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Hundreds of Haitians celebrate Haitian Flag Day

Haitian Flag Day events in Miami-Dade County capture Haiti's culture

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MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – You may have noticed Haitian flags flying everywhere Friday, or maybe people dressed up wearing red and blue. Or even saw some people walking around like a human Haitian flag.

That's because Friday, May 18, is Haitian Flag Day.

Haitians in South Florida celebrated Haitian Flag Day at the MOCA Plaza in North Miami or at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex in Miami.

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The Haitian culture thrives in South Florida. Whether eating Haitian cuisine, listening to Zouk music or dancing Kompa, if you're from Haitian descent or not, you were able to capture the very essence Haitian culture.

"The Haitian flag is a symbol of pride, and our team has worked to put together an event to celebrate the authentic culture and heritage of Haiti," said Sandy Dorsainvil, the "Sounds of Haiti" event coordinator.

Haitian Flag Day is observed on May 18 in Haiti and in a number of U.S. cities with large populations of Haitian Americans, such as South Florida.

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On May 18, 1803, Haitian leader Jean Jacques Dessalines created the flag by taking France's flag and ripping out the white center. He had his goddaughter, Catherine Flon, sew together the blue and red for the official flag. The blue was taken to represent Haiti's black citizens and the red the "gens de couleur," which translates to "people of color."

South Florida is home to one of the largest Haitian populations in the United States. As of 2015, the Census Bureau estimated Broward County was home to 116,818 people of Haitian descent. An estimated 127,189 people of Haitian descent lived in Miami-Dade County.