Blue ribbon

Blue ribbon

In symbolism, blue ribbon is a term used to describe something of high quality. The usage came from The Blue Riband, a prize awarded for the fastest crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by passenger liners -- and prior to that from Cordon Bleu which referred to the blue ribbon worn by a particular order of knights.

The spelling "blue riband" is still encountered in most English-speaking countries, but in the United States, the term was altered to blue ribbon, and ribbons of this color came to be awarded for first place in certain athletic or other competitive endeavours (such as county and state fairs). It also may be applied to distinguished members of a group or commission who have convened to address a situation or problem; the usual usage is "blue ribbon commission" or "blue ribbon panel."

The French for the term is 'Cordon Bleu' which is also used in English-speaking countries.

Fair competitions

In some fair competitions in the U.S., particularly 4-H and FFA livestock and horticultural events, blue ribbons may be awarded to any project or exhibit which meets or exceeds all of a competition's judging criteria. In Canada blue ribbons are awarded to "second" place, with red ribbons awarded to first.

The project may not necessarily be the first place finisher, however. In such cases, a purple ribbon may given to the champion and second-place (or reserve) champion.

Usage as an awareness ribbon

Blue ribbons have been used as awareness ribbons for numerous different causes. Notable examples:

Against child abuse

In the U.S.A., a "Blue Ribbon Campaign" against child abuse originated in the spring of 1989 when Bonnie Finney of Virginia tied a blue ribbon to her car antenna, as tribute to her three year old grandson, Michael Bubba Dickinson, who died at the hands of his abusive father. The blue color of the ribbon symbolizes the color of bruises.

Anti-smoke campaigns

* In Canada, it is the symbol of an anti-tobacco, anti-second hand smoke campaign. It also has the same meaning in Japan. [ [ I Love Clean Air Blue Ribbon in Japan] ] Students of the Hugh Boyd Secondary School in Richmond, British Columbia started the "Blue Ribbon Campaign" in 1999. Each year it has grown and now has taken on a national scope. [] [ [ Blue Ribbon Contest in Capital Health] ]

Other symbols

* In the U.S., a blue ribbon is the symbol of prostate cancer awareness and Child Abuse Prevention.

* The "Blue Ribbon Online Free Speech Campaign" is an online campaign by the EFF endorsing the protection of free speech on the Internet. [ [ EFF's Blue Ribbon Campaign] ]

* In Spain, a blue ribbon ("lazo azul") was used since 1993 by those opposing the terrorism of ETA. [ [ "Gesto por la Paz y el lazo azul"]
[ Jose María Calleja, "El lazo azul"]

* In Ukraine, a blue ribbon represents solidarity with Viktor Yanukovych's opposition, support for the "Party of Regions" ( _uk. Партія регіонів) and protest against the seizure of power by Viktor Yushchenko during the Orange Revolution in December of 2004.Fact|date=March 2008

* The blue ribbon was used in the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon in 2005, the movement to end perceived Syrian hegemony over Lebanese politics.Fact|date=March 2008

* In regard to Australian Politics the term "blue ribbon" is used to describe an electorates, state or area which is considered safe for the conservative Liberal Party. This term can also be applied to the British Conservative Party which shares the same ideology and traditional colour of the Australian Liberal Party.Fact|date=March 2008

* In Israel, blue ribbons indicate support for the Israel unilateral disengagement plan of 2004, as opposed to orange ribbons, which indicate opposition. It is intended to invoke the flag of Israel.Fact|date=March 2008

* In Japan, a blue ribbon is a symbol against abduction by North Korea (DPRK, Kim's government). It symbolizes the Sea of Japan, between Japan and Korea.Fact|date=March 2008

* In spring 2007, thousands of World bank employees started wearing blue ribbons as a symbol of support for the cause of good governance. This was seen as a silent protest against World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, who had to step down several weeks later due to charges of nepotism. [Sridhar Pappu: " [ At World Bank, Blue Ribbons Became Attire Of Their Ire] ". The Washington Post, May 18, 2007, Page C01]
* In the United States, the blue ribbon (and awareness bracelet from CCFA) are used to signify Chron's Disease, Colitis, Colon Cancer, and associated gastric dieases. Fact|date=March 2008

* In the United States of America, a blue ribbon is a symbol for remembrance of fallen police officers. The ribbons are displayed by the survivors of fallen police officers and are very symbolic of the COPS organization, Concerns Of Police Survivors.Fact|date=March 2008 In Australia, a blue and white checkered ribbon is commonly used.

* In Sweden there is a temperance organization with the name "Blå bandet" (The Blue Ribbon). [ [ Organization's website (in swedish)] ]

* In the US town of Enterprise, AL on March 1st, 2007 a tornado destroyed Enterprise High School and part of the city killing 8 students and 1 Enterprise resident. A Blue ribbon with a White ribbon is used (the schools colors) to commemorate the loss of life that day. Other ribbons are Blue with White Lettering (often stating "We Will Never Forget 3-1-07").Fact|date=May 2008

Companies and products

* Italian Brewer Birra Peroni has an international Beer called "Nastro Azzurro" which translated is blue ribbon. It took it's name from the Blue Ribband across the Altlantic (See above)

* Beginning in the 1940s, Warner Bros., in a cost-conserving effort, began to reissue its backlog of color cartoons under a new program which they called Merrie Melodies "Blue Ribbon" reissues. For the reissue, the original front-and-end title sequences were altered.

* Blue Ribbon is a chain of 5 upscale restaurants, a recording studio and amateur cycling team in New York City.

* Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer, which got its name from originally having a blue ribbon tied around the neck of the bottle (between 1882 and 1916).

* In Zimbabwe, the term "blue ribbon" is in reference to "Blue Ribbon Mills", the largest wheat refiner in the country.

* The Swedish company "Blå band" (Blue ribbon) manufacture dried and ready-cooked sauces, soups and outdoor meals.

ee also

*Blue Ribbon Schools Program
* Blue Ribbon Awards
* Medals of Honor (Japan)
*Blue Riband (disambiguation) for other uses of the term "Blue Riband"Certina watch named "blue ribbon" high-quality automatic


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Blue ribbon — Blue Blue (bl[=u]), a. [Compar. {Bluer} (bl[=u] [ e]r); superl. {Bluest}.] [OE. bla, blo, blew, blue, livid, black, fr.[=a]r livid; akin to Dan. blaa blue, Sw. bl[*a], D. blauw, OHG. bl[=a]o, G. blau; but influenced in form by F. bleu,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Blue Ribbon — (engl. ‚Blaues Band‘) steht für: Blue Ribbon Award, japanischer Filmpreis Blue Ribbon Free Speech Online, Datenschutzinitiative der Electronic Frontier Foundation Pabst Blue Ribbon, amerikanische Biermarke Siehe auch Blue Riband: Blaues Band,… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • blue-ribbon — blue ,ribbon adjective only before noun AMERICAN 1. ) a blue ribbon group is of the highest quality and is considered the best: A blue ribbon panel of experts was called in to weigh the evidence. 2. ) a blue ribbon winner is someone who wins… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • blue-ribbon — lue ribbon adj. prenom. selected or chosen for special qualifications; as, a blue ribbon grand jury. Syn: blue ribbon(predicate), select. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • blue ribbon — also blue rib|and BrE [ˌblu: ˈrıbənd] n the first prize in a competition, sometimes consisting of a small piece of blue material >blue ribbon also blue riband BrE adj [only before noun] ▪ the club s prized blue riband award …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • blue ribbon — n. 1. the blue silk ribbon of the Order of the Garter 2. a blue ribbon awarded as first prize in a competition 3. first prize in a competition …   English World dictionary

  • Blue Ribbon —   [dt. »blaue Schleife«], Zeichen einer Kampagne für Meinungsfreiheit in elektronischen Medien, namentlich dem Internet; das Blue Ribbon ähnelt dem internationalen Zeichen der Aidshilfen, dem Red Ribbon, ist aber blau statt rot. Die Kampagne… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • blue–ribbon — blue–rib·bon adj: consisting of individuals selected for quality, reputation, or authority a blue–ribbon committee Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 …   Law dictionary

  • blue ribbon — blue′ rib′bon n. 1) a blue ribbon given as the first prize in a contest 2) the highest award 3) gov a blue ribbon worn as a badge of honor by members of the British Order of the Garter • Etymology: 1645–55 …   From formal English to slang

  • blue ribbon — blue ribbons N COUNT A blue ribbon is the same as a blue riband. [AM] …   English dictionary

  • blue ribbon — noun count AMERICAN a small piece of blue material that you give to the winner of a competition …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English