Juneteenth flag raised at City of Milwaukee building for 1st time in history

MILWAUKEE -- For the first time in history, the Juneteenth flag was raised at a City of Milwaukee building during a special ceremony at 9 a.m. on Juneteenth -- Friday, June 19th.

The flag was hoisted at the Zeidler Building in downtown. The flag bears the date, June 19, 1865 -- the day the last of the slaves in Texas learned they were free.

Local leaders say Juneteenth is not only about recognizing the significance of the day and history, but looking ahead to the future.

"Now is the time we are unified. Now is the time we have brought black lives back to the forefront. Black lives do matter.  Black people do matter -- and it's about time. When we make laws, it's about time we are going to make it better for everybody," said Milwaukee Alderwoman Nikiya Dodd. "Today we stand in efforts and unity to fight for what is right."

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has canceled the Milwaukee Juneteenth Day celebration – one of the oldest and longest-running in the nation.

Friday morning's flag ceremony offered a positive way for the city and residents to mark the holiday.