June 19, 2020
Milwaukee County Raises Juneteenth, Pan-African and Pride Flags at the Courthouse
Milwaukee County intends to be an inclusive place, reflective of the diversity of the communities we serve
MILWAUKEE — Today, Milwaukee County will raise the Juneteenth flag, the Pan-African flag and the Rainbow Pride flag on the south entrance of the Milwaukee County Courthouse. These flags will remain in place year round as they represent a collective history of injustices against Black and LGBTQ+ people in this country and provide a sense of hope for a better future.
“The 51st anniversary of the Stonewall rebellion is next week. Stonewall was a liberation movement that began in New York City. It was led by queer Black people in response to police violence. 51 years later, Black people and individuals who identify as LGBTQ+ are facing similar struggles,” County Executive David Crowley said. “Today is a day to center and celebrate queer identities and Blackness. This is aligned with Milwaukee County’s goals to build an inclusive government in which our workforce, and leadership, reflects the full strength and diversity of our community.”
The Rainbow Pride flag represents hope and peace, giving a sense of freshness to those who view it. The Pan-African flag was designed to represent people of the African diaspora, to symbolize Black people’s freedom. The Juneteenth flag has the same colors as the American flag and is a unique symbol of Black liberation and history. The United States, State of Wisconsin, Milwaukee County, Sons of Service and POW-MIA flags will still be flown on the flag poles outside the south entrance of the Courthouse.
This announcement is part of Milwaukee County’s efforts to achieve racial equity and be the healthiest county in Wisconsin. The County recognizes that Milwaukee and the nation are presently facing two public health emergencies, one an acute emergency caused by COVID-19 and one a deep-rooted emergency caused by racism. Milwaukee County is committed to working toward equity and shifting its own institutional power to demonstrate leadership in dismantling white supremacy and racist policies and practices.
Earlier this week, Milwaukee County announced two initiatives that address racial inequities and work to strengthen employee and community learning opportunities around equity. On Monday, Milwaukee County Executive Crowley and Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson announced that employees will have a floating holiday on June 19 to mark Juneteenth Day and the end of the enslavement of Black people in America. On Tuesday, county, city and local community partners announced the launch of the ‘We Care Crew,’ a community resourcing initiative to support communities of color during this challenging time.
These initiatives are created with support from various county departments. Milwaukee County’s Juneteenth measure has been implemented by administrative order to ensure employees can utilize the floating holiday in 2020. A resolution making the holiday a permanent passed the Finance Committee yesterday with a 7-0 vote and will continue to the full County Board of Supervisors on June 25.