Patriotic quilts, so named for their symbolic colors and motifs, have been popular since the 18th Century. With women devoid of the right to vote until 1920, these quilts were their primary means of political expression and support for their country. Women used quilts as their voices
to make political statements and voice their opinions.

Political and cultural events, such as the Civil War, shaped patriotic quilts not only through specific patterns and motifs, but also by changing their style over time. For example, before
the Civil War, it was not typical for individual families and businesses to fly the American flag ­ this was usually reserved for government buildings and the military. But from the beginning of the Civil War at Fort Sumter, flying national flags became extremely popular in both the North and South, and the flag became the chief patriotic motif and an important staple in the history of American quilting.

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