We are nearing a very special time of year when we as a nation celebrate our independence. It is a time when we collectively, as Americans, honor our country and all we have endured and sacrificed in the name of Freedom. We raise our flags and salute old glory; but have you ever wondered why the colors red, white and blue were specifically chosen? What is their significance?
I know I did, and in doing some research, I found an article in Time by Nicole Greenstein titled “Why the US Flag is Red, White and Blue.”
The article explains that the significance of each color was explained in 1782 by Charles Thompson, Secretary of the Continental Congress. In his presentation of the newly designed Great Seal of the Unites States, he explained that the Continental Congress used the same colors as the US flag in the Great Seal citing their significance. “The colors,” Thomson said at the time, “are those used in the flag of the United States of America. White signifies purity and innocence. Red, hardiness & valour, and Blue… signifies vigilance, perseverance & justice.”
This made me think a lot about how these colors, when combined, do instill a sense of pride, strength and virtue. I never really made the connection. As an interior designer, I know that red and blue are two of the three primary colors, and that they pair well together. However, when you see a space designed in that pallet, there is a more instinctual reaction to it. In my opinion, it is almost an emotional response rooted in our patriotic experience. So, in celebration of our nation’s independence, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite things inspired by Old Glory!
Red, for me, has always been a powerful color. I agree that it does invoke feelings of valor, strength and passion. All qualities that are fundamentally American. This Melange Saffron Crackle Chest by Hooker Furniture is not only bold, but the subtle curves along the front of it resemble the billowing of Old Glory blowing in the wind.
America is also greatly defined by the industrial era and nothing celebrates that more than this beautiful dining table by Vintage Industrial Furniture. It reminds me of the classic photo “Lunch on a Skyscraper”, by Charles C. Ebbets. It harkens back to that glorious industrial era in our country. Vintage Industrial did a great job at re-creating that feeling, but adding a touch of modern in the bold, red color. I love this piece!
White, in most Western cultures really does signify innocence and purity. However, in this case it is also bold and daring. This 35-light chandelier named Glendale, by Eurofase Lighting appears to defy gravity. These connected LED rings gracefully construct an incomplete sphere. It is both asymmetrical and balanced at the same time.
There is nothing innocent about this seatbelt dining chair by Phillips Collection. It looks dangerous, but graceful, and is innovative in both construction and material. One of my favorites, although I have yet to use it in a project. It’s on my radar.
Although Jonath Anadler is more famously known for his whimsical pottery, it was this wallpaper that caught my attention. This knotted rope pattern is a nod to all things nautical. It is classic in style, but in keeping with his whimsical sense. The blue color, and nautical reference does invoke that feeling of perseverance as ships were the main mode of transportation that brought most of our ancestors to this country.
I love a modern twist on a classic, and this area rug by Surya is just that! It has the classic styling of a hand-woven Oriental rug, but with a heavy saturation of color not typically seen in that style. It is bold and beautiful, just like America!
Now, this year, when you’re saluting Old Glory, I hope you have a new appreciation for it and all it stands for. This holiday is more than a time for barbecues and pool parties. It is a time to reflect on our freedoms and what our forefathers did to ensure we remained the land of the free, and the home of the brave. Happy 4th!!!