Although graduation caps symbolize a completed work of achievement, they do not typically have feathers in them. It is interesting to note though, that many traditions place feathers in caps to symbolize “accomplishment” or “bravery.”

The expression “A Feather in Your Cap” comes from an ancient Native American tradition that symbolizes both bravery and accomplishment. The warrior would be entitled to stick a feather in the headdress to indicate that he had performed a brave act. And, the Hungarians also had an ancient custom that “no one should ever wear a feather unless he had killed an enemy.”

By the eighteenth century, the United Kingdom began using the phrase “a feather in his hat” to indicate that one had bragging rights. However, the saying is best known for its use in the children’s rhyme “Yankee Doodle.”  (…riding on a pony; he stuck a feather in his cap…”

Since so many cultures use this idiomatic phrase to establish that the person wearing a cap has accomplished something wonderful, Apple Hill Academy says to our preschool graduates, “Stick a Feather In Your Cap” and congratulations!