Juneteenth flag flies over Wisconsin State Capitol for a 2nd year

NOW: Juneteenth flag flies over Wisconsin State Capitol for a 2nd year

MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Gov. Tony Evers on Friday, June 18, signed Executive Order #124, raising the Juneteenth flag over the Wisconsin State Capitol Building in celebration of Juneteenth for the second year in a row.

In 2020, the governor order the Juneteenth flag be flown at the state Capitol for the first time in state history. The Juneteenth flag will temporarily replace the Rainbow Pride flag over the weekend, but will not disrupt other flags that regularly fly over the state Capitol building. 

It kicked off Juneteenth celebrations in Wisconsin, and an event was held afterwards which reignited calls from lawmakers to address racial disparities. 

“As we recognize the trials Black Americans have overcome and celebrate the resilience, vibrancy and countless contributions of Black Wisconsinites across our state, we know our work toward equity and justice in this state is far from finished,” said Gov. Evers. “We are reminded today this work is urgent. We must continue our work to create the state and the future we want for each other and for our kids.”

Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas.

Dozens gathered at the Capitol for a ceremony organized by Black lawmakers where many rejoiced and reflected on how far Black Americans have come. The event comes on the heels of President Joe Biden declaring Juneteenth a national holiday.

"We commemorate the end of slavery in the U.S. and celebrate the resiliency of the Black community," said State Rep. Shelia Stubbs (D-Madison). 

Many Black lawmakers spoke about progress made in the state, citing recent police reform legislation passed. Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes reflected on GOP attempts to make it harder for people to vote and efforts to ban schools from discussing the lasting effect of systemic racism, often referred to as critical race theory. 

"I'm so pleased to see the next generation is so full of people who are committing to justice," Barnes said. "But we have those who still want to restrict the teaching of our true history, people who want you to believe that Americans' wealth and prosperity just happened."

Executive Order #124 is available below and is in effect beginning Friday, June 18 until sunset on Sunday, June 20.

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