Juneteenth flag designer L.J. Graf packed lots of meaning into her design. The colors red, white, and blue echo the American flag to symbolize that the enslaved people and their descendants were Americans. The star in the middle pays homage to Texas, while the bursting "new star" on the "horizon" of the red and blue fields represents a new freedom and a new people.
On January 1st, 1863, 16th President of the United States of America, Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, announcing that slavery was abolished in the United States and that all slaves were freed.
Thought this announcement was made, it still took a long time for word to travel around the United States. On June 19th, 1865, General Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas and announced that slaves were free.
The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.
Since June 19th, 1865, June 19th has been celebrated as the day that slaves won their freedom and were universally free. Juneteenth, not declared a federal holiday, should still be celebrated by the major milestone that this date plays in the civil rights movement in our country.
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