Pennsylvania Dutch Hex Signs...

One of the things I love about Pennsylvania is the traditions. There are some traditions that originated over 300 years ago upon the arrrival of German settlers escaping to religious freedom who were welcomed by William Penn. This tradition was the hex sign. The hex sign is meant to bring good luck and to protect or ward of negative/evil things. I had seen a few of these signs when I visited my friend in Ohio (we went to an Amish Cheese factory) and on a few homes where I live now. It's rare to find a hex sign painted on the side of a garage let alone farm buildings as they used to be(this was very important to early farmers, I'd imagine, as the farm would have been one of the most valued parts of life back then). Still, I was curious about the hex signs and have always wondered what they meant.

Well, recently, while I was looking through some storage boxes at the Children's Museum where I work, I found, much to my delight, a Hex sign. I instantly felt happy seeing this and placed it on the mantel in the office/greeting area. The one in the office looks a little like the one below.

This is what it means:

Oak Leaf

The Oak Leaf or Mighty Oak is made up of four oak leaves in bold colors radiating from the center. The Oak symbolizes strength in body, mind and character. The four colors of the leaves symbolize the seasons of life and the wavy border in the outer ring symbolizes smooth sailing in life.

I love this Hex sign as it is perfect for the Children's Museum. I may have to make one for myself!


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