Juneteenth colors and its meaning behind the federal holiday

National and World News

DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — School may be out, but education continues as several Americans gear up to celebrate Juneteenth this Saturday, also known as Jubilee day.

It commemorates the day enslaved African Americans were freed on June 19th, 1865.

From the foods eaten, festivals planned and Juneteenth flag itself, there’s one color that symbolizes the rich history behind the holiday — red.

City leaders and one organizer for the Dothan Juneteenth parade, TriState Expo, explained how this color got its stripes.

“Red stands for, of course, the blood that was shed on the pathway to freedom,” TriState Expo spokesperson Leah McKay said. “Traditionally for Juneteenth, most celebrations celebrate with red food.”

In the 19th century, foods such as red velvet cake, strawberry soda and red punch were also reflections of spiritual power and transformation.

“We’re celebrating the fact that we’re afforded freedoms and rights and levels of equality just like everybody else,” McKay said.

The official Juneteenth flag was red, white and blue, displaying that all American slaves and their descendants were Americans.

However, many in the Black community have adopted the Pan-African flag: red, black and green. The colors represent the blood, soil and prosperity of Africa and its people.

While Juneteenth reflects on the progress of the African American race, lawmakers put that on the fast track by making it a federal holiday.

“We now have a holiday as well to commemorate people of color, so with this June 19th, it is symbolic of all of us reaching a certain point,” McKay said.

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