Killeen: City council considers whether to fly the Juneteenth flag over city hall

Updated: May. 20, 2021 at 5:25 PM CDT
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX)-- The Killeen City Council is considering a resolution that calls for flying the Juneteenth flag over city hall to mark the annual observance of the day word of the Emancipation Proclamation arrived in Texas.

Councilwoman Debbie Nash-King presented the resolution during a council meeting Tuesday.

She said she supported not only flying the Juneteenth flag, but also other commemorative flags.

Killeen Mayor Jose Segarra and Councilman Steve Harris expressed concern that allowing the flying of the Juneteenth flag would set a precedent for other groups that may want to fly ceremonial flags commemorating other state holidays including Confederate Heroes Day.

Councilman Rick Williams proposed the city install a new flag site on city hall grounds where various organizations could display their ceremonial flags without risk of the city being accused of discrimination against one group.

“While as an African American I’m really proud of Juneteenth, as an American, I’m proud of all things that we have accomplished as a country, if we open the door to one, we must open the door to all,” he said.

Amid racial justice protests in 2020, many cities for the first time flew the Juneteenth flag atop their city hall buildings.

On June 19, 1865 Union Gen. Gordon Granger landed at Galveston and issued a proclamation that declared slaves in Texas to be free three years after Congress passed and President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

Large celebrations began the next year and eventually spread to neighboring states. Interest declined during World War II and again during the 1950s and 1960s, but in the 1970s observances were revived in some communities.

Since 1980, June 19 has been observed as Emancipation Day in Texas, which is a state partial-staffing holiday.

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