Saturday, June 18, 2022

The Red, White, And Blue Juneteenth Holiday Flag (video, article excerpts, & comments)

WFAA, June 18, 2021

The Juneteenth flag commemorates the day that slavery ended in the US.

On Thursday, June 17, President Joe Biden signed a bill Thursday, passed by Congress, to set aside Juneteenth, or June 19th, as a federal holiday. The Senate approved it unanimously, and only 14 House Republicans opposed the measure.   The celebration started with the freed slaves of Galveston, Texas. They got the news the war was over and they were free in 1865 on June 19, a date that was melded into the word “Juneteenth.
"WFAA" is a television station in licensed Dallas, Texas

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post presents a YouTube video of the red, white, and blue Juneteenth flag which is labeled the "official" Juneteenth flag (as of this post's publication date  June 18, 2022).

This post also presents article excerpts and other information about how and when that flag was designed and what it means.

Click and for the closely related pancocojams series about which colors are used and/or should be used to commemorate the United States holiday that is known as "Juneteenth".  Part I presents selected my compilation of excerpts from a few online articles on this subject and Part II presents my compilation of a few tweets on this subject.

The content of this post is presented for historical, cultural, and educational purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those who are associated with this embedded video and thanks to all those who are quoted in this post.
Additional pancocojams post about Juneteenth can be found by using this blog internal seach engine with the tag "Juneteenth" or by using Google search with the words "pancocojams Juneteenth".

Also, click 
for a related pancocojams post entitled "The History & Meaning Of The African American Red, Black, And Green Flag".

And click for the related pancocojams post entitled "The History & Significance Of The Pan-African Red, Yellow, And Green Flags".


These excerpts are given in no particular order and are numbered for referencing purposes only. 

Excerpt #1
From The Meaning & Symbolism Behind the Colors of Juneteenth

Red is especially meaningful in the commemoration and celebration of our newest federal holiday.

by Lizz Schumer, Jun 13, 2022
…”Juneteenth… 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.

Juneteenth has been celebrated since the late 1800s, but it was not legally recognized as a national holiday until June 17, 2021 when President Joe Biden signed a bill officially designating June 19 as a federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery in America.

What are the colors of the Juneteenth flag?

The holiday of Juneteenth is rich with symbolism, and that includes the official Juneteenth flag. The flag is the brainchild of activist "Boston Ben" Ben Haith, founder of the National Juneteenth Celebration Foundation (NJCF). Haith and collaborators Verlene Hines, Azim and Eliot Design created the flag in 1997 and Boston-based illustrator Lisa Jeanne Graf brought their red, white and blue vision of a zigzag shape surrounding a star to life. In 2000, the flag was revised into the version we know today, according to the National Juneteenth Observation Foundation. Seven years later, the date “June 19, 1865” was added so no one would ever forget what it stood for.”…
Click for information about The Juneteenth Foundation.

Excerpt #2
"The Juneteenth flag is a symbol for the Juneteenth holiday in the United States. The first version was created in 1997 by activist Ben Haith and that early version was displayed in 1997. The present version was first flown in the year 2000.

The colors and symbols on the flag are representative of freedom and the end of slavery. The date on the flag represents that of General Order No. 3 issued in Galveston, Texas in 1865.

In 2020 and 2021, many states began recognizing Juneteenth by flying the flag over their state capitol buildings, especially following its being declared a federal holiday by President Joe Biden in June 2021.



The most recognizable symbol of Juneteenth is the Juneteenth flag.[8] The flag was first flown in 2000, at Boston's Roxbury Heritage State Park.[9] Ben Haith initiated the Boston flag raising.[4] Beginning in 2020 in the United states, several state governors ordered the Juneteenth flag to be raised over their capital buildings on June 19th. In 2020 Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers ordered the flag to be flown for the month of June.[10] When the flag was raised in Wisconsin, Senator Lena Taylor of Milwaukee and the Wisconsin Legislative Black Caucus celebrated by raising their fists.[11] Also in 2020 the flag was raised over the Cincinnati City Hall.[12] In Illinois, Governor Pritzker ordered the flag to be flown above the Illinois State Capitol on June 19, 2021.[13] In 2021 President Joe Biden signed a law marking Juneteenth as a federal holiday.[14]

In 2020 the Boston Red Sox raised the Juneteenth flag over Fenway Park.[15] The University of Nebraska celebrated Juneteenth by flying the flag alongside their Nebraska flag in 2020.[16]


The Pan-African flag and Juneteenth

Many in the African American community have adopted the Pan-African flag to represent Juneteenth.[17][18] The Pan-African flag is sometimes referred to as the black liberation flag and so it is often displayed in conjunction or in place of the Juneteenth flag.[19] The Pan-African flag has been in use since 1920. The difference between the two flags is that the Juneteenth flag was created for a single holiday, and the Pan African flag is representative of African displacement.[8]


Juneteenth flag

Use:  Commemorating the Juneteenth holiday

Proportion:  2:3

Designed 1997

Revised 2000

Adopted 2000

Date added 2007

Design:  Upper half is blue and lower half is red. Colors are divided by a horizontal arch. In the center is a white star which is outlined.

Designed by      

Original designer Ben Haith

Revised by Lisa Jeanne Graf"
In this Wikipedia article, "the Pan-African flag" refers to the red, black, and green flag that was designed by Marcus Garvey. The red, yellow, and green pan-African flag is also used in Juneteenth media representations, clothing, background for tweets, items for sale etc. Black Americans who identify themselves as ADOS (American Descendants Of Slaves) are very critical about the use of these flags/colors to commenorate Juneteenth. 

Here's information about ADOS from
"American Descendants of Slavery (ADOS) is a term referring to descendants of enslaved Africans in the area that would become the United States (from its colonial period onward), and to the political movement of the same name. Both the concept and the movement grew out of the hashtag #ADOS created by Yvette Carnell and Antonio Moore.[1]

The ADOS movement focuses mainly on demanding reparations for the system of slavery in the United States.[2] They want colleges, employers and the federal government to prioritize restorative justice for ADOS and argue that affirmative action policies originally designed to help ADOS have been used largely to benefit other groups.[2]

Supporters of the ADOS movement say they should have their own racial category on census forms and college applications, and should not be lumped in with other Black people—namely modern Black African immigrants to the United States and Black immigrants from the Caribbean.[2]"...
I haven't found any information that identifies Ben Haith, the original designer of the red, white, and blue Juneteenth flag with ADOS. However, it seems likely to me that he is a part of the ADOS movement, and that movement is strongly supportive of the use of that flag (and those colors) and no other flag or colors for Juneteenth..    

Excerpt #3
From The Juneteenth Flag: The History Behind Its Colors and Symbols, published by Sheena FosterSheena Foster, Updated: Jun. 15, 2022

“It's red, white, and blue—and a proud symbol of African American history. Meet the Juneteenth flag.


What is the official flag for Juneteenth?

Juneteenth’s flag is a white star within a resplendent starburst set against a proud backdrop of red and blue. It symbolizes the freedom of four million enslaved people and hope for African Americans and Blacks displaced by the diaspora. On Juneteenth—that is, June 19 of each year—you’ll see the flag waving high over state capitols and city buildings.

Where did the Juneteenth flag come from?

In 1997, more than two centuries after Betsy Ross is said to have sewn the first American flag, Ben Haith, founder of the National Juneteenth Celebration Foundation, developed a new American flag. The activist, also known as Boston Ben, led a team of collaborators who created the design concept for the flag as a reflection of the Juneteenth slogan “a new freedom, a new people, a new star.” As Haith’s foundation puts it, the design represents “a star of Texas bursting with new freedom throughout the land” and rising over a new horizon.

“This country has so many aspects to it that are spiritual, and I believe this flag is of that nature,” Haith said at the time. “[The idea for the design] just came through me.”

In 2000, before the Juneteenth flag was about to be raised for the first time in Boston, a local illustrator named Lisa Jeanne Graf fine-tuned the original design by Haith and company. Beginning in 2007, “June 19, 1865” was added to the flag in commemoration of the day emancipation arrived for Blacks in the state of Texas, making them the final slaves in the United States to achieve their freedom. For Black Americans who don’t celebrate the 4th of July, the flag is a symbol of a holiday that more truly and honestly commemorates freedom in the land.”….

Excerpt #4
From The Juneteenth flag is full of symbols. Here's what they mean
By Harmeet Kaur, CNN; Design by Will Mullery, CNN; Updated 1:46 PM ET, Fri June 17, 2022

(CNN) "You might see another red, white and blue flag flying this weekend over state capitold and city buildings. 

That banner with a bursting star in the middle is the Juneteenth Flag, a symbolic representation of the end of slavery in the United States.
The flag is the brainchild of activist Ben Haith, founder of the National Juneteenth Celebration Foundation (NJCF). Haith created the flag in 1997 with the help of collaborators, and Boston-based illustrator Lisa Jeanne Graf brought their vision to life.
The flag was revised in 2000 into the version we know today, according to the National Juneteenth Observation Foundation. Seven years later, the date "June 19, 1865" was added, commemorating the day that Union Army Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas, and told enslaved African Americans of their emancipation.
For two decades now, communities around the country have held flag-raising ceremonies on Juneteenth in celebration of their freedom.
"This country has so many aspects to it that are spiritual, and I believe this flag is of that nature," Haith said. "It (the idea for the design) just came through me."
Designing the flag and its symbols was a deliberate process, Haith said. Here's what each element of the flag represents.


The colors
The red, white and blue represents the American flag, a reminder that slaves and their descendants were and are Americans.
June 19, 1865, represents the day that enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas, became Americans under the law.
    And while African Americans today are still fighting for equality and justice, Haith said those colors symbolize the continuous commitment of people in the United States to do better -- and to live up to the American ideal of liberty and justice for all."
    Excerpt #5 
    From "In Celebration of Juneteenth with Watermelon and Hibiscus Juice" by Carolyn Moncel, 2021 [The publication date was given as “12 months ago” when I read this article ]
    Happy Juneteenth Day! It’s wonderful to finally see this day observed as a Federal Holiday back home in the United States.

    [drawing of the official Juneteenth flag]

    Juneteenth’s Origin

    While the origin of this holiday and its many other names, “Jubilee Day“, “Freedom Day” or “Emancipation Day” still may seem new to some, actually Juneteenth is already an annual celebration in many municipalities around the country. The observance marks the day (June 19, 1865) when news of emancipation finally reached enslaved African people in the deepest parts of the former Confederacy in Galveston, Texas. The Juneteenth flag is red, white, and blue, meant to signify that formerly enslaved people and their descendants are and forever will be American citizens.

    Juneteenth and Me

    Growing up in Chicago, while I learned of the historical significance of the day in school from an African American order of Catholic nuns, it was mostly through my relatives from Texas and the western States that I learned anything at all about the direct cultural expressions – especially, the importance of the color “red” to food. For instance, the color “red” symbolizes the blood shed on the pathway to freedom. Red is used everywhere — from the foods eaten, to festivals planned to the official flag itself. Check out the Netflix series, “High on the Hog” to find out more!
    This article continues with memories and recipes of certain pastries that that writer associates with Juneteenth.]

    Excerpt #6

    Unofficial: Vanessa Williams


    Happy Juneteenth! Posted @withregram • @shesheabuttery This is the official Juneteenth flag that our ancestors created. Please note that it is not red, black, green, or yellow. This is an African American holiday meant to celebrate our emancipation. It is important that we know our history and honor our heritage and tradition. Stay proud, say it with your chest! I Am ADOS and I’m Proud‼️ American Descendants of Slavery. #ADOS

    Excerpt #7
    From "What does the Juneteenth flag mean?", published by WFAA, June 18, 2021 [This is the video that is embedded in this pancocojams post.]

    Selected comments from that discussion thread, with numbers added for referencing purposes only:[These comments are from a total of 12 comments as of June 18, 2022 at 10:25 AM ET.]

    1. Ron H., 2021
    "This flag's design is tolerable but its existence is an afront to the tradition of flag-making. It is not a representation of a people or cause but history. Observed historic events don't get a flag. So I'll ignore and resist this one 100% for that reason solely."

    2. John F, 2021
    "I prefer the pan african flag. I like the colors."

    3. Dee Jay, 2022
    "i prefer the Black American Heritage Flag....I color and the symbols are fire...."
    Here's information about the Black American Heritage Flag from
    "The Black-American Heritage Flag —(also known as the African-American Heritage Flag) is an ethnic flag that represents the culture and history of African-American people. Each color and symbol on the flag has a significant meaning that was developed to instill pride in Black Americans, and provide them with a symbol of hope for the future in the midst of their struggle for Civil Rights.


    The flag was created in 1967 by Melvin Charles and Gleason T. Jackson. [1] The idea to create the flag came about when Charles realized that every other group of people had a flag at parades except Black Americans. He designed the flag alongside Jackson and they would later travel the country to visit various churches, schools, and public events to promote the flag.[2]


    The color red represents the blood shed by African Americans for freedom and equality in America. The color black represents pride in the black race. The color gold represents intellect, prosperity, and peace.[3]


    The re-discovery and revival of the Black American Heritage flag on social media has led to the presence of the flag and its colors being at several events and institutions. In 2021, a popular African-American rapper named Saweetie attended the Met Gala and wore a custom Christian Cowan gown that showcased the colors of the Black American Heritage Flag alongside the colors of the Filipino flag to represent both parts of her multi-ethnic background.[4] [5]The flag was also seen being worn at the United States of America Ms.2022 pageant by Keerah Yeowang, who won the title.[6]"
    A photograph of a Black American Heritage flag banner is given on that page.

    4. Pop Dop, 2022
    "It’s important to distinguish this unique heritage. I like the Juneteenth flag because it acknowledges US freedmen (the formerly enslaved and their descendants) as a distinct group.

    I also like the Black American Heritage flag for the very same reason (see Melvin Charles and Gleason Jackson).

    The pan-African flag and colors from Marcus Garvey are great, but I always believed Black Americans were often over represented with pan-africanism while others in the diaspora distinguish themselves. For example, where are the African-Jamaicans, African-Panamanians, African-Haitians, etc? They just refer to themselves by their ethnic heritage sans the word African. And they display their own flags prominently…not the pan-African flag."


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