Jean-Jacques Dessalines proclaimed himself emperor in 1805 and changed the Haitian banner after the self-proclamation. Haiti adopted the vertical, black and red stripes. Some believe the reason for the choice is the revolution slogan: "Freedom or Death" The color BLACK represents all the black people who sacrificed their lives for not only the freedom of our people but all black slaves and others in the world. The Red is a representation of blood that was shed by those who believed in FREEDOM OR DEATH. "THE FREE & INDEPENDENT FLAG COLORS"