"Nous l'avons gardée en nous, la tranche blanche": Rethinking the Time of the Haitian Flag in Jean F. Brierre's Le Drapeau de demain (1931)."
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Since the 1980s, historians studying the Haitian flag have written a relatively thorough, if not altogether complete, account of its development.1 Much is known of the circumstances that preceded Dessalines's creation of the blue and red bicolor in February 1803 and of the significance that can or cannot be legitimately surmised from this gesture.2 The core narrative claiming that Dessalines created the Haitian red and blue bicolor at the Archaie Conference on May 18, 1803, by theatrically tearing out the white strip from the French tricolor has limited historical support among contemporary historians. Despite this, the "foundational fiction" of the Haitian flag continues to form the basis of popular, literary, and even academic recounting, just as it continues to serve as the basis of commemorative ceremonies produced by the Haitian state.3 The question, then, is why? What is at stake in this particular account of the flag's history? What values does it aim to instill in the citizens for whom it is the emblem? And, importantly for this paper, what are the potential limitations of drawing upon this particular fictive past when imagining alternative futures for Haiti?