Juneteenth flag raised at GHS


Treely Dowd

Students witness the raising of the flag to honor Juneteenth.


This Friday, May 19th, a flag was raised at Gloucester High School to honor the Juneteenth holiday. The flag being raised in May instead of in June is due to the fact that school will be out for the actual Juneteenth holiday.

“It’s really important to show that the school cares, even though we won’t be in school on the official holiday,” Principal James Cook said. “It was an easy decision to move the day up, so we’re still in school for the flag raising. I think it’s important to honor this date the best that we can.”

Juneteenth is a federal holiday commemorating the emancipation of slaves, that was first recognized as a federal holiday in 2021, after President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, but unofficial celebrations have happened since the 1800s, centered around celebrating African-American culture.

While the Emancipation Proclamation was issued on January 1st, 1863, it was not until June 19th, 1865, that news would reach Texas, and people there learned slavery had been abolished. Now, there are celebrations spanning the entire USA, including gatherings and festivals with music, food, dance, prayer, and speeches.

“We’re trying to celebrate the hard work of the racial equity team here at GHS, as well,” Cook said. “If we didn’t raise the flag now, we couldn’t raise it with everyone there to see it.”