August 10, 2018 2 min read

Painted cows, rowboats, and dogs have enjoyed summer flings in Chicago, but this year lighthouses are the thing. The Greektown-painted lighthouses in my work neighborhood delight and transport me to the seashore at Fire Island and places beyond.

Lighthouse near Hellenic Museum - Chicago 

Lighthouses do represent beautiful landscapes and interesting historical places to visit. However, they continue to serve a very vital and ongoing purpose – both on the shores of the ocean and the Great Lakes. Ships and boats depend on them. The light they provide at night and in bad weather still guides captains out on the water to safety. 

One organization, the U.S. Lighthouse Society, aims to save and share "the rich maritime legacy of American lighthouses and supporting lighthouse preservation throughout the nation." (  

Lighthouses intrigue my father-in-law, a painter. He came by this fascination honestly, hailing from a ship-building, Christmas-tree-transporting family in Michigan. One of his first paintings was of a lighthouse. He studied with famous painter Charles Vickery to perfect the play of light on water. He and my mother-in-law have since traveled far afield to capture lighthouse images with which to create many beautiful paintings. 

Harbor Scene - Don Knoerr

A friend of mine collects lighthouses, both images and 3D representations. Why? Because they speak to her of reassurance, strength and caring – a light in the darkness. When life sometimes seems dark, seeing a lighthouse can remind us to hang on and navigate to a better place.

What do they say to you?

FlagsrUs has a great variety of flags featuring lighthouses. Here's one of my favorites. If you feel drawn to bring the romanticism of the lighthouse to your own yard or garden, stop by to see our wide selection and enjoy!


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