ILLINOIS (WCIA) — Flags will be flown at half-staff in Illinois on June 19. This is in recognition of Juneteenth.
The holiday is meant to “commemorate the abolition of slavery throughout the United States and its territories in 1865,” said officials with the Illinois Governor’s Office. To recognize the day, Governor JB Pritzker signed legislation Wednesday making it an official state holiday. It will be recognized as National Freedom Day in the state, according to the governor’s office.
“Just as Illinois led the nation as the first state to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment, in 2021, we are leading the nation in tackling structural racism head on thanks to the guiding vision of Leader Lightford, Representative Ford, Speaker Welch and the entire Illinois Legislative Black Caucus,” said Governor Pritzker. “It brings me exceptional pride to sign into law the declaration of Juneteenth as a formal state holiday in Illinois, making us one of the few states in the nation to give it the full status is deserves.”
Officials said all flags covered by the Illinois Flag Display Act will be lowered to half-staff on Saturday, June 19. There will also be a Juneteenth flag flaying over the State Capitol.
As the governor signs this legislation, Champaign Mayor Deb Feinen announced a proclamation recognizing the holiday in town. During their Tuesday night council meeting, the mayor read the proclamation declaring June 19 as “Juneteenth Celebration Day” in the city.