For the second year in a row, San Diego Unified School District raised the Juneteenth flag on Friday to mark the end of slavery in the U.S. after the Civil War.
Juneteenth is a national holiday that commemorates June 19, 1865, the day Union Army Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas and announced to enslaved African-Americans that they were freed.
The Juneteenth flag was first designed in 1997 by activist Ben Haith, who founded the National Juneteenth Celebration Foundation, and it contains multiple layers of symbolism.
The white star in the middle of the flag represents Texas as the Lone Star State. The burst surrounding the star represents a nova, or new star, signifying new beginnings for the country after the end of slavery. Similarly, the arc behind the star represents a new horizon.
The flag’s red, white and blue colors signify that both the previously enslaved and their descendants are unquestionably American.
The San Diego Unified School Board officially recognized Juneteenth in a board resolution in 2020.