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Haiti 2004, Acrylic on Canvas 120"x432" 2001

Haiti- the first black republic in the new world, January 1, 1804.

In the name of freedom and humanity, today I am not a slave nor are the people of South America. In 1815 Simon Bolivar took refuge in Haiti’s southern territories. He asked President Alexandre Petion of Haiti to help him liberate South America from slavery. President Petion requested that Bolivar free all the slaves in the countries he planned to liberate, then gave him all materials necessary and allowed him to recruit his battalion of Haitian soldiers and freedom fighters.

Together they loaded their ships and sailed to South America . Upon arriving on shore, Bolivar took the Haitian Flag from the ship and planted it on the ground. The Haitians told Bolivar he could not plant the flag because the people of South America may mistaken it as a Haitian invasion. Simon Bolivar ripped out the center white part of the flag, took his yellow bandana off from around his head and sewed it on top of the blue and red. This created a new flag of red, blue and yellow for the countries they came to liberate. As a direct result of their actions, independence was won in Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia.

Today when you see any country in South America with the red, blue and yellow horizontally on top of one another, you’ll now know where it came from. It was that same spirit of freedom that brought the Haitians to fight in the liberation war in Savannah, Georgia to liberate America from Great Britain.

In this painting (the flag) I added the sun as a symbol of light and energy. The two veve on the left and the right represent love and compassion within our great culture (vodou). It is now time for we the Haitian people to utilize positivity in our culture.

Tolerance, Love and Compassion forever. May the Divine’s energy manifest positively through us and Haiti shall be blessed.

-Carlo Thertus


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