Georgian will raise Pan-African flag to mark Emancipation Day

The Pan-African flag will be raised at the Owen Sound Campus on Tuesday, Aug. 1, to recognize Emancipation Day.

A flag with three horizontal stripes: red on top, black in the middle and green in the bottom.
(Photo courtesy of

In March 2021, the House of Commons officially designated Aug. 1 as Emancipation Day in Canada, to mark the actual day in 1834 that the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 came into effect across the British Empire.

What may be lesser known in our region is that Emancipation Day was first celebrated in 1836 in Owen Sound, which was the northernmost endpoint for the Underground Railroad. There has been an annual celebration since 1862 at Harrison Park called the Emancipation Festival. This year, the festival will take place from Aug. 4 to 6.

We encourage you to reflect on this chapter on the history of Canada and educate yourself to learn how black settlers contributed and continue to contribute to the local ancestry of Grey and Simcoe counties and beyond.

This post was originally published in July 2022 and updated in July 2023.

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