Louisa May Alcott described a fireworks display in Eight Cousins, a book published in 1875.
Uncle Mac takes 13-year-old Rose Campbell into Boston Bay to watch fireworks from his boat:
“…they are going up all over the city, and how pretty they are,” said Rose, folding her mantle about her and surveying the scene with pensive interest.
“Hope my fellows have not got into trouble up there,” muttered Uncle Mac, adding with a satisfied chuckle, as a spark shone out, “No; there it goes! Look, Rosy, and see how you like this one; it was ordered especially in honor of your coming.”
Rose looked with all her eyes, and saw a spark grow into the likeness of a golden vase, then green leaves came out, and then a crimson flower flowing on the darkness with a splendid lustre.
“Is it a rose, Uncle?” she asked, clasping her hands with delight as she recognized the handsome flower.
“Of course it is! Look again and guess what those are,” answered Uncle Mac, chuckling and enjoying it all like a boy.
A wreath of what looked at first like purple brooms appeared below the vase, but Rose guessed what they were meant for and stood straight up, holding by his shoulder and crying excitedly,__
“Thistles, Uncle, Scotch thistles! There are seven of them, one for each boy [her cousins]! Oh, what a joke!” and she laughed so hard that she plumped into the bottom of the boat and stayed there until the spectacle was quite gone.
I think I’ve read elsewhere about fireworks in a stars-and-stripes pattern–or did I see or imagine that?
Do we have such spectacles today, nearly a century and a half after? Has anyone seen a fireworks display with identifiable flowers or patriotic symbols?