NWA Pride Parade / Flyer file photo by Todd Gill
FAYETTEVILLE — City officials will soon hoist flags at City Hall as a show of support for Pride Month and Juneteenth.
City Council members on Tuesday voted 7-0 to approve a resolution to purchase and display a rainbow Pride flag and a Juneteenth celebration flag on the flagpole outside of the city’s administration building on Mountain Street in downtown Fayetteville.
The resolution was sponsored by Council Member D’Andre Jones and drafted by City Attorney Kit Williams. It appropriates $300 toward the purchase of the two flags and requests that the mayor display them together below the city flag from June 14-21 of each year.
Pride events are held annually in June in honor of the Stonewall riots, which began in the early hours of June 28, 1969, and continued for six days.
President Bill Clinton first declared June “Gay & Lesbian Pride Month” in 1999.
Fayetteville has in the past recognized Pride-related activities by proclamation, including last year when Mayor Lioneld Jordan declared June 24-26 Pride Weekend.
Juneteenth is observed on June 19 and commemorates the day when Union soldiers landed at Galveston, Texas, in 1865 with news that the war had ended and that an estimated 250,000 enslaved African Americans in Texas were now free — nearly two and a half years after Abraham Lincoln abolished slavery.
President Joe Biden signed legislation making Juneteenth a U.S. federal holiday in 2021.
The Fayetteville City Council last year voted unanimously to make June 19 an official paid holiday for city workers. That resolution was also sponsored by Council Member Jones.
Jones said on Tuesday it’s important that the council show support for Juneteenth to celebrate the end of slavery and for Pride Week to support equality and fairness for all the city’s LGBT residents.
“We have to be both intentional, and we have to be bold,” said Jones.