Note: we are republishing this story which originally made the news in January 2021.
In late December 2020, a social media post sent shockwaves across the internet, suggesting that homes adorned with five-pointed stars were secret signals for “swingers,” a term often associated with couples who engage in partner swapping. However, our investigation uncovered no concrete evidence to support this claim. The roots of this rumor trace back to a 2007 post on the StrippersOnline message board, according to an article published by Distractify, a news and entertainment site.
These stars, specifically the five-pointed metal ones that sometimes grace homes, are more commonly recognized as barn stars or, colloquially, “Amish barn stars.” While they indeed carry significance, it has nothing to do with residents being swingers. The Ontario, Canada-based news outlet, The Voice, reported that these stars are most commonly found on the homes of Pennsylvania Dutch families. The Pennsylvania Dutch, an American cultural group that originated from southern Germany and settled in the United States, hold these stars dear as symbols of tradition and heritage.
As reported by The Morning Call, a local Pennsylvania newspaper, the meaning of these stars may vary depending on whom you ask. Broadly speaking, they are often associated with bringing good luck and protection. Some even ascribe different interpretations to the color of the star.
A quick online search reveals that barn stars are readily available for purchase and are a popular decoration choice, particularly in places like Pennsylvania. However, let’s be perfectly clear, putting up a barn star does not serve as an invitation or signal for those seeking alternative or unconventional relationships.
So, while the social media rumor may have piqued curiosity and raised eyebrows, the real story behind these stars is steeped in a rich tradition and cultural significance. They are a testament to the heritage of Pennsylvania Dutch families and have no connection to any hidden messaging system for those interested in non-traditional relationships.
It’s essential to dispel baseless rumors and focus on the true cultural and historical context of symbols like the barn star. In doing so, we can appreciate and celebrate the diverse traditions and meanings that make up the rich tapestry of American culture without falling for unfounded myths. The barn star, a symbol of heritage and good fortune, continues to shine brightly without any hidden, salacious connotations.