Whether they are in your hair or on your car, ribbons make a statement. When I was in middle school, the student government tied yellow ribbons to all the cars in the school parking lot as a call for remembrance of soldiers on Memorial Day. Pink ribbons are passed out on my campus at Texas State during Breast Cancer Awareness month (October). Today, there are upwards of 40 different colored ribbons that represent anything from Free Software Awareness (represented by an orange ribbon) to Bullying Awareness (represented by a blue ribbon). There are even songs about awareness ribbons, “Round Her Neck She Wears a Yellow Ribbon” and “Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round the Ole Oak Tree,” which were both written by America-lovin’ songwriters with ribbons on the mind.
Why do we have this want to express ourselves or our beliefs through ribbons? There are similar symbols; for example, the “Ichthys,” which is also known as the “Jesus Fish,” is commonly placed on the back of a car or worn on a necklace to represent Christianity. Ribbons, “Jesus Fish” bumper stickers, and any other symbol that we expose to the world is another way of us calling out to be part of something and to say, “I love/care about/believe in this, who else is with me?”