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The History of Patriotic Jewelry in the United States

America is a country that from the very moment it declared its independence from Great Britain in 1776 has taken great pride in the fact that it is a free nation; a unified nation, a government created by the people, for the people and of the people. This sentiment is echoed throughout its songs, its holidays and many of its traditions.

This patriotic feeling is also represented by the physical appearance of its citizens, particularly following any great event at which national pride is drawn into question. Take for example the celebration of America's Independence Day. Anyone who has ever attended one of these feasts has had the happy occasion to look up from eating their chili dog or barbecue (depending on which part of the country they're in) and seeing hundreds of individuals proudly displaying the stars and stripes. Although for many this has become more a matter of rote than an actual expression, there are none who are willing to forget what it took for their country to be able to declare itself fee.

Perhaps nowhere is this patriotic sentiment as evident as in the jewelry worn by the people of the United States. Jewelry is intended to be a measure of personal expression, with the style and colors representing the inner soul of the individual. While in today's society that personal expression tends to take a more large and flamboyant form, its people were in no way, shape or form the first to use their jewels to display their patriotic pride. For as long as the country has been able to boast its freedom men, women and children have boasted brooches and tie tacks in various patriotic symbols. Small pins and watches have also been popular for as long as anyone alive today can remember. Historically, the stars and stripes, the American flag, has been the preferred form for these symbols to take. During and following WWII a new era of patriotic jewelry emerged as women began to allow themselves to step out of the box that dictated how they must look and wear jewelry that displayed newfound freedom. Lady Liberty and the American flag were still the insignia of choice, with the American Eagle beginning to make an appearance itself.

Following the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center patriotic jewelry again got another boost as Americans were anxious to show that the terrorists had not diminished their national pride. American again proudly boasted the symbols of their country on their clothing, on their wrists and hanging from silver jeweled pendants from around their neck. Being the era that it is, this patriotism often takes a more spectacular form (is there any part of the human body that cannot be pierced?) and in addition to the classic venues the red, white and blue adorns the noses, eyebrows, chests and belly buttons of America's citizens.

Few occasions give greater cause for celebration for the citizens of the United States than the declaration of its independence; as long as America is free its citizens will proudly display their patriotism through the accessories they wear, just as they have always done.