Juneteenth colors and the meaning behind the federal holiday

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — School may be out, but education continues as several Americans gear up to celebrate Juneteenth this Saturday, also known as Jubilee Day.

It commemorates the day enslaved African-Americans were freed on June 19, 1865, ending slavery.

From the foods eaten, festivals planned, and Juneteenth flag itself, there’s one color that symbolizes the rich history behind the holiday—red.

TriState Expo explained how this color got its stripes.

“Red stands for of course the blood that was shed on the pathway to freedom,” TriState Expo spokesperson Leah McKay said. “Traditionally for Juneteenth most celebrations celebrate with red food.”

In the 19th century, foods such as red velvet cake, strawberry soda, and red punch was also reflection of spiritual power and transformation.

“We’re celebrating the fact that we’re afforded freedoms and rights and levels of equality just like everybody else,” McKay said.

The official Juneteenth flag was red, white, and blue displaying that all American slaves and their descendants were Americans. However, many in the Black community have adopted the Pan-African flag, red black and green.

The colors represent the blood, soil and prosperity of Africa and its people.

While Juneteenth reflects on the progress of the African-American race, lawmakers put that on the fast track by making it a federal holiday.

“We now have a holiday as well to commemorate people of color so with this June 19 is symbolic of all of us reaching a certain point,” McKay said.

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