The Meaning and Symbolism Behind The Colors of Juneteenth

Yes, there’s a reason it’s not Juneteenth without a red drink in hand.

Summer is heating up and with it, many of us are heading to the local park or a neighbor’s backyard to fire up the grill, crack open a cold one and have a few laughs with friends and loved ones. It just wouldn’t be the dog days without the scent of charcoal in the air, popsicles in the freezer and a damp swimsuit hanging from the shower rod.

Another hallmark of summer’s arrival for many? Juneteenth, which is celebrated every year on June 19. The holiday, also known as Emancipation Day, Freedom Day or Jubilee Day, commemorates June 19, 1865, the day the last remaining enslaved people in America learned that they were free.

While the Emancipation Proclamation was handed down on January 1, 1863, news didn’t travel as quickly back then as it does today, and in Texas, slavery continued for years after, because many people simply weren’t aware of the news that the Civil War had ended and that Congress had passed the 13th Amendment. By 1866, formerly enslaved Black Texans began marking the day with annual “Jubilee Day” festivities.

What are the colors of the Juneteenth flag?


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