Juneteenth: important messages within its flags
What do the colors, flags, and designs used to commemorate this federal holiday symbolize? How can their messages be incorporated when designing content for this day?
June 19, 1865. The day African American slaves were emancipated in Texas. In the past few decades, we have seen a rise in celebrating on this day for black Americans, remembering how much black Americans have suffered and persevered.
Just over two years ago on May 25, 2020, George Floyd was murdered, right before the 155th Juneteenth. The following weeks and months were filled with riots, protests, and movements all over the world to take action against racism of people of color. Juneteenth, made an official US federal holiday as of last year in 2021, is a day of remembrance, awareness, and hope of progress.
“Juneteenth has never been a celebration of victory or an acceptance of the way things are. It’s a celebration of progress. It’s an affirmation that despite the most painful parts of our history, change is possible — and there is still so much work to do.” — Barack Obama
There are five main colors. Red, white, blue, green and black. The Juneteenth flag is red, white and blue, hailing that slaves and their descendants have always been and will always be American.
In addition to the colors of the American flag, the Juneteenth Flag has two different stars and a curved line. The central star is one of the 50 from the American flag, connecting to American heritage but also Texas pride. The outer star, the bursting nova star, is a message of a new beginning for black Americans. The curved line represents a new horizon of hope.
The Pan-African Flag is red, black and green. Often yellow is used as well. These colors are symbolic of Africa, and celebrate the heritage of African American slaves. The lines mimic lines from African flags, and the fist is a symbol of the Black Rights and Black Lives Matter movement.
All five or six colors are symbolic to this holiday. Keep in mind the meaning behind these colors, shapes and symbols when designing advertisements, marketing, or other campaigns for Juneteenth.
“Juneteenth was a promise that was broken. Reconstruction failed and this country has continued to wage war on the Black body. Juneteenth also embodies the resilience of Black people. Even in the face of a broken system, we choose to find joy in resistance and celebrate in community.” — Obrian Rosario
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Thanks for reading, and good luck with creating.