Ribbon and Remembrance

(Some of the ribbon used for causes)

Photo Credit: http://www.pinaymommyonline.com/charity-blogging-for-cancer-awareness/

(Light candles set in a ribbon formation to promote awareness of World Cancer Day in Bengaluru, India)

Photo Credit: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/26/us-cancer-treatment-alternative-idUSKBN0OB2G120150526#8LVgo5whfqb8KL5d.97

Ribbons are used as a remembrance symbol practiced by society. Depending on each color and pattern of the ribbon, the meaning behind differs. But most ribbons have a common background that links them all together: pain. The majority of ribbon remembrance deals with diseases, remembering tragedy or lost. There is a variety of ways to practice ribbon remembrance including posting on social media and pinning ribbon on outfits.

Some of the most commonly known ribbons are the pink ribbon for breast cancer awareness, purple ribbon for all cancer survivors, and yellow ribbon for military support. But there are also other meanings behind each that are not well known. Pink ribbon also represents abdominal cancer awareness, purple ribbon for LGBT hate crime, and yellow ribbon for remembering the Sewol Ferry accident that occurred last year.

As more accidents and diseases increase, remembrances behind ribbons do as well. For example, the black ribbon is commonly used in funerals but it is also used to mourn for injustice deaths. It is used to remember Manila hostage crisis in Hong Kong, for 9/11 twin tower attack, and recently used for Paris attack.

Using ribbon as a whole society provides support for each other. Often ribbon practices promote gathering people together and bare through painful incidents as a whole community. This helps people stand through the pain and confirm that no one is going through it alone. For example when the Sewol Ferry accident occurred, South Korea as a whole gathered and tied yellow ribbons in multiple sites. This represented people’s wish for young passengers’ safe return and provided comfort as a community. This action of sharing one memory as a group creates collective memory  remembered by society.

One small action does make a change in ribbon remembrance practice. It can gather each individual as a one group.


For more information about some ribbon remembrance visit these websites!

Breast Cancer: http://www.npr.org/tags/142306086/pink-ribbon-breast-cancer-awareness

HIV patients:  http://www.unaids.org/en/resources/presscentre/featurestories/2013/january/20130116rre

Yellow Ribbon:



(Yellow ribbons attached to portraits of the victims as a remembrance.)

Photo Credit: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-2823698/South-Korea-prosecutors-seek-15-years-jail-ferry-CEO.html

(A girl is tying a yellow ribbon with message for missing passengers in Seoul, South Korea)

Photo Credit: http://www.koreatimesus.com/brain-surgery-saved-one-student-from-ill-fated-ferry-trip/


(French resident holding up a national flag with black ribbon during silence for the latest Paris attack)

Photo Credit: http://www.salemnews.com/region/the-latest-alabama-will-refuse-syrian-refugees/image_4a268333-e590-5085-a52a-1d9f92111688.html

pink ribbon

(Participants with pink ribbon attending 2010 Revlon Walk/Run for Women)

Photo Credit: http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-life-and-religion/101494/breast-cancer-isnt-just-pinkgreen

(Actor pinned green ribbon on his outfit for plan to take on climate change)

Photo Credit: http://www.ew.com/article/2015/09/20/emmys-2015-green-ribbon-climate-change


(Students of Government Women’s College form a red ribbon in Visakhapatnam)

Photo Credit : http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/campaign-against-aids/article4156582.ece#im-image-5


(Orange ribbon used to mourn for Christians murdered by ISIS)

Photo Credit: http://www.evansburgumc.com/




6 thoughts on “Ribbon and Remembrance

    • You touched based on your topic, but i feel that you can elaborate more on how different parts of the world used ribbons as a way of remembrance. You can maybe even talk about how ribbons are used as remembrance of the past lives and how they live onto the present (just a suggestion).


  1. Elaborate and compare how different ribbons including this one, hold different purposes and memories-take into consideration design and color. Elaborate more on the idea or remembrance (dig deep) and lastly, look at the length of the blog as the pictures took a lot of space. Great idea for blog post, you’re in the right direction, simply expand! (:

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You mention many types of ribbons, maybe just focus on a couple and elaborate. If not then maybe consider just adding more information 🙂


    • I think that the focus is very clear and the slideshow effectively shows the range of contexts in which ribbons of various colors are used to externalize memory with the goal of bringing people together. Since the genre here is a photo essay, the text is limited, and that’s appropriate, but it might be helpful early on to provide just a little bit of conceptual background (here the piece by Britton may prove useful) to set up the connection between the ribbon (as a totemic object perhaps?) and collective memory. You also might consider integrating the websites listed at the bottom into the prologue (essay) section preceding the photos (here using hyperlinks would work well).


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