Flying Friday, June 19, 2009.

Today I will fly my New Jersey flag, a US state that recognises Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day. It commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery in the U.S. State of Texas in 1865. Celebrated on June 19, the term is a portmanteau of June and nineteenth, and is recognized as a state holiday in 31 of the United States.

Though the Emancipation Proclamation had been issued on September 22, 1862, with an effective date of January 1, 1863, it had minimal immediate effect on most slaves’ day-to-day lives, particularly in Texas, which was almost entirely under Confederate control. Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, the day Union General Gordon Granger and 2,000 federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to take possession of the state and enforce the emancipation of its slaves.

General Gordon Granger

The Stars and Stripes and the Juneteenth Commemoration flag, representing a star of Texas bursting with new freedom throughout the land, over a new horizon.

The Times, London:

The Times, London, July 18, 1865. The news took almost one month to reach the London press, and its importance appeared insignificantly reported.