Last modified: 2012-07-11 by rick wyatt
Keywords: united states | commemorative | juneteenth | emancipation day | afro-american | heritage |
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image by André Coutanche, 8 July 2007
image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 3 February 2008
For some background on the holiday, from Wikipedia:
"Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, is an annual holiday in fourteen states of the United States. Celebrated on June 19, it commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas. The holiday originated in Galveston, Texas; for more than a century, the state of Texas was the primary home of Juneteenth celebrations. However, one small community in Arkansas (Wilmar) boasts that its celebration, called "June Dinner" has been consistently observed and celebrated, except for one year, since approximately 1870. Since 1980, Juneteenth has been an official state holiday in Texas. It is considered a "partial staffing holiday" meaning that state offices do not close but some employees will be using a floating holiday to take the day off. Thirteen other states list it as an official holiday, including Arkansas, New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Alaska. In California, Governor Schwarzenegger proclaimed June 19th "Juneteenth" on June 19, 2005. However, some of these states, such as Connecticut, do not consider it a legal holiday and do not close government offices in observance of the occasion. Its informal observance has spread to some other states, with a few celebrations even taking place in other countries."[end quote] The June 19th 1865 emancipation in Texas marked the final Confederate area to fall under Federal control, thus completing the imposition of Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation over all the former CSA, and giving the day its special significance.
Image with context in www.juneteenth.us shows what seems to be a Juneteenth flag crossed with the U.S. national flag: It is a ~3:5 blue over red bicolor with the dividing line bowed downwards with horizontal symmetry and centered over all a large white five-pointed regular star upright within a white thick outline of a 12-pointed regular star upright. I can imagine that the intended symbolism refers both to a new dawn and to the state flag of Texas. See a slightly different depiction for sale at www.tangibles.com/store/Scripts/prodView.asp?idproduct=3 (no longer active).
António Martins-Tuválkin, 3 February 2008
More on the flag by Lisa Jeanne Graf:
"Juneteenth is the holiday that celebrates the day that all the slaves in America became free. I created the final design for the Juneteeth Flag. People who contributed to the process were Boston Ben, Verlene Hines, Azim, and Eliot Design.Ned Smith and Ivan Sache, 16 April 2008
The Juneteenth flags represent the history, and freedom the American Slaves and their descendants. The design of the Juneteenth flag depicts a bursting "new star", on the horizon. The star represents A NEW FREEDOM, A NEW PEOPLE, A NEW STAR. The red, white, and blue colors communicate that the American Slaves, and their descendants were all Americans."