The Dominican flag, a dream cherished by Juan Pablo Duarte

On the night of February 27, 1844, when the National Independence was proclaimed, the flag flew for the first time under Dominican sky, as a symbol of the new nation, dreamed and conceived by Juan Pablo Duarte, ideologist of emancipation who broke 22 years of Haitian domain in the eastern part of the island of Santo Domingo.

Although the rush and pressures of the last hours of that historic independence day were reflected in the pavilion erected in the Puerta del Conde, Duarte had conceived with sufficient anticipation what the flag should be, which is stated in the oath of the members of La Trinitaria society, held on July 16, 1838.

In that oath it was said that the new nation would be called the Dominican Republic and would have “a tricolor pavilion in incarnate and blue quarters crossed by a white cross …”.

Historian Vetilio Alfau Durán tells, in “Women of Independence,” a text published by the General Archive of the Nation, that Concepción Bona “had turned 19 years old when he made the first national flag with patriotic enthusiasm and with feminine nervousness”. the one that was accompanied by María de Jesús Pina.

Also the heroine Maria Trinidad Sánchez, shot in 1845 in the government of Pedro Santana, is credited with having participated in the development of the pavilion.

After the Declaration of Independence, the Central Government Board sent a schooner-brig to look for patricio Duarte to Curaçao, where he had gone into exile to evade the Haitian persecution, and in this ship called “Leonor”, property of Rothschild, Coén and company , waved the Dominican flag for the first time at sea.

In the current Dominican Constitution, in article 31, it says: “The National Flag is made up of the colors ultramarine and red vermilion, in alternating barracks, placed in such a way that the blue is towards the top of the flagpole, separated by a White cross half the height of a barracks and with the National Shield in the center. The merchant flag is the same as the national flag without a shield. ”

How was the first flag really?

There are testimonies that reveal that the flag that floated on the night of independence was the same Haitian pavilion, to which a cross was added in the center. That blazon had two stripes, blue above and red below, crossed by a white cross.

According to the historian Rufino Martínez, the first flags were made by María Trinidad Sánchez and a group of women, including Concepción Bona, Isabel Sosa and María de Jesús Piña.

“The flag that she (Sanchez) made in the days prior to the founding of the Republic, did not have, in the sense of priority, the great value that for a time he wanted to grant, nor did any other flag attributed to the hands of women with the same purpose, since the first one raised in the Baluarte del Conde was the one adapted from one that supplied the warehouse-guard of the Haitian Government “, says Martínez in the entry” Sánchez, María Trinidad “, of his” Dominican Biographical-Historical Dictionary (1821-1930) “.

The historiography realizes that it corresponded to the sisters María del Carmen, María Francisca and Manuela Villa del Orbe to sew the first flag raised in the Cibao, on March 4, 1844, specifically in La Vega.

The data on the use initially given to the Haitian flag is corroborated by the historian Orlando Inoa in his “Biography of Juan Pablo Duarte”, where he writes that the arrival of Duarte at home, after returning from exile on March 14, 1844, it was very emotional.

“At two o’clock in the afternoon Sanchez noticed that the house of the Duarte, who did not stop receiving visitors, did not have a flag so he took several Haitians and asked for some white veils and he himself formed with them a flag that he placed in the windows with applause from everyone. Sanchez what he did was to adhere the white veils in the shape of a cross on a Haitian flag”, wrote the author.

Then Inoa affirms that the Dominican flag that was hoisted in the Puerta del Conde was the same Haitian with a white cross in the center that divided it into quarters.

He assures that this is described by the French consul in a letter sent to Minister Guizot when he says: “I forgot to speak to Your Excellency about the pavilion adopted by the Dominicans. It consists of two horizontal bands, blue and red, cut along by a white cross. ”

Inoa points out that the foregoing is confirmed by the Haitian historian Thomas Madiou (Histoire d’Haiti, who maintains that Celigne Ardoin, who was in the East when the Independence took place, said: “that upon returning to Haiti, on May 29 of 1844, ‘in the bay of Ocoa we find two corsairs carrying the Dominican flag (the Haitian flag crossed by a white cross)’ “.

Later, on November 6, 1844, the Constitutional Congress, installed in San Cristóbal, promulgated the first Constitution of the Republic, in which the National Flag was adopted as a symbol of the Homeland, alternating a blue barracks with red, to make it more Harmonious and one of the most beautiful flags of the world.

By Emilia Pereyra | Diario Libre

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