Americana, Colonial Decor and the 4th of July
We’ve come to mark the beginning and end of summer using its holidays. Memorial Day and Labor Day are the season’s bookends, with July 4 nestled in between.
What ties these three holidays together? It’s the way we use them to celebrate America and to commemorate those who have sacrificed for the good of all of us.
The weeks between late May and early September give you an outstanding opportunity to use patriotic themes in your country home. Today, Piper Classics would like to offer you a few ways to embrace Americana décor this summer. After all, there are many more options than hanging up a flag.
Americana signs and sayings
We’re a country that loves its past. We visit historic battlefields, continue to read books like To Kill a Mockingbird and line up for Broadway musicals about the founding fathers.
We’re not saying you need to live like it’s 1816. It may just be a matter of hanging a few country wall signs in your kitchen or living room. You can choose something that has an unequivocal patriotic message, a sign with a folksy saying, or simply one that looks like it came from a long-ago country store.
Wreaths and barn stars
When you see a metal star hung on the side of a barn, you’re getting a mini history lesson without realizing it. If you’ve spent any time in the Piper Classics home state of Pennsylvania, you might have seen them, especially in parts of the state where the Amish live.
The stars were originally meant to serve as the mark of the barn’s builder. As time went on, they became more of a decoration than a calling card, installed on the barns after construction was done. (These aren’t to be confused with the smaller star-shaped anchor plates you’ll see on some brick buildings. These provide structural reinforcement.)
These stars are considered a symbol of luck, so add some good fortune to your home with one of our many barn stars and barn star-related products (waste baskets, towel rings, etc.)
If you’re looking for other ways to decorate the outside of your home, consider our wreath collection. As we’ve said before, they’re not just for Christmas, although there is a connection between wreaths and Colonial décor: one of the things Colonial Williamsburg is known for is the tradition of making elaborate wreaths at the winter holidays.
Red, white, and blue and antique
You see a lot of red, white and blue decorations around this time of year. Have you ever wondered why those are our national colors?
In 1777, the Second Continental Congress declared that the U.S. flag feature “thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field representing a new constellation.”
We know what the 13 stars and stripes signify: the 13 colonies that became the original United States.
(In 1977, the U.S. House of Representatives would publish a book on the flag that offered a different take on its symbols: “The star is a symbol of the heavens and the divine goal to which man has aspired from time immemorial; the stripe is symbolic of the rays of light emanating from the sun.”)
But why those colors?
They didn’t have any special meaning when the founders approved the first flag – although they are the same as the British flag, fitting for former British colonies. Red, white and blue took on a new significance five years later with the formation of the country’s Great Seal.
As Charles Thomson, Secretary of the Continental Congress, said at the time: “White signifies purity and innocence. Red, hardiness & valor, and Blue… signifies vigilance, perseverance & justice.”
You’ll find the flag and the stars and stripes on a number of our products, from placemats to napkins to doormats to throw pillows. Check out our patriotic decor offerings for more ideas. We hope you find something that helps you find new ways to decorate for the summer holidays.