If you don’t know what being an American means, let us tell you: it means accepting other cultures, people and ideas. But there are a few things every American must have in their homes and we put together a list for you. Read on and find out which are the most representative Americana items:
1. The US flag
Regardless what you might be feeling right now about the political and social situation in the US, deep down you know that this is the best country to live in and, let’s face it, we all love our beloved state, with its history, geography and brave people. Putting up a flag is not bragging, but common sense. In Europe, people don’t do this with their flag and therefore rarely relate to them as they should.
In the US, we have this respect for our country and for those who gave their lives for our freedom and this is why you should definitely purchase a flag now, if you haven’t done it yet, and think about all the good things this country has provided you with. If you see an old flag at a flea market, don’t miss the chance to grab it: the richer the history, the most significant the value!
2. Something made out of burlap
You may not know this, but the rest of the world only uses burlap for potato bags. But that’s not the case for use: we find beauty and use in pretty much everything! If you haven’t chance to witness this, we’re glad to let you know that there are some brides in the US who decided to set burlap as their wedding theme: it’s a historical fabric, it symbolizes simplicity and it says a lot about our background.
You can really make clothes out of burlap, which is why going for a pair of kitchen curtains would probably be the best idea. You can also make table cloths, bedroom drapes or grocery bags out of it. The point is: burlap is very American and also here to stay. Embrace it and be proud of who you are!
3. Old license numbers
No matter which state you’re from, owning plate numbers always felt like the right thing to do, right? Yes, and this is also a veritable piece of Americana history. Culturally speaking, we Americans are predisposed to valuing the past more than other cultures, probably because we are a relatively new nation. While other countries have been around for thousands of years, our few hundreds of years taught us a lot and made us who we are today.
You see pickers on a hunt for old motorcycles, road signs and so on and don’t even realize that this is something that only we do. Europeans are not that invested in the past, but we hang on to every piece of history we can get our hands on. And what better way to remind your past than preserving the plate numbers from a car that was in your family many years ago?
4. A “Welcome” doormat
We may not be the only nation who has a welcoming doormat, but we invented it. And when someone says Americans are mean and unwelcoming, tell them about this! Of course, the Welcome doormat became the Go Away doormat, the Wipe Your Paws mat in the meantime, but we still get credit for it. Communicating with someone who’s about to step into your home like this is…so American! Plus, if purchasing the doormat is out of the question, financially speaking (although you can buy it for a dollar from the Dollar Tree website), you can create it yourself if you happen to have an old piece of carpet and some spray paint.
5. A baseball glove
Whether your house if full of girls or boys, you sure have a baseball glove somewhere in the house, I guarantee it. If it’s not because someone in your family is practicing to become a baseball superstar or because you really love this sport, then it’s sure because you feel like you should own a baseball glove. No glove? Well, then you definitely have a baseball in a nice case above the TV.
How does this make you a true American? For starters, we are the only nation who has baseball, so you can be sure we haven’t copied this from anyone. Second, you can’t be a true American without baseball or basketball, correct? It’s all about our history, Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio and the newbies we watch new on TV pitching for the first time in an important game. In case you don’t have a glove (shame on you, but you’re forgiven!), you can either buy one online or at any garage sale, flea market and so on. Come on, you’ve got to have it!
6. A quilt of many colors
Whether you bought it or someone made it for you, you sure own a quilt. Although they are not one hundred percent American, quilts became a true piece of Americana history, starting with our earliest wars and ending with today’s bedding market, quilts helped American families and continue to do so.
Imagine that centuries ago, when you couldn’t order a new set of sheets or a comforter online, someone had to sew together all the rags they could find to create something that would keep the family warm at night. We may be an international force today, but things haven’t always been this way. Those of you who’ve read The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck know what we’re talking about. Plus, quilts are fun, colorful and perfect for any home, no matter the style.
7. Plaid shirts and jeans
Yes, pretty much the whole world wears jeans now, but we invented them, guys. At first, only cowboys wore them, because they were durable and didn’t required much maintenance. Everybody else was wearing soft cotton, but jeans became popular for their key features: designers all over the world re-imagined them and continue to do it every season.
And you can’t really wear jeans without owning at least a plaid shirt. Although Scottish people are going to say that they came up with the pattern first, we definitely gave it a new meaning and somehow managed to make it speak our language and tell our story. Don’t believe us? Just think about all the people wearing plaid on Independence Day! That’s what makes us who we are as a nation and it’s good to know more about our culture.
8. At least one football jersey
Everybody wears football jerseys, from Eminem to Lana Del Rey. But enough about them! Whether you like wearing the jersey or frame it and display it in your home, this is another true Americana piece. Why? Well, again, nobody else in the world plays this sport. That’s right: not only that we invented it, we made it famous and we absolutely rock at it! We suggest that, in case you don’t already own a football jersey yet, you buy one immediately and try to find out more about the first game and so on. You’ll be quite impressed, we promise!
9. A map of the US
If you’re from Texas, you probably have the Texas map tattooed on your heart, while people from other state are really not that close to their state’s map. However, no good American lives his life without putting up a map of the US! Aside from the fact that it’s a very patriotic gesture, it’s also helpful: try planning your future vacation and check out the distances, the neighboring cities and so on. If you have small children in the house, this will help them a lot to find out more about their country and where they come from.
10. Al old Coca Cola poster
Although you may not even like Coca Cola, you can recognize the legacy of the world renowned brand! And to think it only took one pharmacist from Georgia to develop the recipe for the most popular drink in the world! Plus, the Coca Cola Company put so much effort along the years to come up with catchy posters and ads, you just have to have a small piece of Coca Cola memorabilia in your home! It doesn’t really have to be a poster, a bunch of old bottles, cans or just a vending machine would do.
You may not feel very close to your country right now, but there are so many reasons why we love the US: we get to use coupons like no other nation (come on, we invented Extreme Cheapskates and Extreme Couponing!), we party hard and work harder and are stronger than we think we are. Take a moment to think about the history, the culture, the food, the land of the free and home of the brave and you’ll see what we’re talking about.
For those of you who are not American, what’s representative for your country?