Ribbon Colors and What They Mean

Have you ever seen different ribbon colors and asked the following:
What does that yellow ribbon tied around that tree mean?
Or, why is “so-and-so” wearing that ribbon color?

Throughout the year, ribbons are used to celebrate and honor many occasions and holidays. Each ribbon, whether a badge ribbon, a ribbon roll, or a rosette ribbon, can stand for different things depending on colors. Typically ribbon rolls are used to celebrate weddings, birthdays and other party events. Badge ribbons and rosette ribbons typically celebrate, or represent, an award or achievement. However, all ribbons can be used throughout the year and for many different purposes.

While a lot of these particular causes are demonstrated through the use of a ribbon roll cut to a certain length and folded onto itself, the colors are what is important. Here is a quick, but brief, layout of what the different colors mean and can be used to acknowledge. While this is not a full list of meanings and colors, it is fairly comprehensive. Remember that not all awareness ribbons and celebration ribbons are ribbon rolls but can be represented through badge ribbons a rosette ribbons as well.

ribbons colors ribbon rolls for awareness

Black/Grey: elegance, formality, grief and strength.
Meaning/Awareness: diabetes, asthma, cancer, mourning and gang prevention.

Blue (*this comprises all shades): trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, protection, intelligence, tranquility, integrity, healing, understanding and devotion.
Meaning/Awareness: cancer, assault and abuse, natural disaster victims, drunk driving, dystonia, education, anti-tobacco, arthritis, free speech and water quality.

Yellow/Brown/Gold/Orange: stability, enlightenment, wisdom, happiness, creativity and success.
Meaning/Awareness: hunger, cultural diversity, leukemia, cancer, self-injury awareness, support for troops and suicide prevention.
*Note: yellow is also a general symbol for hope.

Green (*all shades included): healing, safety, harmony and nature.
Meaning/Awareness: depression, environmental concerns, cancer, tissue/organ donation and missing children.

Pink/Red (*all shades): love, friendship, energy, beauty and strength.
Meaning/Awareness: cancer, stroke, adults with disabilities, and the fight against HIV and AIDS.

Purple (*all shades): wisdom, dignity and creativity.
Meaning/Awareness: eating disorders, cancer, Alzheimer’s, religious tolerance, animal abuse, victims of 9/11 and epilepsy.

White/Pearl/Silver: intuition, faith, light and innocence.
Meaning/Awareness: victims of terrorism, bone cancer, multiple sclerosis and violence against women.

Multicolor Puzzle meaning: autism.
Flag (red/white/blue) meaning: patriotism and support of troops.

3 thoughts on “Ribbon Colors and What They Mean”

    1. Thank you for your interest in our blog, Deb. That is a great question about lymphoma cancer, and unfortunately not an easy one to answer. As there are different types of this form of cancer, there are different colors that are used to represent each one. For example, lime green is used for lymphoma, but violet is used for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. We recommend checking with a support group in your area for the correct color or do a simple online search for further answers. If you need any assistance with your ribbons, please let us know.

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