The Juneteenth flag is chock-full of symbols. Here’s an explanation of what they mean

The Juneteenth flag is chock-full of symbols. Here’s an explanation of what they mean

June 20, 2022 0 By Ellen Novack

“The Juneteenth flags represent the history and freedom for American enslaved people and their descendants,” Graf writes on her website.

According to Alfalfa Studio, design “has to have meaning—otherwise, it is mere decoration.” Graphic designer Rafael Esquer explains that the Juneteenth flag is broken into four elements of design—a star, an arc, a burst, and the three primary colors: red, white, and blue.

Haith told CNN the star has a dual meaning. It not only represents Texas, the Lone Star State, but also the freedom of Black Americans in all 50 states.

“The star represents A NEW FREEDOM, A NEW PEOPLE, A NEW STAR,” Graf wrote.

The arc, or the curve that extends the entire width of the flag, offers the meaning of a bright new future for Black Americans. The burst around the star is meant to depict a nova or new star “on the horizon,” Graff writes.

As for the colors—red, white, and blue—Graf says they’re meant to “communicate that the American Slaves, and their descendants were all Americans.”

Haith told CNN that the colors also represent the continued commitment for the U.S. to do better and equal the playing field for all.

Oprah Daily writes that the date of the first Juneteenth (June 19, 1865) was added to the flag in 2007.

There is another flag that often flies on Juneteenth, and that’s the Pan-African flag, which was created in 1920. It is also referred to as the Marcus Garvey, UNIA (Universal Negro Improvement Association), Afro-American, or Black Liberation flag. It is meant to honor the African diaspora.

The colors of the Pan-African flag are red, black, and green. The red is meant to represent the blood spilled by Africans dying for their freedom. The black symbolizes the people. And green is a symbol of fertility in Africa.

“The fact that the Black race did not have a flag was considered by Garvey, and he said this, it was a mark of the political impotence of the Black race. … And so acquiring a flag would be proof that the Black race had politically come of age,” Robert Hill, a historian and Marcus Garvey scholar, told NPR.  



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