Saturday, August 29, 2009

Ornamental Tin Stars

Someone asked at dinner the other night, "What is up with the big stars on some people's houses?" I noticed when I moved to the area that in addition to the PA Dutch hex signs,
some locals were mounting gigantic tin stars on the sides of their suburban homes.
I don't recall seeing any in the cities, but I haven't exactly been hunting for them.

She said that she heard they were good luck. I wondered whether size or
color mattered. I did a little research online and found on Americantinstar.com:
The tradition of the barn star in America can be traced back to the 1700’s, and
to at least the 1820’s in Pennsylvania. Barn stars were most popular after the
Civil War. On many older American barns, particularly German farms, one could
see a large decoration in the shape of a star mounted on the face of the barn.
Sometimes they were just aesthetic, but sometimes they represented the trademark
of a specific barn builder. It is our understanding the original star shape was
a three-pointed star but has changed throughout the years. Colors had
significance with Amish and Pennsylvania Dutch barn paintings. These folk art
designs, many of which were star shaped, were painted directly onto each end of
the barn, and date back to the 1850’s. Black - Protection, also used to blend or
bind elements together; Red - Emotions, passion, charisma, lust and also
creativity. White - Purity, power of the moon, allows energy to flow freely.
Blue - Protection, peace, calmness and spirituality; Green - Growth, fertility,
success in things and ideas that grow. Yellow - Health in body and mind, love of
man and the sun, connection to the God. Brown - Mother earth, also can mean
friendship and strength. Orange - Abundance in career, projects and matters
needing an added push. Violet - Things that are sacred.
On one forum, a number of people wrote that they heard that the star indicated there was a sex offender living in the home, and the color and size indicated the severity of the offense. If that's the case, the family that owns this house must be a bunch of criminals.
Some people really believe this stuff, so if you are thinking about mounting an 8' red star on your garage, beware.

A story in the MetroWest Daily News breaks it down for us with some hard-hitting reporting:

"It's for decoration and it's very countryish. The inside (of my house) is very
countryish. (The star) also matched the paint and doors," Army said.

There you have it. Countryish. Have you put a star on your house? What does it mean to you?

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