Red Ribbon on Door: Things We Got Horribly Wrong

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Written By Will Dietrich

I love gardening, building, making and fixing things. 





So you may have seen a red ribbon on doors in your neighborhood and began wondering what does it symbolize? Well here are the answers to your red ribbon questions. A red ribbon on door actually has a wide array of meanings and is used by various organizations. They usually serve as an awareness ribbon for various causes, which are as follows:

HIV/AIDS Awareness

An international symbol of AIDS awareness, the red ribbon has become a worldwide symbol of support for people living with HIV and remembrance of those who have passed away. On the 1st of December every year, people around the world will commemorate World AIDS Day by wearing red ribbons, applying red ribbon bumper stickers to their cars, hanging red ribbons on various doors including church doors, high school classroom doors, and even some lamp posts.

Started in 1988, World AIDS Day was a first-ever global health event. World AIDS Day, held annually it is a time for people worldwide to unite, show their support for those living with HIV/AIDS, and remember those who died from an HIV-caused disease.

Drug misuse awareness

Red Ribbon Campaign is the nations largest drug prevention program. Founded in 1985, the Red Ribbon Campaign has been a part of the lives of millions of people all over the globe. In reaction to the murder of DEA Agent Enrique Camarena, angered parents and youth members from communities across the nation started wearing Red Ribbons as a symbol of their commitment of raising awareness about the death and destruction caused by drugs in America and around the globe. The Red Ribbon Campaign also arranges and participates in in drug prevention activities as well as raising awareness about the dangers of drug use. If any of what the Red Ribbon Campaign does interests you click here.

COVID-19 Pandemic

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 health pandemic in the United States, various communities have also began to put a red ribbon on their doors as a symbol of hope that we can beat this virus together. Many churches have begun putting up red ribbons on their church doors or windows as a sign of solidarity during these trying times. Some schools have also joined in on the movement by placing red ribbons on their classroom doors. This act serves as a reminder that we must stay united against this deadly disease.

Where Did the Red Ribbon Idea Come From?

Since its inception the Red Ribbon has been taken on by various organizations and used differently every time, but no matter who uses it it is always recognized as a symbol of hope, which could be the key to its popularity

In 1991, just a decade after the emergence of HIV, twelve artists came together in a gallery in New York. They had met to discuss a new project for Visual AIDS – which is another AIDS awareness project.

It was there that they thought up with what would be one of the most recognized symbols of the decade, and still recognizable to this day, the red ribbon, now worn and hung on doors to symbolize awareness and support for people suffering and living with HIV.

During the 1980s and 1990s, HIV was still very stigmatized, and the pain of those who were infected with HIV was largely hidden. These artists sought to create a visual expression that would express compassion for people living with AIDS.

Inspired by the yellow ribbons tied around trees during the Gulf War, these artists created a symbol to represent the fight against AIDS. They wanted to create something that would be easily replicated and understood by people of all ages, races and sexual orientations. They chose the color red because it represents passion, the heart and the blood. They avoided using other colors, such as pink, purple, and rainbow stripes, because they wanted to avoid associating the symbol with a specific group.



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