Catherine Flon

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Catherine Flon on a ten Gourdes banknote
The current Haitian Flag, based on a design created at the Congress of Arcahaie in 1803.
Catherine Flon, the goddaughter of Jean-Jacques Dessalines, sew the first Haitian flag on May 18, 1803 on the last day of the Congress of Arcahaie. After Catherine Flon had sown the bicolore, the Generals of the Haitian Revolution at the congress "solemnly swore an oath of fealty to Liberty or Death on this flag which was to lead the slaves to victory and freedom. This oath, which history has named the Oath of the Ancestors, is the equivalent of the one that the deputies of the Third Estate swore at Versailles June 20, 1789" 1 . (Haiti: A Slave Revolution p. 100) 2

Catherine Flon is widely regarded by Haitians as one of the heroes of the fight to end slavery.

Note 1: This event is often seen as the start of the French Revolution: The Tennis Court Oath; French: serment du jeu de paume. See also: Painting of the Tennis Court Oath by Jean-Louis David.

Note 2: Translation of an article in French by Fleurimond W. Kerns published in Haïti-Progrès. (May 18, 2003)

See Also


  • Chin, Pat; Dunkel, Greg; Flounders, Sarah, and Ives, Kim, comp. and ed. (2004). Haiti: A Slave Revolution: 200 Years After 1804. New York: International Action Center. ISBN 0-9747521-0-X.
  • Flags of the World: Haitian flag of 1803
  • Méléance, Emide. (2006) Catherine Flon and the Creation of the Haitian Flag, in Revolutionary Freedoms: A History of Survival, Strength. Coconut Creek, FL, Caribbean Studies Press. ISBN 978-1584322931 (p. 91f)

External links