Laurent Dubois (@soccerpolitics), Michel Acacia, and I edited a publication on Haitian constitutions that was part of a series called The Rise of Modern Constitutionalism, 1776-1849. What is awesome about this project, is that all of the Haitian (and Dominguan) constitutions and amendments between 1790 and 1860 are available on their website! You can see images of the originals that are held in diverse archives around the Atlantic. What is not so awesome about the website is that our introduction (in English and French) is not available online. You might be able to get it through ILL, the title is Documents constitutionnels d’Haïti 1790-1860, edited by Laurent Dubois, Julia Gaffield, Michel Acacia ; in cooperation with Matthias Schneider.
English – there are many English translations of the Haiti DOI. I wrote a post about a translation from 1804. John Garrigus and Laurent Dubois published a translation in their book Slave Revolution in the Caribbean, 1789-1804.
I recently had a conversation with Dr. Richard Rabinowitz, founder and president of the American History Workshop, about the Haitian coat of arms. We were discussing when it was first created; I checked my records and I couldn’t find any use of it before 1818 (since my original post, I’ve found another document with Henry Christophe’s coat of arms from 1816 – see below). Many sources cite Alexandre Pétion as the creator of the design that features a palm tree topped with a phrygian cap and surrounded by blue and red flags, canons, anchors, and other objects. Laurent Dubois also notes that Pétion included the motto “Unity is our strength” in his version of the coat of arms – the current motto on the flag is “L’Union Fait La Force.” Paul Clammer (@paulclammer) commented on twitter that the Musée du Panthéon Nationale Haïtien (MUPANAH) has a drum from Pétion with the coat of arms painted on the side. I haven’t been able to find a good image of it, though.