Sharing the history of the flags important holidays that are celebrated in June allows for a deeper understanding of what these important symbols mean. Knowing why they were created pays homage to those that lead the way for these celebrations.
Many are aware that June is Pride Month and this annual celebration began as a way to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan which occurred at the end of June of that year.
What may not be as well-known is how the Rainbow Pride Flag became the universal symbol for the LGBTQ community. The flag’s image is well recognized and represents the pride and hope of LGBTQ people and also reflects the diversity within this community. The current Rainbow Flag is an updated design of the original flag. Another piece of history that may not be well known is that before the Rainbow Flag, the pink triangle was used as a symbol for the LGBTQ community. During the Holocaust, Nazis identified gay people in concentration camps by making them wear pink triangles. This symbol was reclaimed by the LGBTQ community as a way to create new representation.
Together, the Pride Flag's six rainbow colors symbolize hope, and each also has its own meaning:
Over the last few years, the celebration of Juneteenth has gained prominence. The date marks the freedom of African Americans from slavery in the U.S. in 1865 and is celebrated on June 19. Juneteenth is made up of the words ‘June’ and ‘nineteenth,’ and it is on this day that Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Texas more than 155 years ago to inform slaves that slavery had been abolished.
The Juneteenth flag is a symbol of this holiday. The first version of this flag was created in 1997 by activist Ben Haith and was revised in 2000. The colors and symbols on the flag are representative of freedom and the end of slavery. The flag uses the colors of red, white and blue from the American Flag. Featured prominently in the center of the flag is a bursting star; which symbols a “Bursting star of freedom” and the arch is representing the horizon and shows above the blue and red below is symbolic of the ground soaked with the blood shed by African American slaves for the United States.
During the month of June, there are many significant celebrations to recognize and enjoy. For the residents, team members, family members and visitors of Presbyterian Senior Living, we enjoy the celebrations that occur when we all come together to connect with each other where we live and work. We value the diversity within our organization that offers many ways to celebrate Pride Month and Juneteenth. We value the opportunity to converse and be open to dialogue that fosters an understanding of why these celebrations are important and how each celebration may be unique. These conversations are the foundation of celebrating diversity and foster inclusion for all.
Presbyterian Senior Living would like to acknowledge other celebrations that are recognized during the month of June, respecting that this list may not be all inclusive. Enjoy celebrating and learning about other cultures this month!
Month of June – Caribbean American Heritage Month
June 2 – Indian Citizenship Act of 1924
June 10 – Puerto Rican Day Parade
June 12 – Loving Day
June 26 to July 1 – The Hajj
About LaJeune Adams
PSL’s Cultures and Values give assurance of our organization’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, through ensuring that all stakeholders feel that they belong. By lifting up voices and people, we will create an organization where all stakeholders feel that they are of value. As part of this commitment PSL formed Culture Champions within each community and location within the organization. Culture Champions are PSL representatives empowered with leading the movement of living and teaching our values while embracing DEI initiatives and encouraging others to do the same. As the Corporate Director of Education and Development and DEI Officer, LaJeune Adams is one of the PSL leaders that supports and works directly with the Culture Champions. LaJeune has worked with Presbyterian Senior Living for over 16 years in the roles of Human Resources Manager and Area Human Resources Director prior to her current role.