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Lisa Chasanov

Raising of the Juneteenth flag in Urbana on Friday

Urbana’s Juneteenth flag raising

June 19, 2023

On Friday, the city of Urbana hosted a Juneteenth flag raising at the Urbana City building. The event was intended to mark the official observance of the holiday in the city of Urbana with speeches from Urbana city officials.

The Juneteenth flag, which features the colors of the American flag and one bright star in the center surrounded by a white burst, commemorates the emancipation of all enslaved individuals in the United States. 

At Friday’s event, the Juneteenth flag was raised alongside the American and Illinois state flags in front of the building.

Speeches from city officials highlighted the history of both the flag and the holiday. 

“The celebration of Juneteenth dates back to 1866,” said Femi Fletcher, human resources and finance official at the city of Urbana. “The flag is raised here today (in recognition) of what this day means for our friends, our neighbors, our ancestors and our nation.”

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    A central theme of this event was collective progress as a society and the ongoing struggle for liberation. Fletcher discussed the 13th amendment and its ratification across all 50 states. In her speech, Fletcher highlighted several states which passed the amendment in recent years — including Mississippi, which ratified in 2013. 

    The event was also marked with a reading of the mayoral proclamation of Juneteenth’s official observance in Urbana.

    “Therefore I, Diane Wolfe Marlin, mayor of the city of Urbana, do hereby proclaim June 19th, 2023 as Juneteenth in Urbana, to be celebrated proudly throughout the community,” read Marlin’s proclamation.

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