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    March 12: Francisco de Miranda Flew the Venezuelan Flag for the First Time in Haiti

    Published: 03/12/2011

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    On March 12, 1806 the Venezuelan flag was flew for the first time — curiously not in Venezuelan territory, but rather in the bay of Jacmel, Haiti, in one of the transcendental historic events linking Venezuela with this Caribbean nation. Francisco de Miranda, the flag’s creator, was in charge of flying what would become the flag of the Republic of Venezuela.

    Miranda purchased a ship to transport the flag to Venezuela. The Leander, as Miranda called the vessel, set sail from Staten Island, in the U.S., which represents one of the many ties that unite the Venezuelan and U.S. people in their fights for independence, sovereignty and true freedom. The ship made his way to Haiti with French, English, Polish and U.S. crew members.

    Once in Haiti, on March 12, Miranda made his famous oath before the yellow, blue and red flag, “I swear to be faithful to the free people of South America, free of Spain, and serve them honestly and loyally against its enemies and opponents, and observe as well as obey the orders of the supreme government of this legally-constituted government and orders of superior general and officials.”

    That’s how the first of the Venezuelan flags was created, although it did not fly on the country’s coast until August 3, when Miranda arrived to Vela de Coro, currently Falcón state. Previously, General Miranda had defeated fierce attacks that postponed the arrival of the flag to the country.

    On March 7, 2006, the Venezuelan National Assembly approved the Law of Symbols, which added an eighth star to the national flag.

    The proposal drew from a decree made by The Liberator Simón Bolívar on November 20, 1819, in which he ordered adding an eighth star to the flag as a symbol of the liberation of the country’s eighth province: Guayana.

    By mandate of the Legislative Power, on March 9, 2006 the flag of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela was made official, restoring the liberation of the Province of Guayana. Additionally, it was declared the Day of the National Flag on August 3, honoring the historic moment when Miranda arrived to Venezuela.

    The new Law of Symbols also lightly reformed the Venezuelan coat-of-arms by putting the white horse of Simín Bolívar, represented in it, looking forward towards the future.

    President Hugo Chávez requested this change in 2006 to celebrate “the real Day of the Flag” and rescue in the country’s memory the struggle of Simón Bolívar and his effort to achieve the Venezuelan and Latin American independence.

    Photo by: Marcial Quintero

    AVN / Press Office – Venezuelan Embassy to the U.S. / March 11, 2011

     

     

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