against the country's former white slaveholders.

General Dessalines determined to throw off the allegiance of France. He was convinced of the falsity of Napoleon’s promises and to him these words of the consul’s proclamation, announcing to the inhabitants of St. Dominique the expedition of General Leclerc had been found wanting: “Should any one whisper in your ear: These forces are destined to deprive you of your liberty, answer: It is the  Republic that has given us liberty: the Republic wille never suffer it to be ravished from us.’” The promises had indeed been broken, for slavery, abolished in 1793, was reestablished May 20, 1802.

On January 1, 1804 Dessalines then declared independence, reclaiming the indigenous Taíno name of Haiti ("Land of Mountains") for the new nation. Most of the remaining French colonists fled ahead of the defeated French army, many migrating to Louisiana or Cuba.

Made governor for life in October 1804, Dessalines proclaimed himself Emperor and was confirmed by the constitution of 1805,.

After General Dessalines was assassinated in 1806, the French part of the island  was divided between Christophe in the north and general Petion in the south.

In 1843 General Jean Pierre Boyer became the President of the whole island. He had first united in his hands all the French part, succeeding General Petion in 1818 and Christophe, who had committed suicide, in 1820. The Eastern or Spanish part of the island, which kept the old name of Santo Domingo after the cession, but had again, by the Treaty of Paris in 1814, reverted to the Spanish dominion, had, on the 21st of December, 1821, declared its independence from the mother country. Boyer, taking advantage of dissensions there, invaded and conquered it, and in 1822 was the President of the new government, which was called the Republic of Haiti.

In 1844 the Santo Domingo gained its independence in the chaos following General Boyer’s death.

In 1849 president Faustin Soulouque proclaimed himself emperor as Faustin I. He was overrun by president N.F. Geffrard in 1859 and Haiti has been a republic since then.

A period of relative stability and prosperity ended in 1911, when revolution broke out and the country slid once again into disorder and debt. From 1911 to 1915, there were six different Presidents, each of whom was killed or forced into exile.

In February 1915, Vilbrun Guillaume Sam established a dictatorship, but in July, facing a new revolt, he massacred 167 political prisoners, all of whom were from elite families, and was lynched by a mob in Port-au-Prince.

Shortly afterwards, the United States, responding to complaints to President Woodrow Wilson from American banks to which Haiti was deeply in debt, occupied the country. The occupation of Haiti lasted until 1934.




Ancient Emblems


In the time of the french presence on the island the heraldic symbols of the king of France, the French West India Company and the French Republic were used in the western part of Hispaniola. Probably due to the great prosperity of the North before the revolt of the Boïs Caiman-revolt in 1719, paper money of the northern departement of Port de Paix showed an emblem which was different from the one of the French Republic. It consisted of a stake with a phrygian cap, a palm-leaf, a leafed branch and two swords in saltire. This is the oldest known emblem of Haitian territory.


Photo Rudman Collection

Four escalins note of the Departement du Port-de-Paix, 1790.


Toussaint Louverture, initially on the side of the insurrection, changed sides in 1793. The colors under which Toussaint Louverture fought afterwards were those of the French tricolor. Not even when he became master of the whole country, and had adopted a constitution for his native land, on the 8th  of July 1801, was the flag of France discarded. It was not changed until 1803 after that upright patriot, “The first of the Blacks,” became a victim of the duplicity of those who had been unable to vanquish him by fair means, and was cajoled into bondage and exiled to France to die of hunger and privation in the Castle of Youx.


Not only the French tricolore was maintained but also the symbol of the French nation being a virgin standing upright and supporting with her right hand a fasces and with her left hand a stake, crowned with a phygian cap. This virgin was on the seal of the French Republic adopted 15.8/3.9-1792.

Such a virgin is on coins of the revolutionary government of Saint Domingue of 1802, the year that Toussaint Louverture was taken prisoner. The legends reads: REPUBLIQUE FRANÇAISE / COLONIE DE SAINT DOMINGUE.



1 January 1804


His successor, General Dessalines, bent on erecting a sovereign Government, suppressed the white of the French tricolor - the white representing good will and peace for France - and keeping the other colors, reversed them in the arrangement of the flag.

Another story relates that after his victory, Dessalines took a French flag and teared off the white part, not because he wanted to destroy the last symbol of royalty but more likely out of hatred of the whites in which he only could see oppressors.[1]


The Constitution of 20 May 1805 changed the name of St Domingo in Hayti and made provisions for Dessalines and the national colours:


Art. 1. The people inhabiting the island formerly called St. Domingo, hereby agree to form themselves into a free state sovereign and independent of any other power in the universe, under the name of empire of Hayti. [2]


Made governor for life in October 1804, Dessalines proclaimed himself Emperor and was confirmed in the same document:


Of the Government,

Art 20: The people acknowledge for Emperor and Commander in Chief of the Army, Jacques Dessalines, the avenger and deliverer of his fellow citizens. The title of Majesty is conferred upon him, as well as upon his august spouse, the Empress.


At the same time the national colours (and the colours of the flag) were changed:


General Dispositions,

Art. 20: The national colours shall be black and red.


It is said that the first emblem of state was designed by General Dessalines and was of a similar form as the emblem known today. On letters of General Dessalines however an achievement was represented in their letterheads.  [3]


Achievement of General Dessalines


Arms: A cock reguardant on a hill

Crown: An Imperial crown

Supporters: Two lions reguardant.

Motto: LIBERTÉ OU LA MORT. on a ribbon above the crown.


We may suppose that  all parts were of their natuatal colors, the field being white.


Others maintain that the emblem was adopted in 1807, and it is a fact that it occurs only in the first years of the reign of President  Petion (1807-‘18). [4]


Coin of President Petion An 14 (1817)







After Dessalines’ assassination, Haiti was split up in a Western part and a Northern part.


Henri Christophe, chief commander by Imperial decree of Jacques I on 28 July 1805, was elected to the newly created position of president, but without real powers.

Feeling insulted, Christophe retreated with his followers to the Plaine du Nord and created a separate government there. In 1807 Christophe declared himself président et généralissime des forces de terre et de mer de l'État d'Haïti (President and Generalissimo of the armies of land and sea of the State of Haïti)


As there was no official seal of state the seal of Christophe was for the time being adopted as such. It was circular and showed the letters H.C. crowned with a crown of oak with the motto: LIBERTAS RELIGIO MORES.



Seal of Henri Christophe

Reconstruction [5]


The arms of Henri Christophe showed at first his cypher HC, place on a shield, crowned with a crown of laurel and surrounded by a garland of branches of olive and oak



Emblem and arms of the President of  the State of North Haiti, 1807-‘11


Later (1808) a coat of arms was adopted. It was oval and showed eleven stars and a sun with a human face rising from the sea.



Arms of Haity state, 1808



30 sols, 1808.

On the obverse a virgin personifying the free Haitian people, sitting, in her right a stake with the cap of liberty, her left supporting a shield of the arms. On the reverse the cypher of president Henri Christophe crowned with a crown of oak within a legend of the national motto.


The coat of arms was also placed on the new seal. This was oval and showed the arms surrounded by the legend: ETAT D’HAITY and below two branches of laurel in saltire.



Seal of Haity State, 1808

reconstruction [6]


A third seal showed two bundles of flags in saltire, charged with a medallion with a picture of Liberty. 


The Kingdom



In 1811 Henri made the northern state of Haïti a kingdom, and was ordained king by Archbishop of Milot Corneil Breuil and the Constitution of 1811.



April 6, 1811
Which establishes Royalty in Hayti.


Done by the council of state of Hayti, at Cape Henry, the 28th March, 1811,



Of the Supreme Authority.



The President, Henry Christophe, is declared King of Hayti, under the name of Henry.

This title, with its prerogatives and privileges, shall be hereditary in the male and legitimate descendants of his family in a direct line, by elder birthright, to the exclusion of females.


Art. 2. All the acts of the kingdom shall be in the name of the King, published and promulgated under the royal seal.



“The coronation ceremonies took place on 2 June 1811. The day before all lords of the kingdom had taken the oath. On the day itself contingents of infanterists and cavalerists lined up along the road to the Royal Palace and the Champ de Mars and at eight o’clock in the morning the king, the queen and prince Victor stepped out of a coach drawn by eight horses. Gunshots were fired incessantly, the streets had been repaved recently and accompanied by the sound of drums and trumpets and the acclamations of the people the sovereigns were conducted to their thrones.

Archbishop C. Brell began the Veni Creator and the ceremony was accomplished along the liturgical traditions. Christophe took the oath to maintain “the integrity of the territory and to govern in the interest of the happiness and the glory of the big Haitian family of which I am the chief”. Then the archbishop crowned the sovereign with a golden crown. Eight days of festivities followed.”


Today the crown of Henri I is in a private collection in Haiti. [7]


Henri I

King 28 III 1811-8.X.1820


By order of 1 April 1811 Henri Christophe adopted a new coat of arms. It was:  


A.: d’azur semé d’étoiles d’or sans nombre, au phénix de gueules, couronné d’or. [8]


His full title was:


Henri, par la grâce de Dieu et la Loi constitutionelle de l’État Roi d’Haïti, Souverain des Îles de la Tortue, Gonâve, et autres îles adjacentes, Destructeur de la tyrannie, Régénérateur et bienfaiteur de la nation haïtienne, Créateur de ses institutiones morales, politiques et guerrières, Premier monarque couronné du Nouveau-Monde, Défenseur de la foi, Fondateur de l’ordre royal et militaire de Saint-Henri. [9]


The phoenix was the actual symbol of the king. It was surrounded by a bordure charged with the motto EX CINERIBUS NASCITUR (I Will Rise From My Ashes), crowned with the royal crown.



On this coin the motto DEUS CAUSA ATQUE GLADIUS MEUS (God, My Cause and My Sword) was added



Excursion 1 The Order of St. Henri




By Royal Order of 20 April 1811 the “Ordre Royal et Militaire de Saint Henri” (Royal and Military Order of St Henri) was founded.


The jewel of the order consisted of a star of  six bifurcated points Azure, voided Or, between six smaller points Azure, charged with a medallion Gules, a five-pointed star Or, surrounded by a garland Vert and a bordure Azure with the legend PRIX DE LA VALEUR.


The collar consisted of golden knots separated by medallions Gules, a crowned phoenix Or, within a bordure also Or. [10]






Afterwards the royal arms were surrounded by the collar and star of that order.



The arms of 1 April 1811 were the basis for the lesser, the medial and the larger arms of the Kingdom of Haiti.


The lesser arms consisted of the royally crowned arms surrounded by the collar of the Order of St. Henri founded at the same date.



One Crown, 1813-‘14

Obverse: Bust of Henri. Reverse: Crowned arms with collar. L.: HENRY IR PAR LA GRACE DE DIEU ROI D’HAITY. 1813 AN 10 DE L’INDEP.




Achievement of the Kingdom of Hayti.

As on a diplom of  1815.


The medial arms consisted of a trophy of flags, cannon and piles of cannon-balls, charged with the lesser arms and in chief the motto DIEU MA CAUSE ET MON ÉPÉE on a listel.


In the larger arms or royal achievement a listel with a motto was added on the shield. The achievement was:



A.: Or/Azure, semée with five-pointed stars also Or, a phoenix rising from its flames, proper, crowned Or, and in base a ribbon Argent with the motto JE RENAIS DE MES CENDRES. (I Will Rise of My Ashes)

C.: The Royal Haitian Crown.

O.: The collar and star of the Ordre Royal et Militaire de St. Henry.

S.: Two lions rampant guardant Or, royally crowned.

M.: DIEU MA CAUSE ET MON ÉPÉE in golden lettering on a white ribbon with golden edges.


Of this achievement there are two versions, the first with the shield Azure, the second, shown here, with a shield Or. It is not known which version was authorized. [11]


At the end of his life the Royal emblem was changed. It consisted of the arms of 1811, the stars omitted, surrounded by a royally crowned circular ribbon:


Photo ebay

Crown, 1820


Obverse: Bust of Henri Christophe. Reverse: Royal emblem between the cyphers of the king and queen Marie Louise Christophe. L.: HENRICUS DEI GRATIA HAITI REX / DEUS CAUSA ATQUE GLADIUS MEUS. L’AN 17

reconstruction of the achievement [12]


Arms.: Azure, a phoenix (Gules)

Crown: A Royal Crown





Republic / Freestate of Southern Haiti



After the assassination of Dessalines Alexander Sabes Pétion was elected President of the southern  “Republique d’Hayti” in 1807. He declared himself president for life in 1816.


Under his rule an emblem of state appears. The oldest version known is on coins minted in 1813:


25 centimes, reverse, 1813

Emblem of State with palmtree, banners and cannon, The motto lacking.


Emblem: A trophy of four flags, two rifles, two spears, two cannon on their gun-carriages and two piles of cannon-balls, charged with a palmtree, issuing therefrom a stake with a phrygian cap [all proper].


Another silver 25 centimes piece, with the name of the state as a legend, 1817.


Union of Hayti and San Domingo / Haiti



General Jean Pierre Boyer first united in his hands all the French part, succeeding General Petion in 1818 and Christophe, who had committed suicide, in 1820. The Eastern or Spanish part of the island, which kept the old name of Santo Domingo after the cession, but had again, by the Treaty of Paris in 1814, reverted to the Spanish dominion, had, on the 21st of December, 1821, declared its independence from the mother country. Boyer, taking advantage of dissensions there, invaded and conquered it, and in 1822 was the President of the new government, which was called the Republic of Haiti.

The island remained united under Haitian Government until 1844, when the eastern or Spanish end threw off the Haitian yoke and became independent under the name of Dominican Republic.


For this republic there appears a republican fasces, the axe inside, which can be interpreted to be the symbol of the Republic of Haiti, implying the sovereignty of the people. It is surrounded by the national motto LIBERTÉ ÉGALITÉ.



Centimes-coins with a republican fasces per pale were minted 1828-’50.


The emblem of state was augmented with a listel in base, bearing the name of the republic:



Emblem of State as on paper money, by presidential decree of  23 September1826



Emblem of State as on paper money by law of 16 April 1827


Emblem: A palmtree crowned with a cap of liberty, and a trophy of  four flags (per fess  Azure and Gules) six spears, two rifles, two cannon on their gun-carriages and two piles of cannon-balls, all on a ground [proper].

And a listel with the name of the Republic: REPUBLIQUE D’HAITI.


In 1843 Boyer became the President of the whole island.


Article 192 of the republican constitution of 1843 provided that the colors of the flag should be blue and red, placed horizontally, the blue uppermost; and the arms of the Republic consisted of a palmtree surmounted by the cap of liberty and ornamented with a trophy of arms with the motto: “L’Union Fait la Force (In Union there is strength). [13]


The national motto remained unchanged.


The Imperial Interlude



In 1847 President Riché died. During his tenure he had acted as a figurehead for the Boyerist ruling class, who immediately began to look for a replacement. Their attention quickly focused on Faustin Soulouque. At the age of 65 he seemed to be a malleable candidate and was subsequently enticed to accept the role offered him, taking the Presidential Oath of Office on 2 March 1847.

At first Faustin seemed to fill the role of puppet well. He retained the cabinet level ministers of the former president, and continued the programs of his predecessor. Within a short time however, he overthrew his backers and made himself absolute ruler of the state. Supported by a gang of highly loyal militia known as "zinglins", Soulouque continued to consolidate his power over the government, a process which culminated in the Senate and Chamber of Deputies proclaiming him Emperor of Haïti on 26 August 1849.


Faustin I (Faustin Élie Soulouque)

Emperor 26.8.1849-22.1.1859


The enthronement ceremonies took place in April 1852. The Emperor desired grandiose festivities and their preparation took a long time. From the end of March, delegations from all parts of the country arrived in Port-au-Prince. On the Champ-de-Mars two magnificent tents were set up: the first, in the form of a church, could contain six- to eight-thousand people; the smaller other one was reserved for the Emperor and his suite. On Sunday 18 April 1852 at three o’clock in the morning, soldiers and delegations took their places on the Champ-de-Mars. Many important guests arrived in their turn. Towards nine o’clock Their Majesties and the Imperial procession left the Palace. They entered the small tent to dress in enthronement robes and then went to the provisional church where Abbé Cessens solemnized the religious ceremonies of the coronation. On the moment of his coronation Faustin I climbed the steps of the altar, took the crown and crowned himself. The he crowned the Empress. After the coronation the festivities in Port-au-Prince lasted eight days.



Excursion 2 The Regalia



At his coronation Faustin I was dressed in coronation robes inspired by the coronation robes of Napoleon I.

They consisted of a white silken tunica, a purple mantle strewn with eagles and a cape of ermine.  He wears the collars and stars of two orders, probably of the two highest Imperial orders: the Imperial and Military Order of St. Faustin (1849) and the Civil Order of the Legion of Honour (1849) (apparently not known by the artist).

On his head he wears the Imperial Haitian crown.

He has a long staff in his right hand, crowned with an eagle of Napoleonic design.[14]





For the occasion an imperial crown and a main-de-justice were made by the jeweller Arthus Bertrand in Paris. They also are inspired by Napoleonic examples. The crown consists of a diadem with eight hoops surmounted by the top of a palmtree and an orb with a cross. Between the hoops there are Haitian eagles consisting of Napoleonic-style crowned eagles sejant on two cannon in saltire. The crown  is decorated with emeralds, diamonds, garnets and other jewels. It was exhibited in the Musée du Panthéon national haitien (MUPANAH), but, due to the vandalism it suffered, it has been transferred to a safe place for protection on 31 January 2007.


The main-de-justice is of the same kind. It has been sold recently and is in a private collection.



Two years before his coronation the emblem of the Republic (implying the sovereignty of the people) and the emblem of State of Haiti were abandoned and replaced by the Imperial emblem and arms.


The Imperial emblem consisted of a palmtree charged with a crowned eagle sejant on two cannon in saltire [proper].



The national motto was changed into LIBERTÉ  INDEPENDANCE.


The National and Imperial emblems were of three categories: the arms, the lesser achievement and the  larger achievement.


The arms are:

Arms: Or, a palmtree charged with an eagle sejant on two cannon in saltire, proper.


The lesser achievement is:

Arms: Or, a palmtree charged with an eagle sejant on two cannon in saltire, proper.

Crown: The Haitian Imperial crown

Order: The star of the Ordre Imperial et Militaire de St. Faustin

Supporters: Two lions reguardant proper.



Excursion 3: The Order of St. Faustin




The Ordre imperial et militare de St. Faustin was founded by imperial decree of 21 September 1849.

The star of the order consists of eight bifurcated points enameled alternately of blue and red, charged with a blue medallion with the Haitian Eagle, surrounded by a red bordure with the motto DIEU MA PATRIE ET MON ÉPÉE. Behind the star is a green garland and it is crowned with the imperial Haitian crown.

On the reverse the medallion is replaced by the portrait of the Emperor in gold, surrounded by a red bordure with the legend:  FAUSTIN I. EMPEREUR D’HAITI.

No collar of the order is known, the ribbon being light blue. [15]



The larger achievement was:




Arms: Or, a palmtree charged with an eagle sejant on two cannon in saltire, proper.

Crown: The Haitian Imperial crown

Order: The star of the Ordre Imperial et Militaire de St. Faustin on a ribbon Gules, a narrow blue stripe in the middle.

Supporters: Two lions reguardant proper.

Mantle: Purpure, fringed and tasseled Or, lined ermine, crowned with the Haitian Imperial crown.



In a newer version, probably adopted after his coronation, the field of the arms is Azure:




Full achievement of Faustin I as on a medal. [17]


The Republic Continued



After Emperor Faustin I was deposed the emblems of the Empire were abandoned. The emblem of the former Republic was readopted and restyled by adding some new elements to the trophy. Also, the motto of the Republic was changed by adding FRATERNITÉ and thus the Haitian motto became the same as the French republican motto. [18]

The emblem of the Republic was abandoned and the actual emblem can be considered as the emblem of Haiti in general, comprising the State and the sovereign.

The new emblem is:


Emblem: A palmtree surmounted by a phrygian cap on a stake, proper.

Supporters: A trophy of six rifles, six civil flags, two axes, two trumpets, and a drum between two cannon pointing outwards on their gun-carriages, thereon two powder-bags, on the dexter one an infantry-hat, on the sinister one a cavalry-hat, between two piles of cannon-balls and two anchors, all proper.

Compartment: A grassy ground, marked by two pennons, washed by waves of the sea, proper.

Motto: L’UNION FAIT LA FORCE in white lettering on a ribbon of the colours of the flag.[19]


Of this achievement there are some different versions. The first version fits within a circular frame. This version is used on coins and the like.



Meyers Lexicon, 1903


On paper money there are very realistic versions of the emblem (1903)


The second version is on a rectangular patch on the national flag. Like this:



For documentation on the flag see different flag-sites (FOTW, Roberto Breschi, and others)


The Duvalier Emblem



On 21 June 1964 the black and red flag of Dessalines, adopted by constitution of 1805, was restored by president François Duvalier (1957-’71). As a consequence the emblem was changed too by replacing the blue and red flags by black and red ones. At the same time, for unknown reasons, the phrygian cap was removed from the top of the palmtree.

Another difference is that the inner two flags are replaced by national and war flags, that is to say, flags with a patch of the national arms in the middle.





The Ancient Emblem Restored

10 March 1987


After the fall of his son Jean-Claude Duvalier in 1986, the changes of the flag and the emblem were undone. The emblem of 1859 was confirmed for the last time by Constitution of 1987:


The Actual Constitution “Donné au Palais Législatif, à Port-au-Prince, siège de l'Assemblée Nationale Constituante, le 10 Mars 1987, An 184ème de l'Indépendance”, provides for the Flag and National Emblem:



L'emblême de la Nation Haïtienne est le Drapeau qui répond à la description suivante:

a) Deux (2) bandes d'étoffe d'égales dimensions: l'une bleue en haut, l'autre rouge en bas, placées horizontalement;

b) Au centre, sur un carré d'étoffe blanche, sont disposées les Armes de la République;

c) Les Armes de la République sont : Le Palmiste surmonté du Bonnet de la Liberté et, ombrageant des ses Palmes, un Trophée d'Armes avec la Légende: L'Union fait la Force.



La devise nationale est: Liberté - Égalité - Fraternité.


ð See illustration in the head of this essay.




In the Duvalier era  (1957-1986) the Haitian Police was part of the Haitian Army from 1912. During the rule of Duvalier the service was partly performed by the Milice de Volontaires de la Sécurité Nationale nicknamed Tonton Macoute (Uncle Gunnysack) a special operations unit within the Haitian paramilitary force created in 1959 by François Duvalier.


MVSN Cap badge


Badge or emblem


The 1987 Constitution proposed the establishment of a separate police corps and a new police academy under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice. Political developments in Haiti since 1987, however, have precluded implementation of these changes. The present Haitian National Police was created on 12.06.1995. 


Armed Forces

Cap badge 19th / 20th cent

Private collection [20]


Emblem of the Navy (?)

Origin and date unknown


The origins of Haiti's military lie in the Haitian Revolution. A decade of warfare produced a military cadre from which Haiti's early leaders emerged. 

The United States Marines disbanded Haiti’s army in 1915. After the United States occupation (1915-1934) ended, the Haitian military was given the responsibility to ensure domestic law and order.

In 2017, it was announced that Haiti's government had launched a campaign to re-establish the army. According to the announcement, the government wanted to recruit about 500 men and women, between the ages of 18 and 25, who have passed their secondary education exams. The role of the army would be to help deal in times of natural disaster and to patrol Haitian borders 


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© Hubert de Vries 2010-06-01 Updated 2011-12-22; 2020-01-10




[1] Marquis de B. Montpeyroux,... Pages d'histoire aux Iles du vent : Esquisse d'héraldique et d'histoire sur le passé de la République d'Haïti, autrefois Saint-Domingue, et colonie française des Antilles. Préface par Emile Salomon,... Illustrations par M. L. Verry (Reliure inconnue) de André de Brousse Montpeyroux-Bretagne (Auteur), B. Montpeyroux (Auteur), Emile Salomon (Auteur). Nancy, 1944.  Pp 22

[2] Preliminary Declaration, Art. 1.

[3] Letter Archives Affaires Etrangères RF, (31.01.1806)  and  License to do business issued to Powel, Kane & Co. by Emperor Jacques I (Jean Jacques Dessalines) of Hait. Simeon Johnson Papers, Rare Books and Special Collections. Princeton University Library (22.04.1805). Info: Thomas Pedersen.

[4] Hesmer, K.-H.: Flaggen, Wappen, Daten. Die Staaten der Erde von A-Z. Gütersloh, 1975. P. 80

[5] After M.L. Verry./Montpeyroux

[6] After M.L. Verry./Montpeyroux

[7] Chaffanjon, Arnaud: La Merveilleuse Histoire des Couronnes du Monde.  Malesherbes, 1980. P. 151

[8] Montpeyroux op. cit. p. 26.

[9] Henry, by the grace of God and constitutional law of the state, King of Haiti, Sovereign of Tortuga, Gonâve, and other adjacent islands, Destroyer of tyranny, Regenerator and Benefactor of the Haïtian nation, Creator of her moral, political, and martial institutions, First crowned monarch of the New World, Defender of the faith, Founder of the Royal Military Order of Saint Henry.

[10] Etienne, Major Francis Ed.:  Les Décorations Haitiens a Travers l’histoire. Port au Prince, 1954. Pp 26-40.

[11] Etienne, Major Francis Ed. op.cit. p. 29. The version with the blue shield (the lions ermine (!)) is on the cover of:  Cheesman, Clive:  The armorial of Haiti. Symbols of Nobility in the Reign of Henry Christophe. London,  2005.

[12] No contemporary coloured version known.

[13] The Flag and Coat of Arms of Haiti. In: Bulletin of the Pan American Union, 1911 p. 108. But no example of this emblem-and-motto is available.

[14] Picture originally from The Illustrated London News, February 16, 1856

[15] Etienne, Major Francis Ed. op.cit. pp. 44-47.

[16] Picture from:  Etienne, Major Francis Ed. op.cit. pp. 42.

[17] Picture of the larger achievement: Clericus, Ludwig: Aussereuropäische Wappen. In: Der Deutsche Herold, 1879, p. 104 & Tafel X.

[18] The motto liberté egalité fraternité  was officially used by the French Republic from 1793-1814, from 1848-1851, from 1875-1940 and from1945 until present.

[19] Picture from:  Etienne, Major Francis Ed. op.cit. frontcover.

[20] http://mahargpress.com/military-helmets/chapters-summaries/central-america/haiti/