by Caryn Smith

Colors send distinct messages. Subconsciously, we’ve been trained to respond in a variety of ways to practically every color of the rainbow. For instance, green is almost always associated with “go” (green lights), the coming of spring as well as freshness and also trust. Orange, according to color psychologists, denotes energy and enthusiasm. This is probably why the champions of causes chose to use colored ribbons when supporting their beliefs.

As far back as 1917, singer/songwriter George Norton penned the song, “‘Round Her Neck She Wears A Yellow Ribbon.” A revised version was later used in the movie “She Wore A Yellow Ribbon.” The words recount the tale of a young girl waiting for the return of her love who was serving in the military. In 1979, yellow ribbons saw resurgence as Penne Laingen tied this symbol around her tree when her husband, US diplomat Bruce Laingen, was held captive during the Iran hostage crisis.

But yellow isn’t the only symbol of hope. What’s the first thought that comes to mind when you see a pink ribbonc Breast cancer. In 1992, at the hands of Self magazine editor Alexandra Penney and cosmetic giant Estee Lauder, the ribbon symbol was adopted as the icon for the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month campaign. The color pink was chosen and the new emblem was quickly adopted by the American public.
There are others as well many others. Red was chosen as the ribbon color for Aids awareness because it represents passion. Yellow was chosen for military support because it is the official color of the U.S. Calvary.

Ribbons or Lapel Pins

While many people actually purchase and cut pieces of ribbon to pin to their lapels, others have opted for a more convenient method. While cloth ribbons wear out quickly, purchasing custom ribbon lapel pins gives you a permanent piece of jewelry to wear repeatedly. Whichever option you choose, wearing awareness ribbons will show your support for immensely worthwhile causes.

Internationally – in the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom and other countries – ribbons have swept our awareness just as they were meant to do. Here’s a comprehensive list of ribbon colors and what the organizations/diseases represent.

RED: Aids Awareness

BLACK: Aids Remembrance or Mourning

PINK: Breast Cancer

YELLOW: Military Support

LIGHT BLUE: Prostate Cancer

TEAL: Ovarian Cancer

GOLD: Child Cancer

GREY: Diabetes or Brain Cancer

GREEN: Leukemia or Organ & Tissue Donor

LIGHT PURPLE: Lupus or Alzheimer’s

PURPLE: Disabled Children, Domestic Violence, Religious Tolerance

DARK BLUE: Child Abuse, Crime Victim’s Rights, Colon Cancer

WHITE: Gender Violence

ORANGE: Animal Protection

GREEN & BLUE: Mental Health Awareness

RED, WHITE & BLUE: Patriotism


BURGUNDY: Brain Aneurysm, Hospice Care

LAVENDER: Cancer Awareness

PERIWINKLE: Eating Disorders

BROWN: Anti-Tobacco

LACE: Osteoporosis

PINK & BLUE: Miscarriage, Infant Death

Do you know someone who suffers from a disease or conditionc Are you holding a rally or charity event to raise money for researchc Would you like to show your support of othersc Schools, businesses, organizations and individuals are all joining forces to show the world what they believe in by wearing ribbon lapel pins. Won’t you join themc

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *