Clinton City Council members voted Wednesday night to allow the Juneteenth Flag to be flown on city property, ending a nearly weeklong controversy after the city issued a press release on June 10th denying the request to fly the flag.

The city’s press release pointed to city policy of permitting only governmental flags on public property.  Those flags are the United States flag, the Iowa State flag, the City of Clinton flag and the POW/MIA flag.

The city’s release cited concern over legal action if the Juneteenth Flag was allowed. Several groups wanted to see the Juneteenth flag fly on one of the flagpoles at city hall, as well as at NelsonCorp Field, home of baseball’s Clinton Lumber Kings.

The Clinton City Council meeting on Wednesday, June 15, 2022.

More than a half dozen people pleaded Wednesday with the City Council to allow the flag. The unanimous approval of the flag met with applause..

City Council members also plan to work with the city’s legal staff to draw up a long-range policy on flags going forward. President Joe Biden declared Juneteenth a federal holiday on June 17, 2021. It commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans.

The flag was designed in the late 1990s, and the star in the middle of the flag has a dual meaning, according to this piece at Vox.com.

On June 19, 1865, enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas, were informed of the Emancipation Proclamation, President Abraham Lincoln’s declaration of the freedom of enslaved people. The star is meant to represent Texas as the Lone Star state, but also the freedom of enslaved citizens.