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:

  • Malaysia Airlines MH17 – This ribbon is a sign of mourning for those killed in the fly Boeing KLM/Malaysia Airlines (July 18, 2014)
  • 9/11 – This ribbon is a sign of mourning for those killed in September 11 attack.
  • In New Zealand, a black ribbon was worn by family members after the deaths of 29 trapped miners who in the Pike River Mine disaster 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, and for victims of the November 2015 Paris attacks.
  • 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.
  • July 20, 2012: The 12 people killed, out of the 71 shot, at the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado.
  • December 14, 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]
  • Giant-Shimano cycling team wore a black ribbon, and Belkin Pro Cycling Team wore a black armband on 18-July in the 2014 Tour de France and Google displayed a black ribbon on the homepage after flight MH17's crash.
  • The Iguala kidnappings of 43 Ayotzinapa students on September 26, 2014 has also been to symbolize the mourning and remembrance of the Iguala students at a global stage.
  • January 7, 2015 for both attacks on the offices of "Charlie Hebdo" in Paris when 12 journalists and 2 police officers were killed, and in the greater Paris were 1 municipal police officer was shot.
  • January 9, 2015 for the attack on the shop in the 12th arrondissement of Paris where 4 hostages were killed.
  • January 25–30, 2015, used by the Philippine National Police to mourn the SAF 44 who where killed in Mamasapano
  • March 23–29, 2015, used by Singaporeans, to mark the passing of former Prime Minister Mr. Lee Kuan Yew
  • April 24, 2015, Google displayed a Black Ribbon to commemorate the centennial of the Armenian Genocide which occurred in Turkey in 1915 by Ottoman Empire. (See Here)
  • July 29, 2015, Google displayed a Black Ribbon on homepage of Google India in memory of Dr.A. P. J. Abdul Kalam.
  • In August 2015, most of Burmese civil doctors start black ribbon campaign to say "No" for militarily overwhelming in health administration.
  • August 22, 2015 Black ribbon worn by some military personal, including cadet organisations throughout the UK in remembrance of the 2015 Shoreham Airshow crash
  • October 2, 2015, Google displayed a Black Ribbon with the alt text "Our hearts are with the families and community of Roseburg, Oregon". There was a college shooting there, on the previous day. (External news article)
  • November 13–17, 2015: Google displayed a Black Ribbon on the home page of all Google sites after the November 2015 Paris attacks
  • November 14, 2015: Apple Inc. displayed a Black Ribbon on home page of their France site after the November 2015 Paris attacks
  • In Romania- November 2015– At the Colectiv club, a fire killed 55 people and about 150 people being hospitalized with bad injuries.

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 (April 16, 2013). "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]