Wayne County, IL


Barn Hex Sign

Picture courtesy of Michael J. Von Gebel


Painted octagon or hexagon barn stars are common sights in the Pennsylvania Dutch farmlands. In early years the cost of paint meant most barns were unpainted. As paint became  affordable people began to decorate their barns much like they decorated things in their homes.  Many designs incorporate symbols that show what the farmer wanted protected.  This might range from protecting his crops, livestock or even to protect his barn from lightening.

The Germans called this sign "Hexe" and in Dutch is was "Heks", meaning witch. Before 1924 there was no standard term for the signs many Germans called them "blumme" or "schtanne" (meaning flowers or stars".  However one farmer used the term "Hexefoos".

The above picture was taken of a modern day "Hex Sign" on a barn in Northern Bland County, Virginia when I was there on a genealogy trip. 




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