The magnetic ribbons on people's cars.

I’m getting mighty fed up with those magnetic “ribbons” that people are putting on their cars. My local paper did an article today on the makers and sellers of the ribbons.

Many have nothing to do with charity or supporting a cause. They’re made in Taiwan and sold here at profit. Some do donate a bit of dough to the cause whose name is writ on the ribbons, some do not.

It’s becoming a competitive thing. I just came home from the bank. One car in the parking lot showed four different ones on the back panel. ( " Support Our Troops, ** P.O.W./ M.I.A. - Never Forget**, Breast Cancer Awareness and of course, God Bless The U.S.A. in red, white and blue. The same person also had more Support Our Troops ribbons on each front door.

For some reason this entire movement saddens me. What started out as a quiet public gesture- " We have a hostage in Iran, we have a yellow ribbon around our tree out front " , or " I am a breast cancer survivor " , or the poignant and awful " P.O.W./M.I.A." black and white flag has diluted into the national " Look At Me I’m Special " mindset.

I just lost a close friend last week to breast cancer. I dont’ wear a ribbon. I carry her around inside of me. I deeply support the troops who are placed in service not just in Iraq but worldwide. A ribbon - that’s about 8 inches high- declaring such isn’t really necessary. Ours is a volunteer service, I respect each and ever person serving and am grateful for their service and sacrifice and that of their families.

How far behind are gigantic flags, 9 feet by 7 feet with the now-popular icons on them? At what point do the symbols that people are showing start to blur and resemble other less sacred and important icons that we hang on our cars?

Sometimes less is more.



Ribbons? You mean like big refigerator magnets?

What, people aren’t willing to commit on bumper stickers any more?

Yes, I mean exactly that- large Flexible Magnets with wording and patterns.

So…what’s the debate?

Magnets are easier to remove when they become obsolete - just like my yellow-ribbon magnet comes off when the troops are home.

I hear you. My wife sometimes wears flag pins on national holidays, and wonders why I don’t wear one, or a flag T-shirt, or something.

I’m basically the stereotype of a guy who would. I’m blue-collar by upbringing and in my tastes. I’m a conservative Republican. I’m a veteran, and I’m fiercely patriotic. But because I’m all of these things, I don’t feel the need to wear any of it on my sleeve.

We do fly a flag on the house, and keep it nicely lit at night. But that’s as far as it goes for us.

IS less more? Should we be using larger and larger icons to publicly and blatantly inform the entire populous of our emotional and intellectual points of view?

Cartooniverse, I personally agree with you, however it is probably a matter of personal taste (not good or bad, just personal.) Some people seem to have a need to display such symbols. I’m not so sure they are all publicly and blatantly informing the entire populous of their emotional and intellectual points of view? At least some seem to have a need to feel they are a part of a special group and the ribbon or other icons let them express the fact that they all belong to a certain group.
:wink: [sup]I don’t know about you but I’m just not a joiner.[/sup]

Those are really gay.

Recent New Yorker cartoon:

Buxom Starlet, speaking into the microphone of a red-carpet interviewer:* “I’m wearing this ribbon in order to raise awareness of my breasts.”*


kniz, I hear you. I really did not write this to torque off anyone using the magnets, but to basically express what you articulated so well. That people feel the need to belong. I get that.

( I’m a joiner. :smiley: ).

It’s a matter of degrees, and of subtlety perhaps.

Pardon my language in here, but it’s almost as though the next step in progression are bumper stickers that loudly proclaim

One can believe fervently without wearing it on one’s shoulder. I’m a hell of a drama queen in my real life, heart on sleeve, etc. But…these issues are best discussed with words not iconography, IMHO.

What paper was that? Google News is coming up empty on (“yellow ribbons” taiwan), and I’d like to know who started the sales blitz.
USPTO shows no current trademark for “support our troops”, so someone seems to have gone for broke flooding the market.
I’m sure several companies are making the things now, but who was first? With wholesale prices at around 99 cents apiece for 10,000, and retail prices at $5 to $10 apiece, someone made a killing on these ribbons.
A cynic might wonder if Halliburton has a printing subsidiary in the far east?
Of course it’s not about the profit. As a lady grieving for her stolen ribbon said “I just think this is pretty low, people buy em as a symbol of hope.”

Actually, they aren’t Gay… They seemed to have every ribbon under the sun other than red ribbons for AIDS…

… Oh, you meant Gay as “stupid”…
Always nice to see people using Gay to mean stupid… :rolleyes:

I don’t feel the need to inform people of my support for American troops by reminding them of a godawful Tony Orlando & Dawn song. Also, I don’t have a car.

The other mystery is how this yellow ribbon thing has come about since the song clearly referred to a guy getting out of jail. I mean, he has done his time and all…But, it still sort of surprised me that people were equating the troops coming home from a war with a someone getting out of jail.

Well, I guess symbols evolve.

I was cheesed off enough at a local radio station in Hartford CT giving away free gas and stuff right after 9/11, with 4 tickets to see someone to the car decorated most patriotically. I pulled in, pointed to mrAru’s DOD military base access stickers and told them that he puts his life where they use stickers and flags. The idiot morning jocks made fun of me because i didnt have any decorations at all, and told me to get lost. Apparently a few of the people in the gas station dumped the bumper stickers and tshirts they were given and walked off…

I certainly put up with being a military dependant for 15 years, I dont NEED flags, stickers, magnets or anything else on my car except those little DOD base access stickers. People need to put their ‘money where their mouth is’ and do something except toss money in the trash. If you support breast cancer, do a walkathon, sponsor someone in a walkathon, donate to research. If you support POW/MIA, then volunteer at a veterans home where there are disabled nam vintage vets living, if you support the current military, adopt a GI and send them care packages, volunteer at a local military base to invite a single non-local GI to come into your house for thanksgiving, 4th of july, donate books to the military base library, toys and clothing to army, navy, airforce or coast guard relief…

I’m sorry but it’s the rainbow stickers that are gay. And come on, you know AIDS is not a gay disease.

I’ve seen these showy, “patriotic” ribbons everywhere, but I had no idea they were only magnets.

As Bill Maher put it:

I too find these things…vulgar.

They’re no different and no worse then bumper stickers. Well, at least most bumper stickers aren’t all that enigmatic. I know what the yellow ribbon means but I always get confused whenever I see a ribbon of another color. People like to express themselves in different ways. No big deal.


Especially when that person is gay.

I don’t particularly like them myself, although I have no real reason why. Just seems like a big ol’ herd mentality to me - just like frats and sororities. But I did see that in Metroland, our local alternative newspaper, they had an article which said that not onlywas this becoming the biggest fad around, it was also one of the biggest sources of theft. Apparently people are just grabbing them and sticking them on their own cars. Now that is low. It’s low enough that you can’t take your $5.00 or whatever and send a care package over, but you won’t even spend that and instead you steal it???