The green ribbon is a symbol used to show support and create awareness for those suffering from various illnesses.
In 17th Century England during and after the English Civil War the wearing of a sea-green ribbon symbolized affiliation with the ideals of the Levellers and later in the century with radical Whiggism.
Levellers and early Whig radicals
The green ribbon and sprigs of rosemary were symbols of support for the Levellers during the English Civil War and English Interregnum. At the funeral of Thomas Rainsborough (a Member of Parliament and also a Leveller leader who had spoken at the Putney Debates) there were thousands of mourners wearing the Levellers' ribbons of sea-green and bunches of rosemary for remembrance in their hats, as there were the next year, 1649, at the funeral of Robert Lockyer a New Model Army Agitator hanged by Oliver Cromwell for mutiny.
The Green Ribbon Club was one of the earliest of the loosely combined associations which met from time to time in London taverns or coffee-houses for political purposes in the 17th century. It had its meeting place at the King's Head tavern at Chancery Lane End, so was known as the King's Head Club. It seems to have been founded about the year 1675 as a resort for members of the political party hostile to the court. As these associates were in the habit of wearing in their hats a bow, or bob, of green ribbon, as a distinguishing badge useful for the purpose of mutual recognition in street brawls, the name of the club was changed, about 1679, to the Green Ribbon Club. The 'Green Ribbon' was the badge of The Levellers in the English Civil Wars in which many of the members had fought and was an overt reminder of their radical origins.
Support of farm families
In 1998, Margaret Bruce, a Pastoral Associate at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in North Dakota, sought a way to support farm families and came up with the idea of a green ribbon and a card that read "We care through prayer." Around the same time, the National Catholic Rural Life Conference (NCRLC) began receiving emergency calls from farm families in stress and saw that the situation was getting worse across the country. In November 1998, NCRLC launched the Green Ribbon Campaign at their 75th anniversary meeting. They developed and began to disseminate rural crisis packets to help parishes deal with the growing rural crisis.
In the UK, in November 2008, a Manchester-based support group for people living with or being affected by the HIV-virus; launched a campaign called Body Positive North West, using a green ribbon as their symbol. The aim is to raise awareness of 60 second HIV testing and encourage more people to get themselves screened for HIV, as research suggests that over a third of all HIV-infected people in Britain, are themselves unaware of this.
Green Ribbons are also used in the US to show support for medical marijuana, as well as many other medical drugs in the country.
Awareness of political and cultural issues
- During the state of the union 2013, many attendees wore green (and white) ribbons to remember the victims of gun violence. Green and white are the colors of Sandy Hook elementary school.
- Following the July 2005 London bombings, British police in Nottinghamshire distributed green ribbons as part of a Good Faith campaign to show support for Muslim communities.
- In Canada, the green ribbon is used to show support of legalized forms of pornography (not exploitation), sexual content, nudity and free unsuppressed expression of the human body.
- In Colombia, the green ribbon has been used to support peace for the country.
- The green ribbon is used to support cannabis legalization.
- The green ribbon is also used to support the Troops in Pakistan.
- The green ribbon also raises awareness of the genocide in Darfur, Sudan.
- The green ribbon is used to support Irish Freedom from Britain.
- The green ribbon was used to protest the events surrounding the Jena Six.
- The green ribbon was used to raise awareness of the earthquake in China in May 2008.
- A light green ribbon is used to support a foundation for impoverished orphans and street kids of former communist countries.
- A green ribbon is used to support the residents in a rural area of Tennessee, named Greenhaw, in Franklin County, where their agriculturally zoned agraian lifestyle is under threat from companies attempting to build a rock quarry and deface nearly 200 acres (0.81 km2) of Cumberland Mountains area lands against the will of the residents.
- A green ribbon draped around the symbol for the game Quake was used to raise awareness of sexual discrimination against female players.
- In Iran the green ribbon was used as a sign of support for Mir-Hossein Mousavi in 2009 Iranian presidential election, a color which has since become pervasive in Iran.
- In Greenland the NGO Meeqqat Inuunerissut/Bedre Børneliv uses the green ribbon to increase awareness of the campaign for better lives for children in Greenland.
- In Douglas County, Colorado the green ribbon is used by pro-union supporters to support the campaign for "Support our Public School Students and Teachers" and the pro union agenda.
- In the "Sex" episode of spoof news programme Brass Eye, host Chris Morris wears a green ribbon in support of people who have "Good AIDS" or AIDS contracted through no fault of their own (e.g. through contaminated blood transfusion).
- The green ribbon can also indicate a support of music education, especially in Hispanic communities in the United States.
- At county or state fairs in the United States, green ribbons are awarded to competitors who finish in fifth place in contests.
- In the United Kingdom, the green ribbon was adopted by FERT (Ferret Education and Research Trust) who are a registered charity in England and Wales (No.1116924) to raise awareness of Ferret Welfare.
- Green ribbons are used in the flash cartoon series There she is!! as a symbol of hope, friendship, and uniqueness in society.
- Green Ribbons were used by the players of Royal Challengers Bangalore, the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket team, to create awareness about green living and to showcase their support and commitment towards the Green Initiatives of Royal Challengers Bangalore.
- "The Green Ribbon" is a story in the book of horror stories for children, In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories, by Alvin Schwartz. The ribbon features prominently in the story. In the story, a girl named Jenny wore the ribbon around her neck. She never told anyone why. She then grew up and married a man named Alfred. She still didn't tell him why she wore the ribbon. When they grew old together and Jenny got sick, she told Alfred to untie the ribbon. Alfred did so and her head fell off.
- Missing Children
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2008)|
- McNeill 1911, pp. 550, 551.
- Body Positive North West
- Health Protection Agency - Testing Times - HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Infections in the United Kingdom: 2007
- Helen Carter (2005-08-13). "Police chief's green ribbons for Muslims | UK news". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-01-29.
- "Striveforlife.com". Striveforlife.com. Retrieved 2014-01-29.
- "Quake Green Ribbon Campaign History". Web.archive.org. 2002-08-02. Retrieved 2014-01-29.
- Fathi, Nazila (May 30, 2009). "Iranian Candidate Taps Student Woes". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-06-05.
- "Hispanic Wire - Press Release - Launch of Green Ribbon Campaign". Hispanicprwire.com. Retrieved 2014-01-29.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: McNeill, Ronald John (1911). "Green Ribbon Club". In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica 12 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 550, 551.
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