Catherine Flon parade
High schoolers taking part in a celebration for Catherine Flon's 250th anniversary on May 17, 2022 in Port-au-Prince. Photo by Juhakenson Blaise for The Haitian Times

PORT-AU-PRINCE — The birthday of Catherine Flon, the woman who sewed Haiti’s red and blue flag, will be added to the UNESCO 2022 and 2023 calendars. 

Sofia Loreus, minister of the Ministry of Women Condition and of Women’s Rights (MCFDF), told The Haitian Times about the international honor during a tribute to Flon to celebrate her 250th birthday on May 17 and commemorate Haitian Flag Day.

“On this day, we must have a special thought for Catherine Flon, who sewed our flag that symbolizes the emblem of our fight against slavery,” Loreus told The Haitian Times. “Thanks to Catherine Flon’s courage and hard work, the nation has its own identity which is its flag,” Loreus said.

In a society where women’s rights are still poorly addressed, women’s work is rarely valued, Loreus said, honoring Flon’s work can raise awareness for young girls. 

Nine grade-school girls from Lycee of Carrefour Feuilles were invited to the event and to take part in the parade. Wearing red or blue T-shirts, they walked steps reminiscent of those taken by the Indigenous Army, led by Haiti founding father Jean-Jacques Dessalines. 

The students arched with the minister and a band between Magny and Capois streets, shouting: “Catherine sewed our flag, let’s sew our country together.” 

Loreus said she planned to advocate for memorials of women like Flon to be placed alongside the male heroes of Haiti’s independence movement, Loreus said.

I am Juhakenson Blaise, a journalist based in the city of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. I cover the news that develops in this city and deals with other subjects related to the experience of Haitians for the Haitian Times newspaper. I am also a lover of poetry.

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