Stars on Houses

ImaPseudonym(Earth)August 18, 2005

I was recently in Maryland, and I noticed a lot of 5 point stars on the sides of houses. This is the first time I've seen this and was wondering what they were for. They weren't the star of David,and they weren't holiday lights. I wish I had taken a picture so I could show them here. Does anyone know what they might be?

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Were they painted? Perhaps the homeowners were trying to imitate the "hex signs" of the Pennsylvania Dutch. (I don't think the 5-pointed star was one of their usual motifs, though).

    Bookmark   September 2, 2005 at 2:19PM
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giverny(z7 Maryland)

It sounds like it wasn't a flag, correct? If a flag, it's a service flag and a blue star means a son/daughter is serving the military during wartime. A gold star means the loss of a son/daughter to the war. (This tradition apparently started in WWI.)

If not a flag, sorry, I don't know either.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2005 at 3:12PM
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iron stars on brick?

if so
they might be a structural support for a sagging wall

    Bookmark   September 9, 2005 at 6:25PM
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aka_peggy(Central Md 6b)

No, no...I bet you mean those rusty looking stars people stick on the side of their house huh? I don't know what to call em...they're about 2' across huh? I like em em...I want one for my chimney.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2005 at 9:00PM
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Yes, what Peg said. I see those for sale on Main Street in Ellicott City. It's a decorative thing, but I haven't seen many around that are actually on the outside of houses. Interesting.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2005 at 10:27AM
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I'm so sorry it took me so long to respond. I completely forgot I posted this question after weeks went by with no response.

Peggy, yes, I think those are the ones I'm talking about. I finally found a photo of similar stars. I'll put them in the link.

I went back to Maryland for Thanksgiving with my boyfriend's family and noticed the stars on dozens of houses there. I wasn't sure if they had some meaning I wasn't familiar with.

Thanks for all the responses and again, I'm sorry it took me so long to get back here.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   November 29, 2005 at 11:41AM
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Blue 5-angel star= Family member currently serving in a War
Gold 5-angel star= Lost a Family member in a War
Brown 5-angel star= Veteran of the military

These are commonly misunderstood for decorative items but they do have meaning.. Its the same as if a girl hangs a yellow ribbon on their porch to represent they have had their boyfriend/husband sent to war (recently family members have been doing the same).. hope that clarifes it.

PFC McGarvey
United States Army Infantry

    Bookmark   February 28, 2007 at 11:14PM
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gtunney(5a MA)

The stars are all over the place here in New England and normally match the exterior decor of the homes. I don't see what turns folks on to them but I did find a link to a site that sells them:

Here is a link that might be useful: Where to buy those stars

    Bookmark   April 19, 2007 at 11:12AM
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I saw some the other day at Kohl's. :) Christy

    Bookmark   June 1, 2007 at 12:51PM
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Hello, I just saw your question regarding Stars on Houses. I have one on my house. I live near Montreal, Canada. I got one this summer when I was traveling in New Brunswick because my brother-in-law is Acadian and he told me what they mean. They are Acadian Stars. If you have one on your house you are either Acadian, you have Acadians in your family or you are friends with someone who is Acadian. They were to let Acadians know that they could find safe shelter in your home. It is also for sailors to find a safe way home (Many Acadians were sailors living in the Maritimes of Canada). The reason you are seeing these in New England is because during the Great Deportation of the Acadians in the 1800s many of them escaped to New England, Georgia and Louisiana. Here is a bit more info I was able to find on these stars:
'L'étoile de la mer' translates into 'the star of the sea' which means a 'Sea star'. The Acadian star is also called la 'bonne étoile' which translates into the good star or the lucky star. It represents the star that would guide the sailor 'through storms and reefs'. In the past, captains had the knowledge of certain stars that would indicate to them how far they were from their destinations.
The Acadian Flag
Many visitors to New Brunswick will see a blue, white and red flag with a single star flying from many homes, cottages and vehicles. Others will note a bright yellow star painted on barns and garage doors. Welcome to Acadia. As a mark of their nationality, the Acadians adopted the French tri-coloured flag and added a gold star to the blue section. The star symbolizes the AcadianÂs devotion to the Virgin Mary and is emblematic of their Catholic faith which saw them through the hardships brought about by the Expulsion (Deportation).
Hope this is still of interest to you.
Have a great day!
Wishing you joy!
Debbie : )

    Bookmark   October 20, 2009 at 9:51AM
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I'm sure there are many meanings for stars but in this case I think they are just a form of country decor. They are all over the place here in PA. I had one with the American flag painted on it on my barn.


1 Like    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 10:56AM
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I'd like to thank ImaPseudonym for asking the question and especially Debbie/duhaide1 for answering this question so thoroughly,
We just moved from Ontario to Nova Scotia and I have noticed many a large folky-tin-star hanging on homes. I think they're great and knew there had to be a story behind the stars. The Acadians, guiding sailors, and the Virgin Mary all make perfect sense.
Wishing you both Fair Weather and Love & Light.,

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 10:59AM
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10 years late but those are the external visible portion of a big metal bolt/rod that runs from one side of a OLD brick house to the other to kind of squeeze the walls towards each other so the whole house doesn't spread apart (and collapse). I don't think you add them for decoration.

    Bookmark   last Friday at 9:19PM
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