Press Release: Gov. Evers Signs Executive Order Raising Flag at State Capitol in Celebration of Juneteenth

Office of Governor Tony Evers
Gov. Evers Signs Executive Order Raising Flag at State Capitol in Celebration of Juneteenth 

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today signed Executive Order #205, raising the Juneteenth Flag for the fourth year in a row over the Wisconsin State Capitol in celebration of Juneteenth

Today, we celebrate the hard-fought and hard-won progress we have made—progress made possible by the efforts of visionary leaders and advocates like the folks here today and those that came before them,” said Gov. Evers.  

We also recognize and acknowledge the work we have left to do to truly realize our goals for a more equitable and just state. I remain committed to being a partner in this work, and today, that includes proudly raising the Juneteenth Flag above the State Capitol—an act I’ve done for the past several years and an act I promise to continue doing as long as I am governor,” Gov. Evers continued. In Wisconsin, we celebrate Black history and culture, we celebrate the progress and resilience of Black communities, and we are committed to our shared goals of building the brighter future we want for our state.” 

On June 19, 1865, more than two and half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln, Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, to declare the end of slavery. In the nearly 158 years since, June 19th has been known as Juneteenth and is one of the oldest and most popular annual commemorations of the end of slavery in the United States. 

The Juneteenth Flag features a star to represent Texas, the Lone Star State; a nova, or new star, representing a new beginning and the freedom of African Americans; the curve on the flag dividing the red and blue colors representing a “new horizon” and a future of “opportunities and promise” for Black Americans; and red, white, and blue colors, reminding us that people who were enslaved and their descendants shall be “forever free.”

In 2020, Gov. Evers ordered the Juneteenth Flag to be flown at the State Capitol for the first time in state history. Juneteenth is formally recognized and celebrated in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, with Wisconsin joining as the 32nd state to recognize this day in 2009. In 2021, President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, making Juneteenth a federal holiday.  

The Juneteenth Flag will temporarily replace the Progress Pride Flag through Monday in celebration of Juneteenth but will otherwise not disrupt other flags that regularly fly over the State Capitol building. The U.S. flag and Wisconsin state flag will continue flying on the East Wing flagpole above the Juneteenth Flag. The POW-MIA flag will continue flying on the North Wing flagpole as it does every day.  

Executive Order #205 is available here and is in effect beginning Fri., June 16, 2023, until sunset on Mon., June 19, 2023. 

An online version of this release is available here.