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An ornate Taufschein, or baptismal certificate, bordered by two distelfinks

A distelfink is a stylized goldfinch, probably based on the European variety[1] It frequently appears in Pennsylvania Dutch folk art.[2] It represents happiness and good fortune and the Pennsylvania German people, and is a common theme in hex signs and in fraktur. The word distelfink (literally 'thistle-finch') is (besides Stieglitz) the German name for the European goldfinch.[3]

In popular culture[edit]

A European Goldfinch

In the story "The Sign of the Triple Distelfink", the American cartoonist Don Rosa used a triple distelfink hex sign as the origin for Gladstone Gander's remarkable luck.


  1. ^ Chotner, Deborah (1992). American native paintings. US: Oxford University Press. p. 491. ISBN 978-0-521-44301-2. Retrieved 2009-11-29. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Distelfink definition
  3. ^ Jordan, Mildred (1978). The distelfink country of the Pennsylvania Dutch. Crown Publishers. ISBN 0-517-53260-3.

External links[edit]