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Saturday, July 2, 2022

The Symbolism Behind The Juneteenth Flag

Juneteenth flag. Istockphoto

The first Juneteenth flag — a banner with a bursting star in the middle is the Juneteenth Flag, a symbolic representation of the end of slavery in the United States — was created in 1997 by Ben Haith, the founder of the National Juneteenth Celebration Foundation (NJCF). In 2000, artist Lisa Jeanne Graf modified the flag to its’ present, modern-day design. In 2007, the date of the first Juneteenth (June 19, 1865) was added to the flag.

According to the NJCF, the Juneteenth Flag represents a star of Texas bursting with new freedom throughout the land, over a new horizon. The Juneteenth Flag also represents a new freedom, a new people, and a new star.

Contrary to what some may believe, the official Juneteenth flag uses the colors of red, white, and blue and not red, black, and green.

The significance of the flag’s symbols:

The Star

The star at the center of the flag has a dual meaning. First, the star is representative of Texas, “the Lone Star State,” where the last remaining enslaved people in the South learned that they were free, and where Juneteenth was first celebrated in 1865. In addition, it also stands for the freedom of every Black American in all 50 states.

The Date

The “June 19, 1865” date was added in 2007 to commemorate the exact day enslaved people in Galveston learned about the Emancipation Proclamation.

The “Nova”

A cloud burst or nova encircles the star. This represents a new beginning for African Americans in Galveston and throughout the United States.

The Arc

The arc that divides the flag laterally is another symbol of hope. The curve that extends across the width of the flag represents a new horizon, new opportunities and a promising future for Black Americans.

The colors

The red, white, and blue color scheme is the same as the American flag. This serves as a reminder that enslaved people and their descendants were and are Americans.

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