East Orange, NJ, May 16, 2020: On Monday, May 18, 2020, the City of East Orange will host a statewide Virtual Haitian Flag Raising Ceremony via Facebook and Instagram LIVE @EOCityHall in alliance with The Haitian Flag Day Planning Committee of New Jersey, Inc., the Force Foundation of NJ, the Union Haitian American Civic Association and the West Orange Human Relations Commission.
As COVID-19 continues to change social gathering dynamics across the globe, virtual events of all kinds have emerged as social groups creatively find ways to continue their human connection.
“This year, the Haitian Flag Raising Ceremony will be especially poignant with organizations from across the state coming together to celebrate as one,” said Mayor Ted R. Green. “Our Haitian community in East Orange is strong and resilient. We look forward to celebrating this moment with them and I encourage everyone to join us virtually.”
Joseph Makhandal Champagne, Jr. Esq,, former Mayor of South Toms River, is slated to speak at the ceremony. The Haitian Flag Day Virtual Afterparty will be streamed live via East Orange’s own DJ Vaselli’s FB page at iwww.facebook.com/sole.vaselli immediately following the East Orange Flag Raising at 4:30pm.
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“May 18, 2020 marks the 217-year Anniversary of the Haitian flag sewn by Catherin Flon on May 18, 1803 in Arcahaie, Haiti,” said Marline Edmond, Chair of the Haitian Flag Day Planning Committee of NJ, Inc. “The Haitian flag represents Haiti’s black citizens (blue) and the ‘gens de couleur’ or the free people of color. Most importantly our flag says ‘L’Union Fait La Force’ or Strength Through Unity. We are uniting in solidarity to celebrate our beloved country to keep our community in good spirit during these difficult times.”
Third Ward Councilman Bergson Leneus, who is the city’s first Haitian American-elected councilmember, is proud to continue the city’s tradition in a virtual format.
“During these difficult and uncertain times, it is amazing to see many of the communities around the state uniting together to raise our beautiful flag as one community here in our beautiful City of East Orange,” said Councilman Leneus. “This act of cohesiveness and partnership shows that the Haitian community stands as one. This pandemic has changed our way of life....possibly forever....It has caused us to present this year’s flag raising on a virtual platform. Although I couldn’t ever have imagined this it is extremely clear that different times call for different measures and adaptability.”
Who: Mayor Ted R. Green, Councilman Bergson Leneus, Guest Speaker Joseph Makhandal Champagne, Jr., Esquire and Special Guests from the Haitian community
What: Virtual Haitian Flag Raising Ceremony
When: Monday, May 18, 2020 at 4pm
Where: Facebook and Instagram LIVE@EOCityHall