What Does That Awareness Ribbon Mean? Symbolism for 7 Popular Colors
Awareness ribbons are everywhere and each one means something different depending on the color. Whether it’s green for an environmental cause, blue for bullying awareness, red for heart disease, or any other color of the rainbow, the idea is still the same: for a person to show their support to the world for a certain cause or organization.
These ribbons come in all forms. They can be car magnets we put on our back bumper, stickers we place on notebooks, or even pins we attach to our clothes. No matter where you display them, you’re giving the world around you a glimpse into what you stand for, and in turn, encouraging them to support the cause as well. These ribbons are powerful little symbols of big missions.
*Please note, the ribbons pictured here can be used to support more than just what’s listed and new ribbons and causes are constantly being added.
There are so many options and causes, it’s hard to know what the colored ribbons stand for. Luckily, we’re here to break it all down. Here’s what the most common awareness ribbon colors mean!
Pink is most commonly associated with breast cancer awareness, but it’s used for more than just that. What many people don’t know is that pink ribbons are also symbols for respecting birth parents and for childhood cancer awareness.
Yellow is commonly seen as a symbol to support our troops and to give us hope. However, it is also a symbol for POW/MIA (Prisoners of War, Missing in Action), suicide prevention, adoptive parents, spina bifida, sarcoma, missing children, bladder, liver, and bone cancer, craniofacial acceptance, and endometriosis. Also, be aware that a yellow ribbon with a heart is used to represent the survivors left behind after a suicide.
Red is generally used to show support for the fight against HIV/AIDS. This rtghibbon is also a symbol for stroke, heart disease, substance abuse, MADD, DARE, Evans Syndrome, epidermolysis bullosa, complex regional pain syndrome (formerly known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy), and vasculitis.
Blue is associated with child abuse awareness/prevention. It is also used to represent drunk driving awareness, colon cancer (alternative ribbon color: brown), dystonia, bullying awareness, osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone disease), addiction recovery awareness, prostate cancer, Huntington’s disease, domestic violence, victim’s rights, free speech, Canada’s National Non Smoking Week, chronic fatigue syndrome, human trafficking, and sex slavery awareness (navy blue ribbon).
Green is most commonly used for childhood depression. It also represents missing children, environmental concerns, glaucoma, kidney cancer, tissue/organ donation, cerebral palsy awareness and support, Lyme disease, liver cancer, pedestrian safety, traumatic brain injury awareness and support, and craniosynostosis awareness for varied organizations.
Black ribbons are used as general symbols for mourning, and you may see magnetic versions raising awareness for POW/MIA as an alternative to yellow. This color is used as a sign of mourning, but also represents melanoma awareness, sleep disorders, and gang prevention.
Purple typically represents pancreatic cancer and epilepsy. It is also a symbol for Alzheimer’s disease, lupus, animal abuse, Crohn’s disease, cystic fibrosis, fibromyalgia, sarcoidosis awareness, thyroid cancer, ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), and religious tolerance.
Believe it or not, we have barely scratched the surface on all the awareness ribbons and their meanings! For instance, burgundy is used to support disabled adults and sickle cell anemia, while white is used to bring awareness to blindness and scoliosis. You’ll see a rainbow of awareness ribbon colors out there — each with an abundance of meanings — all supporting good causes and organizations.
If you have a cause around the corner and need any of these ribbons, you can download free awareness ribbons clipart above. There are also personalized awareness ribbons available at Quality Logo Products!
No matter which cause you support, be sure to do it with pride in as many forms as you can. You can never show a good cause too much love!
Which one of these awareness ribbon colors was new to you? Did we miss anything? Which causes do YOU support?