Haitians salute their symbol of unity and sovereignty

Haitians at home and in the Diaspora are pausing this week to salute their nation’s flag, considered a sacred symbol of freedom and justice, CaribNews reported.

And the celebrations in New York, Miami, Chicago and elsewhere will trigger an abundance of pride in country and unceasing prayers for better days.

The occasion: Flag Day, a national public holiday in the Caribbean’s oldest republic, will be observed on May 18th through Sunday with gusto, overflowing emotionalism and a great sense of history. The festive occasion will give the 10 million Creole-speaking nationals at home and the hundreds of thousands of souls in the U.S. an opportunity to rally around that symbol of emancipation from colonialism and slavery through the creation of the Western Hemisphere’s first Black republic.

Haitian Flag Day celebrations at Immokalee High result in students sent home

At least six Immokalee High students were sent home Wednesday after, district officials say, they were asked by the school administrators to take off shirts bearing the Haitian flag and refused, Naples Daily News reported.

For years, students at the school have marked Haitian Flag Day — the day the Haitian flag was adopted in 1803 — by celebrating on campus during the school day with displays of the flag, national coat of arms and motto.

“We had music, danced, displayed our culture,” said Cyndie Previlus, who graduated from Immokalee High in 2008. “Immokalee is full of Haitians everywhere. That’s the population in Immokalee.”

But, school district officials said, the celebrations have been disruptive in the past. An Instagram video of Haitian Flag Day in 2014 shows students wearing Haitian flags running quickly around the school’s campus, yelling. This morning, school administrators acted to preempt a similar situation, said district spokesman Greg Turchetta.

Former Haitian president promotes new book at Miami Dade College

The former president of Haiti, Michel Martelly, is once again a private citizen, and now an author.

Martelly was selling and signing his new autobiography Wednesday at Miami Dade College. The former president also reflected on his tenure as leader of a country in perpetual transition and agonizing limbo, Local 10 News reported.

“Politics is so much perception. Myself, I thought it was just, give it back and everything would be fine,” he said. “But you have to be careful.”

Martelly left office in February without a successor, and the weeks and months following have been chaotic. Demonstrators continue to fill the streets in Port-au-Prince, demanding elections.

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