Black ribbon

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Black Ribbon.svg

A black ribbon is a symbol of remembrance or mourning. Wearing or displaying a black ribbon has been used for POW/MIA remembrance, mourning tragedies or as a political statement.

Sign of mourning[edit]

A black ribbon may be put on a flag, as on the Georgian flag at the 2010 Winter Olympics opening ceremony.

Similar to a black armband, the black ribbon is a public display of grief. Individuals or organizations display the ribbon in commemoration of victims after specific incidents. Some examples have included:

  • Dutch Wikipedia - This ribbon is a sign of mourning for those killed in the fly Boeing KLM/Malaysia Airlines (18/07/2014)
  • 9/11 - This ribbon is a sign of mourning for those killed in the September 11th attack.
  • In New Zealand, a black ribbon was worn by family members after the deaths of 29 trapped miners who died in an explosion on November 26, 2010.
  • In Poland, a black ribbon was worn by mourners of Polish president Lech Kaczyński, his wife, and 95 other important senior officials who died on April 10, 2010.
  • In the United Kingdom after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997.
  • The black ribbon has again made an appearance shortly after category 3 Hurricane Katrina landed along the Gulf Coast of the United States in August 2005.
  • The black ribbon was a symbol of popular grief in Spain after the 11 March 2004 Madrid attacks. It was worn on clothing and also pinned on the Spanish flag.
  • Google displayed a black ribbon as a mark of respect and sympathy for victims of 9/11, the 7 July 2005 London bombings, victims of Hurricane Katrina, victims of flight MH17,victims of the Charlie Hebdo shooting ,for the death of Lee Kuan Yew.
  • After the April 2007 Virginia Tech massacre.[1]
  • After the earthquake on August 15, 2007 in Peru, black ribbons were the icons of all Peruvian television channels for 3 days.
  • After the death of Heath Ledger in January 2008, Warner Brothers placed a black ribbon on their marketing website for The Dark Knight in his memory.
  • The black ribbon was used in remembrance to "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott of Pantera fame. It was modified to include a silhouette of Dimebag and his name and years of birth and death and used as a patch and sticker for the first annual Ride For Dime in honor of his music and life after being fatally shot on stage with his band Damageplan.
  • The black ribbon has been also used by the journalists in the Philippines to condemn the killings of journalists on the Maguindanao massacre.[2]
  • In Northern Ireland, Bloody Sunday 1972 - to remember the murders and attempted murders of civilians at the peak of The Troubles.
  • Police officers often wear black ribbons in mourning of fallen officers.
  • 20 July 2012: The 12 people killed, out of the 71 shot, at the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado.
  • 14 December 2012: The 2012 Connecticut shooting; 26 killed, 20 were children, at an elementary school in Newtown Connecticut.
  • In the United States to remember construction workers who died after being hit by motorists.
  • Turks use the black ribbon to mourn for the casualties of Turkish soldiers in the Turkey-PKK conflict.
  • The 2013 London Marathon runners were given a black ribbon to wear to mark the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.[3]

Other meanings[edit]

  • Melanoma Awareness - To bring awareness to melanoma and worn by people who know someone or are themselves affected by melanoma. Sometimes shown as black with white polka dots.
  • In Argentina, a black ribbon, sometimes with the national flag's colours in both ends, is used to raise awareness about the victims of subversive terrorism.
  • By the Anarchist Black Ribbon Campaign, a free speech campaign started in 1996 inspired by the Blue Ribbon Online Free Speech Campaign.[4][5]
  • During the 6th International Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) the black ribbon was worn worldwide to show support and promote awareness of the Palestinian struggle.
  • In India, 2011 to show support to Anna Hazare who was fasting to fight against corruption by government.
  • Narcolepsy Awareness-To bring awareness to narcolepsy worn by anybody who supports Narcolepsy awareness.
  • Worn by people who has suffered from any intentions of self harming on November 30 of every year.

In fiction[edit]

Variations of the ribbon[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ LaMar, Sondra (April 18, 2007). "Sigma Nu Distributes Black Ribbons on UA Fort Smith Campus". University of Arkansas - Fort Smith. Retrieved March 18, 2008.
  2. ^ Mallari Jr., Delfin (November 25, 2009). "Quezon media unite for Maguindanao massacre victims". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved December 27, 2009.
  3. ^ Gavin Brown (2013-04-16). "London Marathon runners to wear black ribbons following Boston blasts | Metro News". Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  4. ^ "Black Ribbon Campaign". Anarchy for Anybody. Retrieved March 18, 2008.
  5. ^ "BARC Graphics". GeoCities. Archived from the original on March 4, 2005.

External links[edit]