MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today signed Executive Order #169, raising the Juneteenth Flag over the Wisconsin State Capitol in celebration of Juneteenth for the third year in a row.
“In 2020, I was proud to raise the Juneteenth flag over the State Capitol for the very first time in our state’s history to celebrate and honor Black Wisconsinites across our state and the fight for freedom,” said Gov. Evers. “As we celebrate the progress we have made, we recognize and acknowledge there is so much work left to do. As a state, we must remain committed to building the sort of future we all want for each other and our kids—one that is more just, more equitable, and where every kid, person, and family have every opportunity to thrive.”
On June 19, 1865, more than two and 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. In the 157 years since, June 19th has been known as Juneteenth, and is one of the oldest and most popular annual commemorations of the end of slavery in the United States.
The Juneteenth Flag features the colors red, white, and blue to symbolize that all enslaved people and their descendants were and are Americans “forever free.” The flag also features a star, symbolizing both Texas, the “Lone Star State,” and the freedom of African Americans in all 50 states, a burst or “nova” around the star, symbolizing a new beginning, and an arc, representing a new horizon.
In 2020, the governor ordered the Juneteenth Flag be flown at the State Capitol for the first time in state history. Juneteenth is formally recognized and celebrated in 47 states and the District of Columbia, with Wisconsin joining as the 32nd state to recognize this day in 2009. Last year, President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, making Juneteenth a federal holiday.
The Juneteenth Flag will temporarily replace the Progress Pride Flag over the weekend in celebration of Juneteenth, but will not disrupt other flags that regularly fly over the State Capitol building. The U.S. flag and Wisconsin state flag will continue flying on the East wing flagpole above the Juneteenth Flag. The POW-MIA flag will continue flying on the North wing flagpole as it does every day.
Executive Order #169 is available here and is in effect beginning Fri., June 17, 2022, until sunset on Sun., June 19, 2022.
An online version of this release is available here.