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 Flight 17 – 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 the 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 Polish president Lech Kaczyński, his wife, and 95 other important senior officials who died on April 10, 2010.
  • Black ribbons were worn and placed on doors after the May 1992 Westray Mine Disaster in Pictou County, Nova Scotia, Canada.[1]
  • The ribbon was worn 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, for victims of the November 2015 Paris attacks, and for the victims of the mass shooting in Orlando in June 2016.
  • After the April 2007 Virginia Tech shooting.[2]
  • 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.[3]
  • 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 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting; 28 killed (20 children and 7 school personnel, including the perpetrator, Adam Lanza, who later committed Suicide) 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.[4]
  • 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 two police officers were killed, and in the greater Paris where a municipal police officer was shot.
  • January 9, 2015, for the attack on a shop in the 12th arrondissement of Paris where four hostages were killed.
  • January 19–20, 1990, Soviet army invided Baku. According to official estimates 137 Azerbaijani civilians died. Black January in Azerbaijan
  • January 25–30, 2015, used by the Philippine National Police to mourn the SAF 44 who were killed in Mamasapano
  • February 25–26, 1992, by Armenian armed forces and Russian 366th Rifle Regiment in town Khojaly was the killing 161 ethnic Azerbaijani civilians. Khojaly Massacre
  • March 23–29, 2015, used by Singaporeans, to mark the passing of former Prime Minister Mr. Lee Kuan Yew
  • 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
  • November 2015, At the Colectiv Club in Romania, a fire killed 55 people and about 150 people being hospitalized with bad injuries.
  • December 3, 2015, Google displayed a Black Ribbon with the alt text "Our hearts are with the families and community of San Bernardino". On the previous day, December 2, a mass shooting occurred in San Bernardino, California at the Inland Regional Center during a holiday event, where a couple opened fire on party-goers, killing 14 and wounding 22. The perpetrators, Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, fled in an SUV, but were later killed during a shootout with police that also left two officers wounded.
  • March 23–25, 2016, Google displayed a Black Ribbon on the home page of all Google sites after the Brussels bombings.
  • June 11, 2016,[5] YouTube displayed a Black Ribbon next to the YouTube logo after American Singer Christina Grimmie was shot and killed after one of her concerts.[6][7] This black ribbon would later be used for the LGBT nightclub shooting the next day.
  • June 12, 2016, Google displayed a Black Ribbon with the alt text "Our hearts are with the victims, their families, and the community of Orlando". They displayed this after a mass shooting that occurred at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, Florida. It is the deadliest mass shooting on American soil. It was deemed as a hate crime and a possible terrorist act linked to ISIS.[8][9]
  • July 3, 2016, Google displayed a black ribbon with the alt text "In remembrance of the Karrada bombing victims". They displayed this after 2016 Baghdad bombing that occurred at an Al Lith upmarket in Karrada, Baghdad. It occurred two days before Eid al-Fitr. It was deemed as a hate crime and terrorist act linked to ISIS.[10][11]

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.[12][13]
  • 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.
  • The purpose of the Black Ribbon New Zealand campaign (November 25) is to remove discrimination from violence prevention awareness, and establish equal representation for all regardless of sex/gender, marital status, religious belief, ethical belief, colour, race, ethnic or national origins, disability, age, political opinion, employment status, family status, and sexual orientation.[14]

In fiction[edit]

Variations of the ribbon[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hoegg Ryan, Judith (1992). Coal In Our Blood: 200 Years of Coal Mining in Nova Scotia's Pictou County. Halifax: Formac. p. 142. ISBN 9780887802157. 
  2. ^ LaMar, Sondra (April 18, 2007). "Sigma Nu Distributes Black Ribbons on UA Fort Smith Campus". University of Arkansas – Fort Smith. Retrieved March 18, 2008.
  3. ^ Mallari Jr., Delfin (November 25, 2009). "Quezon media unite for Maguindanao massacre victims". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved December 27, 2009.
  4. ^ Gavin Brown (April 16, 2013). "London Marathon runners to wear black ribbons following Boston blasts | Metro News". Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  5. ^ "YouTube on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2016-06-13. 
  6. ^ Sentinel, Orlando. "Motives still unknown in slaying of singer Christina Grimmie". Retrieved 2016-06-12. 
  7. ^ "YouTube on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2016-06-12. 
  8. ^ "Florida Nightclub Massacre Is Deadliest Mass Shooting in U.S. History". 
  9. ^ "The Orlando Massacre: A Reminder of the Dangers LGBT People Live With Every Day". 12 June 2016. 
  10. ^ . Walaa Jasim Baghdad bombing kills more than 200 Baghdad bombing kills more than 200 Check |url= value (help).  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^ "Baghdad bombing: Residents pause to remember victims in upmarket Karrada blast". Walaa Jasim. 3 July 2016. 
  12. ^ "Black Ribbon Campaign". Anarchy for Anybody. Retrieved March 18, 2008.
  13. ^ "BARC Graphics". GeoCities. Archived from the original on March 4, 2005.
  14. ^ Black Ribbon New Zealand website:

External links[edit]