I am so grateful for our freedom and the blessings that come from living in the United States of America. While I am grateful every day, upcoming holidays make me spend more time reflecting on those blessings and the art of patriotism.
My husband and I are raising our children to understand how blessed we are to be free. Children need to know the sacrifices that were made by so many to protect those freedoms.
My husband even manages a Facebook page dedicated to commemorating events of national significance and celebrating them with the corresponding American flag.
The Art of Patriotism – Incorporating Patriotic Events
We often have family discussions about those anniversaries and the meanings and importance of patriotic holidays like Memorial Day, Independence Day, Constitution Day, Veteran’s Day, and Patriot Day.
When possible we try to attend memorial services, wreath layings, parades, celebrations (such as a fun reading of the Declaration of Independence), and other events. Our attendance at those events can honor and remember the sacrifices that have been made
These commemorations instill a sense of awe and pride in our country and its peoples. Even if there are parts of our shared history that we shouldn’t be proud of, our people have overcome, adapted, and developed. This is a great opportunity to reinforce the core values enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
Incorporating Patriotic Art
In addition to those discussions and events, I think students can learn a lot by incorporating art lessons into their celebration and recognition of holidays.
What better way to learn about the flag and remember its importance than to paint it? There’s a proud tradition of painted flags. Artisans would apply hand-mixed paints to fine silk, allowing for beautifully complex classical banners.
Neither Francis Hopkinson nor Betsy Ross is connected to silk flags, but you can still channel their creativity (along with John Adam’s desire for ‘illuminations’) with Nana’s beautiful American flag lesson. It even includes fireworks! This would be great anytime, but especially Flag Day, Independence Day, and other patriotic holidays for the art of patriotism.
The Art of Patriotism with American History and Landmarks
There is an entire chalk pastel course on American History, but the Constitution lesson is perfect for Constitution Day. This painting is done in a simple manner that makes it easily achievable even for elementary-aged students. Chalk pastel projects are easily woven into your Independence Day celebration (or lessons) and reinforce themes of the Revolution.
Also, the American Landmarks course includes stunning paintings of the Liberty Bell and the Washington Monument. Additional lessons on Old Faithful, Niagara Falls, and the Golden Gate Bridge would be a great way to facilitate a discussion on all of the wonderful sites and monuments throughout the United States. You might even incorporate Nana’s Presidents Art Lessons.
Blessing Others with Patriotic Art
In addition to creating all of these lovely pictures to help students remember, use them as a blessing to others. How wonderful would it be to gift a veteran with a picture of the American Flag or this beautiful new lesson on the Statue of Liberty with a thank you for their service!
Your child might even be able to display their work at a local library or business. Displaying art is a great way to remind people to be thankful for the sacrifices that have been made. In our busy world, sometimes we need to be reminded to slow down and count our blessings. A child’s artwork can be a great reminder.
How will you incorporate patriotic art into your celebrations? What other paintings could you do to celebrate?
Dawn is a passionate follower of Jesus, wife to Chris, and homeschool mom of four. In her spare time she loves to read, hike, and write on her blog Schoolin’ Swag. She enjoys reviewing curriculum and helping moms find the right fit for their family.