Madison Raises Juneteenth Independence Day Flag
This year the City of Madison raised the Juneteenth flag on June 13th celebrating the holiday with both a resolution passed by Council (see below) and a paid holiday for staff on June 20th. Last year, Madison joined the County and nation in making the Monday following Juneteenth a paid holiday. A Juneteenth celebration will take place June 18th at Penn Park, put on by the organization Kujichagulia.
The text of the resolution is below:
WHEREAS, it has been over four hundred years since the first Africans were enslaved and violently brought to what would become the United States, including to Florida in 1526 and to Point Comfort, Virginia, in 1619; and,
WHEREAS, it was not until June 19th, 1865, that federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, finally emancipating enslaved Texans; and,
WHEREAS, news of the end of slavery traveled slowly to enslaved laborers throughout Texas, with some plantation owners keeping the news from them until after the harvest of that year; and,
WHEREAS, June 19th is known as Juneteenth in acknowledgement of that fact, and to commemorate this date as the end of slavery in the United States; and,
WHEREAS, in 1866, emancipated communities began celebrating Juneteenth as Jubilee Day; today also known as Emancipation Day, Emancipation Celebration, Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Juneteenth National Freedom Day, and Juneteenth Independence Day; and,
WHEREAS, the City of Madison and Dane County representatives together will raise the official Juneteenth flag on June 13, 2022. The flag will remain raised until the end of the day on June 30th. The flag represents a new beginning: the burst surrounding the star represents the new horizon, opportunities and promises that lay ahead. The star represents the Lone Star State (Texas), a nod to where Juneteenth was first celebrated in 1865, and freedom of every Black American in all 50 states. The colors red, white, and blue represent all Americans who cherish and stand for freedom; and,
WHEREAS, Juneteenth commemorates the continued strength and resolve of Black and African Americans throughout our history and serves as an opportunity to celebrate the rich and numerous contributions of Black and African Americans; and,
WHEREAS, we salute the many folks both here in the City of Madison, Dane County, State of Wisconsin, and across the United States for working diligently over the years to ensure formal recognition of Juneteenth. Forty-seven states, including Wisconsin, have declared Juneteenth (June 19) to be a state holiday; and, on June 17, 2021, President Biden signed into law Juneteenth as an official national/federal holiday; and,
WHEREAS, June 19, 2022, marks the 157th commemoration of Juneteenth;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the City of Madison and all Madisonians commit to engaging in actions and initiatives promoting racial equity and social justice, bringing meaning and significance to this day as we work toward a more just society.
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the Madison Common Council and Mayor recognize and celebrate June 19th, 2022, in commemoration of Juneteenth Independence Day.