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City Hallways (June 13): Why is this red, black and green flag significant?

A wave to history

Do you know what the tri-color flag flying outside City Hall represents?

It's called the African Heritage flag, and it was hoisted in honor of Buffalo's 42nd annual Juneteenth Festival to be held on Saturday and Sunday at Martin Luther King Jr. Park.

The flag was adopted in 1920 by an organization founded by black nationalist Marcus Garvey – the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League. The red band represents the blood that unites all people of African heritage and the blood shed for liberation. Black is for black people. And the green represents the "abundant natural wealth of Africa," according to the organization's website.

Juneteenth has become an international commemoration of June 19, 1865 – the day when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, with news that the slaves were free. It marked the final execution of the Emancipation Proclamation that went into effect two and a half years earlier on Jan. 1, 1863.

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Common Council convenes for its regular business meeting at 2 p.m. in the 13th floor of City Hall.

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