Tony Evers raises the Juneteenth flag over the Capitol in Madison.
Friday’s brief ceremony marked the third year the Democratic governor has raised the flag to commemorate the last enslaved Black Americans. They were freed in Texas, on June 19, 1865, some two-and-half years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
“I want to acknowledge that I know a flag is not a policy solution,” Evers said. “And it’s not an investment. But it is a message, a message to black Wisconsinites across our state that we celebrate you, and that as a state we are committed to building a future that we dare to dream up for our kids and our grandkids and generations to come.”
Evers was joined by members of the Wisconsin Legislative Black Caucus.
“And I think it’s important that we realize on this day that Black history is not just black history. It’s American history,” said Representative Dora Drake (D-Milwaukee). “Just last year Juneteenth was made a federal holiday and that’s something to celebrate. That is something to celebrate.”
Evers also issued a proclamation to commemorate the event.