Public Info

Union County Celebrates Black History Month

black history month flag raising flyerUnion County, NJ — The red, black, and green flag is flying proudly at the Union County Courthouse in Elizabeth, marking the start of the Union County Board of Commissioners annual celebration of Black History Month in February.

“We look forward to working with our community partners on events in celebration of Black History Month, to reflect upon the achievements and obstacles of the past and present, and to recommit ourselves to the promise of the future,” said Board of Commissioners Chairman Alexander Mirabella.

“The Pan-African Flag is a symbol of the determination, resiliency, and achievement of people of African descent throughout the continent and the diaspora, and its message is all the more compelling in light of the challenges we have all faced during the past year,” said Vice Chair Rebecca L. Williams.

“So many milestones continue to be achieved for the black community, most recently by Vice President Kamala Harris, who is a graduate of Howard University. She is the first graduate of a historically Black college or university and the first member of a Black Greek organization to serve as second in command to the presidency. We also began the statewide use of our new title, County Commissioners, showing inclusivity is a possibility from DC to New Jersey counties,” said Commissioner Angela R. Garretson

“Knowledge is power, and Black History Month provides an opportunity to uplift, inspire, and prepare the next generation to take on new challenges and build a stronger community,” said Commissioner Andrea “Sunshine” Staten.

The RBG or red, black and green flag was raised on Sunday evening in order to ensure that it would fly on February 1, regardless of a severe winter storm hitting the area.

Each year, the Union County Board of Commissioners celebrates Black History Month with a flag-raising and a series of events and activities held in cooperation with community partners.

The month is highlighted by the annual Chester Holmes Humanitarian Award. The award was created by the Board of Commissioners in honor of the late former Union County Commissioner Chester Holmes, who was known for his lifelong dedication to community service.

Beginning on January 1 of this year, the statewide title for county elected officials changed from Freeholder to Commissioner. The title for elected bodies also changed, from Board of Chosen Freeholders to Board of County Commissioners.

The Freeholder title dated back to Colonial days, when a citizen’s ability to hold public office was defined by gender, race, and property.

For more information and updates on all Union County services during the COVID-19 outbreak, including testing and vaccination, For general information about COVID-19 and phone contacts for 24/7 assistance visit the New Jersey Department of Health at

# #

For all Union County programs and services visit, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email or use the online Contact Form.