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Thread: Yellow ribbon

  1. #1
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    Default Yellow ribbon

    Hi,
    I first heard of it in a song. Now I’ve come across it in an article.

    Yellow ribbon patriots finally have an opportunity to support our troops in a meaningful way.

    My guess is it’s a tradition in America (?) – to tie a yellow ribbon while waiting for someone’s safe return. Even if Wikipedia tells abt it, I’d like to hear from native speakers whether this custom is always observed and what they think of it.

    Thanks in advance.

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    Ouisch's Avatar
    Ouisch is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Yellow ribbon

    The yellow ribbon tradition exploded during the Iran hostage crisis in 1979. Americans were encouraged to tie a big yellow bow around their trees or some other object and leave it until the hostages were released. Since then it has become a tradition to display yellow ribbons to welcome home imprisoned heroes or military personnel. In addition to the bows tied around trees, yellow ribbon pins (in the shape of the traditional AIDS red ribbon) and automobile magnets are now very popular.

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    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Yellow ribbon

    It is an Amertican tradition- we don't do it in the UK, though maybe I should add 'yet' to that statement.

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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: Yellow ribbon

    I agree - especially about they 'yet'. Look what's happened to Hallowe'en.

    b

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    Default Re: Yellow ribbon

    Thank you all very much. A really nice ole oak, Ouisch.

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    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Yellow ribbon

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    I agree - especially about they 'yet'. Look what's happened to Hallowe'en.

    b
    And flowers by the side of accident scenes.

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    Default Re: Yellow ribbon

    Quote Originally Posted by Ouisch View Post
    The yellow ribbon tradition exploded during the Iran hostage crisis in 1979. Americans were encouraged to tie a big yellow bow around their trees or some other object and leave it until the hostages were released. Since then it has become a tradition to display yellow ribbons to welcome home imprisoned heroes or military personnel. In addition to the bows tied around trees, yellow ribbon pins (in the shape of the traditional AIDS red ribbon) and automobile magnets are now very popular.
    According to http://www.superseventies.com/1973_1singles.html"Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree" ...Early in 1973, Tony and Dawn cut the single that was to become their all-time classic and the number one single of that year -- "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree." and in fact that's the way I know it...

    The song was based on an actual incident that occurred aboard a southern bus bound for Miami. One of the passengers explained to the driver that he was just out of prison, having served three years for passing bad checks. In a letter to his wife, he had written that she didn't have to wait for him; but, if she was still interested, she could let him know by tying a yellow ribbon around the only oak tree in the city square. As the bus rolled down U.S. 17, nearing the man's hometown of White Oak, Georgia, the driver was asked to slow down so that all could see whether the ribbon was in place. To the man's tearful relief, it was. The driver pulled over and phoned the story in to the wire services, which spread it all over the country. Songwriters Irwin Levine and L. Russell Brown read it in the newspaper, then put together their million-selling ballad.

    As regards flowers on accident scenes,in Catholic countries you usually find ,besides the flowers,a photo of the unfortunate person plus a holy picture of Our Lady or Our Lord to encourage people who pass by to say a prayer for the departed soul.

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    Default Re: Yellow ribbon

    Quote Originally Posted by queenbu View Post
    According to http://www.superseventies.com/1973_1singles.html"Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree" ...Early in 1973, Tony and Dawn cut the single that was to become their all-time classic and the number one single of that year -- "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree." and in fact that's the way I know it...
    The song was based on an actual incident that occurred aboard a southern bus bound for Miami. One of the passengers explained to the driver that he was just out of prison, having served three years for passing bad checks. In a letter to his wife, he had written that she didn't have to wait for him; but, if she was still interested, she could let him know by tying a yellow ribbon around the only oak tree in the city square. As the bus rolled down U.S. 17, nearing the man's hometown of White Oak, Georgia, the driver was asked to slow down so that all could see whether the ribbon was in place. To the man's tearful relief, it was. The driver pulled over and phoned the story in to the wire services, which spread it all over the country. Songwriters Irwin Levine and L. Russell Brown read it in the newspaper, then put together their million-selling ballad.
    The above is true, but the tradition of using yellow ribbons to welcome home prisoners actually dates back to the American Civil War (or, as my Georgia-born husband calls it, The War of Northern Aggression).

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    Default Re: Yellow ribbon

    Laying flowers at the scenes of accidents is a recent (15-20 years) tradition here, though it is not connected with religion. In some places it has been done yearly – Tuesday week after Easter, when people visit the graves of their relatives.

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    Default Re: Yellow ribbon

    Hello Humble-Tuesday week after Easter?-that's strange.All Souls' Day is on the 2nd November-that's when people go to visit the graves of dead relatives.

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