On many older American barns, and particularly German farms, one could see a large decoration in the shape of a star mounted on the face of the barn. These were called barn stars. Sometimes they were just aesthetic, but sometimes they represented the trademark of a specific barn builder. Although they go back to at least the 1820s in Pennsylvania, they were most popular after the American Civil War. In modern times, barn stars have come to be known as signs of good fortune and luck.
What do the various colors mean?
Although, I was unable to find an exact color correlation to stars, I was able to determine that 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.
Here is what I have been able to determine:
- Black: Protection, also used to blend or bind elements together.
- Blue: Protection, peace, calmness and spirituality.
- Brown: Mother earth, also can mean friendship and strength.
- Green: Growth, fertility, success in things and ideas that grow.
- Orange: Abundance in career, projects and matters needing an added push.
- Red: Emotions, passion, charisma, lust and also creativity.
- Violet: Things that are sacred.
- White: Purity, power of the moon, allows energy to flow freely.
- Yellow: Health in body and mind, love of man and the sun, connection to the God.
And history continues with the following decorative star shown in HGTV's Dreamhome 2005: