The flag of Dominican Republic is one of the most important symbols of the country and it didn’t always look as it does today. It has experienced some changes through history. The origins of the flag can be traced back to the French. It is well known that the west part of the Hispaniola was a very important territory for France due to their vast amount of natural resources. The slaves that populated the French colony started a revolution due to the continuous harsh treatment received by the French. Once the Haitian revolt started in 1791 inspired by the French revolution; things began to change quickly.
By the year 1804 the Haitians were successful in gaining their independence and created their own flag using horizontal blue and red bands from the French flag. The elimination of the white color band represented their freedom from the white man.
If you look carefully the French flag consists of 3 stripes of different colors: blue, white and red.
These very same colors are used in the Dominican Republic to this day. It is a bit ironic that the inhabitants of the Hispaniola chose to use the French flag as the inspiration for their own.
Flag of Dominican Republic - first design
Once they were independent, the Haitians decided to invade the
eastern part of the Dominican Republic that was under Spanish control.
After a series of battles they manage to defeat them and in 1822 the
Haitians conquered the Hispaniola completely.
Around the 1830’s the Dominicans were getting upset and wanted their own freedom from the Haitian government. A couple of years later, Juan Pablo Duarte the founding father of the Dominican Republic designed the first Dominican flag using the Haitian one as model.
He overlapped a white cross over it; diving the flag into 4 quadrants. Two of them blue, located at the top part and the other 2 red, found at the bottom.
The original flag that was shown the day of the Dominican Independence (February 27, 1844) was created by Concepcion Bona with other members of the clandestine organization known as the “Trinitarians”. It wasn’t until November 6, 1844 that it became the official flag of the country.
In 1908 the flag was slightly modified.
Instead of having two blue squares up and 2 red down; they were interchanged so there is a blue and red at the top part with a red and blue at the bottom area of the flag.
The flag of Dominican Republic has a very deep meaning for all the citizens of the country. The two blue rectangles symbolize the sky which is related to the Liberty that every citizen enjoy. The two red rectangles represent the blood spilled by the heroes and patriots to obtain freedom. The white cross in the center refers to the sacrifice, faith and peace that characterize Dominicans.
Coat of Arms
It's located in the middle of the flag. There is a blue ribbon at the top with the words “Dios”, “Patria”, “Libertad” which means God, Fatherland and Freedom.
Take a look at the coat of arms (a new window will open)
There is an open Bible at the very center with a golden cross located above it. The Bible shows Chapter 8, Verse 32 of St. John Gospel.The three flag poles are on each side of the Bible. The two located at the top are empty while the remaining four carry the Dominican flag. At the left side of the coat of arms there is a large laurel branch representing the immortality of the country and on the right side there is a palm branch which symbolizes freedom. The red ribbon that is found at the bottom of the shield contains the words “Republica Dominicana” which is the name of the country. One important detail is how the flag of Dominican Republic is the only one in the world with a Bible on it.