In the days after September 11, Americans raised flags and pinned ribbons over their hearts.Wearing the national colors — red, white, and blue — showed the world that we would not back down from tyranny and that, united, we stand. Nearly half a year later, many people are still looking for ways to show their true colors, whether it be by wearing a simple tie or displaying a work of art. For the patriotic gift-giver, there is much from which to choose.
Symbols of Freedom
The office patriot will enjoy Waterford's American flag paperweight ($99). The lead crystal paperweight is in the shape of a waving American flag, with cuts forming the stars, stripes, and border. As is true of all Waterford crystal, the artistry and craftsmanship are exceptional, making the paperweight an enduring heirloom. It weighs 1.3 pounds and, at the moment, can only be shipped within the United States. www.waterford-usa.com
Starlite Originals' Symbols of Freedom-SE ($250) is a stunning, 10-inch tall eagle head and waving flag sculpture created by Kitty Cantrell in memory of those lost September 11. Fifty dollars from each sale will be donated to the New York Firefighters 9-11 Disaster Relief Fund, International Association of Fire Fighters. www.sollc.com
Thomas Kinkade recently unveiled the painting Light of Freedom. In the foreground, Kinkade captures the American flag flying from a silver flag post, topped with a bronze American eagle. The majestic waters of the Hudson River lie just beyond the flag. In the distance stands the Statue of Liberty, while the twinkling lights of the Manhattan skyline glisten at sunset. Kinkade presented the Fire Department of New York with a signed limited-edition print of the painting at Ground Zero soon after the terrorist attacks. Every fire department in New York will receive the print honoring their great acts of heroism. Proceeds from the sale of the limited-edition print, which sells for about $100, will benefit charities affiliated with the September 11 attacks. The print can be purchased only at Thomas Kinkade galleries. www.thomaskinkade.com
A gift from Carolee's beautiful American Pin Collection will not only bring a smile to the receiver's face, but it will also lend a hand to those in need. Like many businesses, the Greenwich, Conn., company will donate a portion of the collection's profits to the American Red Cross. The company's goal is to raise $250,000, which will be earmarked for September 11 victims and families. Gift-givers can choose from four flag pins in the collection, including a flag “bow” in genuine crystals and enamel; a crystal-and-enamel flag tack pin, a classic enamel-and-gold tack pin, and a larger enamel-and-gold flag pin. The American flag pins range from $20 to $50 and are available in specialty and department stores nationwide. www.carolee.com
Show of Support
To show support for New York City, gift-givers can get some ideas from The Coffee Table Book Co.'s New York Corporate Gift Catalog. The catalog features items such as New York, a book by photographers Gerald and Marc Hoberman. The photographers' first book featuring an American city spotlights the energy, spirit, and strength of the Big Apple. A portion of the proceeds from each book sold will be donated to disaster relief funds. www.ctbook.com
On the Fashion Scene
Business men and women can display their patriotism every day by wearing a U.S. flag tie or scarf ($15 to $20). Designs by Anthony, Valley Center, Calif., offers patriotic patterns in pure silk or fine polyester neckties and scarves. The company will donate a portion of the proceeds to American relief efforts. www.usflagties.com or www.designsbyanthony.com
Carry your American spirit, and all your accesories, with you in an American flag handbag by American Flag Hang Bags, Jupiter, Fla. Six designs are offered, including “America the Beautiful,” a half-moon-shaped bag adorned with stripes and embroidered stars. It features a bright red lining, open coin pocket, zip-top closure, and is made with wheat straw. The bags are part of the Viktoria Hayman/Palm Beach Straw Hand Bag collection. Each bag costs about $30, and 5 percent of the purchase price will be donated to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. www.americanflagbag.com
Well before September 11, Ralph Lauren design was known for its Polo Flag Sweaters ($165). The long-sleeved crewneck, which is made of midweight cotton jersey, is ribbed at the neckline, cuffs, and hem. The flag, at center chest, is accented with bold whipstitching at the border and embroidered stars. www.polo.com
Fans of America's favorite pastime can order a Stars & Stripes baseball cap ($15) from Major League Baseball. Team logos have been redesigned in red, white, and blue. The New Era caps are 100 percent brushed cotton, relaxed fit, with a cloth strap in back for adjusting the size. www.mlb.com
Music lovers have many options. America: A Tribute to Heroes, the recording of the television telethon broadcast, is available in DVD ($30) or as a two-CD set ($25). The groundbreaking telethon, broadcast September 21, 2001, includes numbers from Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, U2, Faith Hill, Billy Joel, and many more. Celebrities such as Tom Hanks, George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Kelsey Grammer, and Tom Cruise deliver moving messages. All net proceeds will be donated to the United Way's September 11th Fund.
The Concert for New York City ($25), a two-CD set, brings together a cavalcade of pop, rock, and R&B artists to benefit victims of September 11. The concert, held at Madison Square Garden, honored firefighters, police officers, and rescue workers. Performances from Paul McCartney, The Who, David Bowie, and Billy Joel are included.
For historians in your group, several detailed accounts of the historic event will both move and educate. September 11, 2001: A Record of Tragedy, Heroism, and Hope ($20), from Abrams and the editors of New York magazine, is a 128-page visual record of the city in the week after the attack. Photographs and the words of prominent New Yorkers, including former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, fill the hardcover book, which covers the attack, the rescue efforts, Ground Zero, and the courage of city leaders. Proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to the September 11th Fund.
Andrews McMeel Publishing and The Poynter Institute's September 11, 2001 ($15), a 160-page paperback, is a collection of 150 front pages of major newspapers throughout the world. Net profits will be donated to the September 11th Fund.
Carol Highsmith's World Trade Center: Tribute and Remembrance ($10), published by Random House, paints a portrait of the former New York landmark. Built for $1 billion and once considered the largest building project since the pyramids, the World Trade Center was an engineering wonder. The 32-page hardcover includes five archival photos, 18 full-color photos, and 10 double-page spreads. Profits from sales of the book will be donated to an established World Trade Center fund.
Hope and Inspiration
Art lovers and patriots alike can display their pride a number of ways. Successories, Aurora, Ill., has created an inspirational wall hanging titled United We Stand ($50). The 24-by-18-inch hanging portrays a stalwart eagle and bears an excerpt from President George W. Bush's moving and uplifting September 11 national address. Framed in black aluminum, the piece includes tempered glass and a free Trackmaster hanging system. A donation of $10 from the sale of the artwork will be shared with the American Red Cross and the September 11 Fund. The company has also unveiled four smaller desk displays, titled Character, Courage, Freedom, and Commitment ($15). Each display bears a patriotic image accompanied by an inspirational saying from one of our nation's historic figures. www.successories.com
EMBRACING THE VICTIMS
As others asked people to wear POW bracelets during the Vietnam conflict, some groups are asking Americans to show that they won't forget the lives lost on September 11 by donning bracelets.
“Hearts of Steel” bracelets commemorate the heroes of United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in Somerset County, Pa. State Sen. Jane Clare Orie gathered a consortium of businesses, nonprofit organizations, unions, and others to produce the stainless steel, engraved bracelets.
The bracelets are being sold for $10 each. All proceeds, which will go to the Flight 93 Memorial Fund, will be held in a special account at Citizens Bank.
Since all materials and production were donated, every dollar will go directly to build the Shanksville, Pa., memorial. www.heartsofsteel.com
Memorial Bracelets, www.memorialbracelets.com, also is offering bracelets in honor of the victims of terrorism, available with or without names.
Memorial Bracelets' Web site features a search for victims' names by event. Bracelets are available in stainless steel, gold tone, or blue-coated aluminum, and can be engraved with the name of a victim, an event, or a supportive message with the September 11, 2001, date. Visitors to the Web site can also create their own message. Bracelets range in price from $10 to $25.
All profits are donated to the Twin Tower Orphan Fund, a nonprofit fund that provides financial support to children who lost one or more parents.