The Juneteenth flag was created in 1997 by activist Ben Haith aka Boston Ben, founder of the National Juneteenth Celebration Foundation (NJCF). Boston-based illustrator Lisa Jeanne Graf brought Haith’s vision to life. Also contributing were Verlene Hines, Azim, and Eliot Design. The Juneteenth flag was revised in 2000 to include “June 19, 1865,” the day enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, were freed.
The Juneteenth flag is a powerful symbol of freedom and justice for Black Americans, and it has become a symbol of Black emancipation in the United States of North America, the journey our ancestors have taken, and the continuous journey we are taking. We have work to do.
ABOUT THE COLORS: WE ARE FREE U.S. AMERICANS
Mr. Haith was intentional about every aspect of the creation.
- The arc on the Juneteenth flag represents a new horizon, meaning fresh opportunities and promising futures for Black Americans.
- The star represents Texas – Juneteenth started in Galveston. It represents the freedom of Black Americans in all 50 states.
- The burst (zig-zag shape surrounding the star) represents Black Americans’ journey to achieve freedom. Inspired by a nova, the burst symbol represents the term astronomers use to mean a new star – in essence, a new beginning.
- The colors of the flag represent the United States of America. The flag is a reminder that enslaved people and the descendants of enslaved people were AND ARE Americans. Those colors are a testament that Americans are committed to striving for actualization of liberty and justice for all.
Sometimes, the “adopted” Pan-African flag represents the dispersed diaspora globally. The Juneteenth flag represents the freedom of enslaved U.S. Black people and their descendants.