Memorial Day is a holiday in remembrance of fallen soldiers. While celebrations of Memorial Day have some similarities with Veterans’ Day, there are distinct things about Memorial Day decor that might be of interest to anyone who is trying to set up decorations for Memorial Day weekend.
What are traditional Memorial Day colors?
When asking this question, it’s important to remember the distinction between classic vs contemporary Memorial Day colors. The classic, central Memorial Day color is red. Additionally, as a national holiday, Memorial Day is also often represented with white and blue, joining with the red in a typical representation of the United States flag’s colors.
When it comes to contemporary Memorial Day colors, some celebrants have begun including “militaristic colors” along with the traditional ones. For example, these colors might include greens, yellow, and purple.
What do the colors of Memorial Day represent?
What gives a memorial day color meaning? The most storied of the Memorial Day colors is red. Ever since World War I, the poppy flower has been closely associated with memorials for fallen soldiers and, eventually, with Memorial Day specifically. The poppy represents resilience and dedication in the face of hard times.
The red, along with the white and blue, also represents the colors of the United States flag, as mentioned above. While there are many different interpretations of what the colors of the flag are intended to represent, one commonly reported meaning is that the white symbolizes “purity” while blue represents “perseverance and justice.” Whatever their exact meaning, red, white, and blue always have a strong patriotic association in the United States, which many find appropriate for remembering fallen soldiers.
As for the more modern colors, the greens that some people include in their decorations tend to represent the military and military garb and gear, while yellow represents the armor branch and purple stands for the Heart of Valor.
How did the colors of Memorial Day originate?
As mentioned above, the main red poppy color of Memorial Day originates from World War I. Soldiers in the awful trench warfare in Europe saw poppies still growing in the war-torn landscape, and the poppies became a key feature in the famous In Flanders Field poem. That poem was published in the States and gained a great deal of popularity. The poppy flower eventually took on a symbolic meaning of supporting soldiers and remembering those who had been lost (not only in the United States but also in the British Isles). People would wear poppy flowers on their outer clothing or use poppies in gardens, window boxes, or other places as a reminder of their support for overseas soldiers. Whether they were supporting a family member or friend or just signaling their support for those involved in the war, many people began incorporating these flowers into their lives more. Artificial poppies also eventually became part of some celebrations.
Poppies became the “national emblem of remembrance” in the U.S. in 1920; since then, they have remained an important part of Memorial Day celebrations and decorations, and their red coloring remains a key component of traditional Memorial Day colors.
As for the military colors, those originated with the military branches themselves and have begun to be used recently as accents or highlights for Memorial Day celebrations.
What are some Memorial Day lighting ideas for your home?
As with other holiday lighting, you can do many things with Memorial Day colors for your home. As suggested by the discussion of the colors above, relating your lights to the traditional Memorial Day colors can be a great way of bringing the spirit of the holiday into your celebrations more openly. You can work with colored lighting and set up decorative holiday lights with red, white, and blue coloring. At the same time, you might not want to light a large area in exclusively red lights, you can use the occasional red light to accent your regular white lighting in key points of interest, much like how Christmas lights are often used to outline windows and doorframes.
You can also use normal-colored (or holiday-colored) lights as spotlights for points of interest in your decor. For example, if you’ve planted some real poppies or even just set up some poppy-themed decorations outside your home, small uplights in the ground below these features can light them up at night and really make them stand out. This is a nice way to add a clear pop of red to your environment without using red light if you would rather stick with traditional white or yellowish lighting options. Happy Memorial Day signs can also be a great decoration to light up this way.
What are the benefits of Memorial Daylighting for your community?
Setting up holiday-themed outside lights for houses in your community can have several benefits. First, of course, it just looks nice! If your entire community works together to create themed holiday lighting, it will be great for the neighborhood’s aesthetics and impression on visitors. When a neighborhood’s inhabitants work together to celebrate things that are important to them, it makes the entire community feel united. It can also give you a chance to work together with your neighbors in neighborhood events, whether you’re decorating for a specific Memorial Day gathering or just coming together with friends and neighbors to make your community look beautiful for the holiday.
Want professional help with holiday lighting installation?
If you’re looking to upgrade your living space with some customizable, permanent holiday lighting, contact JellyFish Lighting and ask for your free quote today!