"Hex" designs are circular geometric patterns with a lineage that goes back 6000 years to the Neolithic Man. These designs reappeared in 2000-1000 BC civilizations, and again in Roman, Etruscan and other recent cultures. The Pennsylvania "Dutch" started using these basic symbols to decorate their beloved barns shortly after the 1830's, when farmers began to paint barns.
The Pennsylvania Dutch began as German-speaking settlers that came to America, bringing a culture that evolved into the German American heritage of today. For many, this heritage is symbolized by the Hex sign. These signs are believed to bring good luck in a variety of forms.
These photos were taken starting October 2007 and will be continually supplemented. Many of these signs were custom made, and may not be available. The Pennsylvania Dutch Hex sign culture is alive and we will continue providing examples of this through our photo library presentation.
Hex Signs Featured on Local Buildings and Barns - Photos by Staff