Patriots Day is considered one of the most important celebrations in Massachusetts and Maine, due to the rich history associated with the day. As a result, most residents of these states use the day off to truly celebrate, hosting and attending parties and festivities with fellow revelers. Here are some suggestions for how to utilize American flag décor for all your Patriots Day celebrations, whether you are hosting or attending as a guest.

Historical Background

Minuteman Every year, residents of Massachusetts and Maine gather on the third Monday in April to celebrate Patriots Day. Patriots Day commemorates the Battles of Lexington and Concord, which marked the start of the American Revolutionary War in 1775. Patriots Day is also observed in public schools in Wisconsin and celebrations are encouraged in Florida, even though it is not considered a public holiday. The first official celebration of Patriots' Day took place in Massachusetts in 1894. In addition to commemorating the Battles of Lexington and Concord, April 19th also marks the anniversary of the Baltimore riot of 1861, which is considered the first instance of bloodshed during the American Civil War. During the riot, four members of the Massachusetts militia were killed and an additional 36 were injured. Frederic T. Greenhalge, the current governor, considered the date the perfect commemoration of liberty and the union.

American Flags and Flag Etiquette

American flag hanging from building American flags are the most popular décor item for any patriotic event, including Patriots Day. There are dozens of shapes and sizes of flags but regardless, there is a certain etiquette associated with the care and display of flags. The American flag represents the country, and thus is considered a living object, due to all the respect one would grant to any other living thing. It should be displayed proudly, folded according to specific regulations and not disrespected by trampling on it or using it as anything other than a flag. Some flags are intended for indoor use, while others are more durable and can be used outdoors. There are a number of options, depending on your needs. For outdoor parades and parties during the rainy season (which falls during Patriots Day), it is best to use flags with a sturdier material, like canvas.

Party Decorations and Favors

For those who are planning to host a Patriots Day party, there are hundreds of different types of patriotic decorations you can purchase to put up around the house. Aside from actual American flags and patriotic signs, there are banners and buntings with American flag and red, white and blue patterns. You can also hand out favors at the party, including glow sticks, jewelry, bubbles, pom-poms, pinwheels, patriotic stickers and tattoos. Additionally, cowbells and air horns are particularly fun if you live on or near the parade route for the Boston Marathon, where enthusiastic cheering is encouraged. If you want to go the slightly more traditional route, handing out small American flags on sticks or American flag pins can be a great way to get your guests in the spirit, without going overboard.

Kid-Friendly Decorations

Since schools are closed on Patriots Day, you can use it as an opportunity to get the kids involved in the celebration. There is nothing kids love more than crafts, especially when they will get the chance to show them off at a parade or party later. There are a number of great ideas, depending on how you plan to celebrate Patriots Day. If you have children and are planning to attend the Boston Marathon or a parade, make DIY t-shirts using puff paint and sponge brushes to create American flags or more complex designs, if you are very talented. Additionally, you can make your own American flags using colored cardboard and popsicle sticks. This is an easy and fun project for younger kids so they do not feel left out. Kids can also create jewelry, including bracelets, anklets, crowns or necklaces using red, white, blue, gold and silver beads, string or papier mache.

The Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon runners The most well-known celebration of Patriots Day is the Boston Marathon. The first running of one of the most famous marathons in the world took place 120 years ago, on April 19, 1897. Every year, thousands of locals and tourists stand along the marathon route, cheering on the runners throughout all 26.2 miles. Given the patriotism associated with the holiday, it is quite common for people to wave American flags of all sizes. After the marathon, there is a large post-race party at Fenway Park (home of the Boston Red Sox) that is awash in red, white and blue decorations, but you should absolutely plan to bring your own, whether they are homemade or purchased. Clever signs are always encouraged, as well. No matter how you plan to celebrate Patriots Day, having American flag décor on hand will always ramp up your enthusiasm, as well as the fervor of those around you. The more patriotic, the better with red, white, blue, gold and silver as the colors of choice.