Members from Key West’s Haitian community receive a proclamation from Mayor Craig Cates (fourth from left) and Commissioner Sam Kaufman (fourth from right).


Staff Report

KEY WEST, Fla. – In honor of Haitian Heritage Month and Haitian Flag Day, members of Key West’s Haitian community received a proclamation from Mayor Craig Cates and Commissioner Sam Kaufman recognizing Haitian Flag Day and Haitian Heritage Month recently.

The proclamation states, “the growth and prosperity of the City of Key West is due in part to an ethnic diversity that includes a substantial and rapidly increasing Haitian population.”

Haitian President Dumarsais Estimé started the Flag Day celebration with parades and cultural and athletic events in many cities in Haiti in the 1930s, when he was minister of education under President Sténio Vincent.

Estime wanted to annually commemorate the creation of the Haitian flag on May 18 to encourage the development of patriotic sentiments among Haitian youth.

Accepting the proclamation, Renel Mernir said Haiti has been free since 1791 and “has fought for the freedom of all mankind.”

The nation has also played major roles in many historic fights for freedom, including the American Revolution and Civil War.

“It is appropriate to promote awareness, and understanding of cultural diversity in our society … in order to strengthen the self esteem of our multicultural community,” the proclamation continued.