Among the many pleasures of July, perhaps none is greater than the celebration of our nation's birth. Beyond the food, fun and fireworks—all of which I love—is the decorating. (Yes, the decorating!) I guess I'll decorate for any occasion.
Glorious red, white and blue appear in many forms around Connecticut, from flags to bunting to pinwheels. Others share my sentiment as well. Sotheby's recently auctioned a Connecticut battle flag from the Revolutionary War for a whopping $12.3 million, far surpassing expectations. And a recent visit to the Wilton Historical Society and its fascinating exhibit on the American flag provides not only an enjoyable way to spend a July afternoon but an important lesson in design, as well. How is it that three simple colors expressed in such a simple shape can mean so much?
The many variations of the flag got me thinking about the many symbols in our lives. How many instantly come to mind? Religious symbols, designer logos, monograms, even signs for automotive companies all clutter the landscape. They range from the ridiculous to the sublime. But how many of these symbols really endure? For a symbol to have any staying power, all the designs and colors and shapes in the world will not mean a thing if there is nothing behind the symbol itself.