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MADISON — For the fourth year in a row, the Juneteenth flag is flying over the Wisconsin State Capitol in celebration of Juneteenth. Gov. Tony Evers signed Executive Order #205 making the flag present now until sunset on June 19.

“Today, we celebrate the hard-fought and hard-won progress we have made—progress made possible by the efforts of visionary leaders and advocates like the folks here today and those that came before them,” said Gov. Evers.  

What is Juneteenth Day?

Juneteenth Day is a federal holiday observed in the United States. Wisconsin was the 32nd state to recognize this day in 2009 and then in 2021, President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, making Juneteenth a federal holiday. 

It is a federal holiday because, on June 19, 1865, more than two-and-a-half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln, Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, to declare the end of slavery.

This day, known as Juneteenth, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. Annually people celebrate this day across America with pageants, parades, reflection, and more.

“We also recognize and acknowledge the work we have left to do to truly realize our goals for a more equitable and just state. I remain committed to being a partner in this work, and today, that includes proudly raising the Juneteenth Flag above the State Capitol—an act I’ve done for the past several years and an act I promise to continue doing as long as I am governor,” Gov. Evers continued. 

“In Wisconsin, we celebrate Black history and culture, we celebrate the progress and resilience of Black communities, and we are committed to our shared goals of building the brighter future we want for our state.” 

What the Juneteenth flag represents

Juneteenth flag Madison

According to the release from Gov. Ever’s office, the Juneteenth flag features:

  • A star to represent Texas, the Lone Star State
  • A nova, or new star, represents a new beginning and the freedom of African Americans
  • The curve on the Juneteenth flag dividing the red and blue colors represents a “new horizon” and a future of “opportunities and promise” for Black Americans
  • Red, white and blue colors, remind us that people who were enslaved and their descendants shall be “forever free”

Other flags continue to fly

Along with this flag, the U.S. and Wisconsin state flags will continue flying on the East Wing flagpole above the Juneteenth Flag. The POW-MIA flag continues flying on the North Wing flagpole as it does every day. 

To note, the Juneteenth flag has temporarily replaced the Progress Pride Flag. After Monday, the Progress Pride flag will fly again at the Wisconsin State Capitol until the end of the month.

Juneteenth Celebrations