What do the Bible, Bayahibe rose and the song "The Brave Sons of Kiskeya" have in common ?
The Dominican Republic has had its independence for three centuries. Dominicans value their freedom, the path to which was long and thorny. That is why the national symbols of their homeland are treated with such respect.
When the Dominican Republic declared independence, one of its first symbols was a bright and multicolored Dominican flag. The idea of flag symbols arose on the way to independence in the course of a fierce struggle against the Haitian occupiers.
It was created by the most famous person in Dominican history - Juan Pablo Duarte. He is also called the Father of the Country because he led the Trinitarian society, which brought long-awaited freedom to the Dominicans.
The movement had a clearly expressed Catholic character with one of its main symbols being the Christian cross, as contrasted with the occult beliefs of Haitians. He personified self-sacrifice in the struggle for independence.
After the victory over the Haitian invaders in 1844, it was the white cross, a symbol of faith, light and salvation that became the basis of the Dominican flag.
The blue color on the flag symbolizes freedom, and red - the blood shed in the struggle for independence.
During the next few years, the flag slightly changed. The colored fields were arranged in a checkerboard pattern and the Dominican coat of arms was placed in the center of the flag. The Dominican flag became the only flag in the world on which the Bible is depicted. In this form it was finally approved in 1863 as a state symbol.
The coat of arms of the Dominican Republic was finally approved a little later - in 1896. It is depicted in the form of a French heraldic shield with pointed ends.
The shield is painted in the colors of the Dominican flag. On it is the Bible, opened to the first chapter of the Gospel of John, 8:32, where it is written "And the truth shall set you free."
The yellow cross above the Bible symbolizes liberation from colonial slavery and adherence to the Catholic faith.
Spears that diverge on either side of the cross signify the victories of the Dominicans over the Spanish, French and Haitian invaders.
The shield is surrounded by laurel branches and palm trees, symbolizing glory and peace.
Above the shield is written the national motto, "Dios, Patria, Libertad" ("God, Homeland, Freedom"). The colors of the ribbons with these inscriptions correspond to the basic colors of the flag.
Below on the red ribbon is inscribed the name of the country: "Republica Dominicana".
The anthem of the Dominican Republic was performed for the first time on August 17, 1883 at the ceremony for the reburial of the national hero of the Dominican Republic - Juan Pablo Duarte. The orchestra that played the Dominican Hymn on this day included instruments such as the violin, flute, clarinet, trombones, cello, and double bass. All this created a rich sound that forever conquered the hearts of Dominicans.
The words of the hymn were written by the talented poet Emilio Prud'Homme and the music by composer José Reyes.
The hymn begins with the words "Brave Sons of Kiskeya." Kiskeya (the mother of all lands) - the so-called island of Indians - the aborigines, who lived on it long before the appearance of the first European conquerors.
The words and music of the anthem proved very successful. They perfectly reflect the life-affirming spirit of the Dominicans. See for yourself, listen:
In fact, in the Dominican Republic, the hymn can be heard in the colonial part of Santo Domingo. If you find yourself near the National Fatherland Pantheon in the afternoon, you can not only hear the hymn but also view the changing of the guard.
NATURAL SYMBOLS OF DOMINICANA
These include Dominican endemic plants:
Kaoba tree (Mahagony)
These unique plants were decreed national symbols of the country in 2011 by the President of Dominican Republic, Leonel Fernandez.
Both plants are on the verge of extinction and therefore are especially protected by environmental services.
Come and admire the beauty of the Bayahibe Rose before it completely disappears.