Patriotic Blankets by Pendleton

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Photo by Travis Hallmark

As an American company with strong roots in the West, Pendleton Woolen Mills seeks to make blankets that are meaningful as well as beautiful. We have woven many blankets that celebrate American patriotism over the years, from the Grateful Nation and Code Talker blankets that celebrate the contributions of our veterans, to retired blankets like Chief Eagle and Home of the Brave.

Here are some beautiful blankets that summon the patriotic spirit of this Independence Day.

 

Mountain Majesty

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Inspired by Navajo hand weaving created in the Southwest in the early 20th century, this pattern incorporates symbols of hope, abundance and successful journeys. Muted colors and mountain-like steps evoke sunset over a western landscape.

 

Dawn’s Early Light:

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“O say can you see by the dawn’s early light.” These words were penned on the back of an envelope in 1814 by young lawyer and poet Francis Scott Key. Key was held captive on a Royal Navy ship as British ships in Chesapeake Bay bombarded Fort McHenry throughout the night. When dawn broke, the fort was still standing, the American flag still waving. It was a turning point in the war of 1812, and the birth of our national anthem, the “Star Spangled Banner.” This blanket, woven in our American mills, commemorates the Bicentennial of that momentous morning in U.S. history. Fifteen red and white stripes and stars represent those on the flag at that time. Each star is shaped like an aerial view of the fort, which was built in the shape of a five-pointed star. Striations and imprecise images give the design a vintage Americana look.

BRAVE STAR

The Brave Star blanket  celebrates the patriotism of Native Americans who have defended our country in battles since the 19th century. The design, based on the American flag, marries modern asymmetry and vintage Americana. The unique striations reflect a time when dyes were made from plants.

 

GRATEFUL NATION

The Grateful Nation blanket  honors the sacrifice of brave men and women who have defended freedom throughout the history of the United States of America. Each authentically colored stripe represents a service ribbon awarded to veterans of historical conflicts in which our country has engaged:

  • World War II Asiatic Pacific Campaign
  • World War II Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign
  • Korean Service
  • US Vietnam Service
  • Southwest Asia Service (Gulf War)
  • War on Terrorism

 

CODE TALKER (retired)

The Code Talker blanket honors the crucial role played by Native Americans in defending our country during World War II by developing a code that could not be cracked, based on the Navajo language. Many have seen the popular movie “Windtalkers“,  but the actual history of the code talkers  is more riveting than any fiction.  You can learn more at their official site.  This blanket is officially retired as of 2012.

 

HOME OF THE FREE (retired)

Home of the Free is an older retired blanket from the early 2000s. Roaming buffalo and the Stars and Stripes speak of the spirit of the West. If you are lucky enough to have one of these retired blankets, cherish it. This blanket is nearly impossible to acquire, as it spoke to so many Americans after the events of 9/11.

Our blankets are proudly made in the USA. Please visit one of our union mills   if you can, to see exactly how we produce our textiles and finished blankets.

And from our family to yours, have a safe and wonderful 4th of July.

Our Grateful Nation

Ed. note: We are reposting this previous entry this Memorial Day. Please note that the Grateful Nation Vest is currently available, thanks to the efforts of veterans like Chris Winters. Our respect and thanks to the men and women who have served in all branches of our military. 

We have been making our Grateful Nation blanket for most of a decade, and for part of that time, we also made a Grateful Nation Vest. It honored veterans in two ways; by visually commemorating each of this century’s service ribbons, and by donations  to The Fisher House Foundation. The Fisher House Foundation provides residences near military and VA medical centers for families of ill or wounded veterans and service members. A portion of the sale of each blanket goes to the Fisher House Foundation, as well. 

Cue Chris Winters, a Puyallup tribal member and veteran who understood that we were no longer making the vest, but wanted to know if we had fabric available. He sent photos of his own vest.

ChrisWintersVest

Said Chris, “I am on a Tribal committee and we not only wear Pendleton vests for ceremonies. ..we gift your native blankets to guests, elders, and returning warriors.” Chris is very involved in IUPAT, a Washington State organization that offers outreach, support and training for Native veterans. This group marches in local parades honoring servicemen in their Grateful Nation vests, decorated with the medals earned by veterans who have served our country.

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The role of Native Americans in our military cannot be understated. Books have been written and movies made about Native Code Talkers in both World Wars. The percentage of Native Americans serving in the military is higher than any other minority group in America.

We thought you’d enjoy seeing the vest worn in Tacoma, Washington area parades and ceremonies by Native veterans who have served our country well. 

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And thanks, Chris, for reaching out. Chris-in-his-vest

Here’s the blanket in the  IUPAT office.

office blanket display

More information below on the meaning of each service ribbon stripe.

The Grateful Nation blanket  honors the sacrifice of brave men and women who have defended freedom throughout the history of the United States of America. Each authentically colored stripe represents a service ribbon awarded to veterans of historical conflicts in which our country has engaged:

  • World War II Asiatic Pacific Campaign
  • World War II Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign
  • Korean Service
  • US Vietnam Service
  • Southwest Asia Service (Gulf War)
  • War on Terrorism

A portion of every blanket’s sale goes to support the Fisher House Foundation and its mission to support the families of veterans. As their website states:

Fisher House Foundation is best known for the network of comfort homes built on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers nationwide and in Europe.   Fisher Houses are beautiful homes, donated to the military and Department of Veterans Affairs.  These homes enable family members to be close to a loved one at the most stressful time – during the hospitalization for a combat injury, illness or disease… Since 1990, the foundation has saved military, veterans and their families an estimated $200 million in out of pocket costs for lodging and transportation.

Made in the USA label