, 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
spelling blue ribband 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.
In some fair competitions in the U.S., particularly 4-H
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
place, with red
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.
Awards are generally given according to the following scale(USA)
Usage as an awareness ribbon
Blue ribbons have been used as awareness ribbons
for numerous different
causes. Notable examples:
Chronic fatigue syndrome awareness
The blue ribbon is internationally used to spread awareness for the
neurological illness chronic
(CFS), also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis
(ME) or CFS/ME. There are several campaigns and charity
organizations referring to this in their name, such as Blue Ribbon for Awareness
or BRAME and Blue
Ribbon Campaign for ME/CFS
Chiari malformation awareness
The Chiari Center Foundation, a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Public
Charitable Foundation started a global Chiari Malformation
and Research campaign in 2009 using a blue ribbon with a zipper.
Blue was chosen because the color blue is considered beneficial to
the mind and body and symbolizes wisdom, confidence, faith, and
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.
the Philippines, there is a Blue Ribbon Committee in the Philippine Senate, a committee
that serves as an oversight to government accountability and
investigations against corrupt officials.
- 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.
- 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. In Australia,
a blue and white checkered ribbon is commonly used.
Sweden there is a
temperance organization with the name "Blå bandet" (The Blue
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").
- Blue ribbons were used by emergency services after the Black Saturday bushfires to mark
properties and areas with possible human remains or a confirmed
fatality occurred. The blue ribbons were attached to stakes outside
the particular property or area.
Companies and products
- Italian Brewer Birra Peroni has an international Beer called
"Nastro Azzurro" which translated is blue ribbon. It took its name
from the Blue Ribband across the Atlantic Ocean (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.
- 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).
- The Swedish company "Blå band" (Blue ribbon) manufacture dried
and ready-cooked sauces, soups and outdoor meals.