Awareness Ribbon and Bracelet Colors and Meanings

 

I always see people wearing ribbons or bracelets to support different organizations/ disease awareness, and I wonder what color is for what? It can be confusing. Some colors and awareness ribbons have multiple meanings. We did the best we could to compile a list of colors and meanings from multiple sources and we checked with many of the foundations represented for accuracy.

Awareness Ribbons by Color

Pink Ribbon :
Meaning: Most commonly associated with breast cancer awareness, this ribbon is also a symbol for birth parents, and childhood cancer awareness (alternative color: light blue)
Yellow Ribbon :
Meaning: We’ve all seen this symbol used to support our troops, but it is also a symbol for MIA/POW, suicide prevention, adoptive parents, amber alerts, bladder cancer, spina bifida, endometriosis, and a general symbol for hope. A yellow ribbon with a heart is used to represent the survivors left behind after a suicide.
Pale Yellow Ribbon :
Meaning: This color is a symbol of spina bifida
Red Ribbon :
Meaning: Most commonly associated with the fight against AIDS and HIV, this ribbon also is a symbol for heart disease, stroke, substance abuse, MADD, DARE, Epidermolysis Bullosa, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
Burgundy Ribbon :
Meaning: This color is a symbol of brain aneurysm, Cesarean section (worn upside down), headaches, hemangioma, vascular malformation, hospice care, multiple myeloma, William’s syndrome, Thrombophilia, Antiphospholid Antibody Syndrome, and adults with disabilities.
Purple Ribbon :
Meaning: This color is a symbol of pancreatic cancer, testicular cancer, thyroid cancer, domestic violence, ADD, alzheimer’s, religious tolerance, animal abuse, the victims of 9/11 including the police and firefighters, Crohn’s disease and colitis, cystic fibrosis, lupus, leimyosarcoma, and fibromyalgia.
Lavender Ribbon :
Meaning: This color is a symbol for general cancer awareness. It can also be a symbol for epilepsy, and rett syndrome.
Periwinkle Ribbon :
Meaning: This color is a symbol of eating disorders and pulmonary hypertension.
Blue Ribbon :
Meaning: This color is a symbol of CFS/ME, drunk driving, child abuse, Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI), the victims of hurricane Katrina, dystonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), alopecia, Education, Epstein-Barr Virus, Save the Music, colon cancer.
Blue and Green Ribbon for Intracranial Hypertension
Dark Blue Ribbon :
Meaning: This color is a symbol of arthritis, child abuse prevention, victim’s rights, free speech, water quality, and water safety
Light Blue Ribbon :
Meaning: This color is a symbol of childhood cancer (alternative color: pink), prostate cancer, Trisomy 18, and scleroderma.
Teal Ribbon :
Meaning: This color is a symbol for ovarian, cervical, and uterine cancers as well as sexual assault, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and tsunami victims.
Green Ribbon :
Meaning: This color is a symbol of EDS, childhood depression, missing children, open records for adoptees, environmental concerns, kidney cancer, tissue/organ donation, homeopathy, Lyme Disease, and worker and driving safety.
Orange Ribbon :
Meaning: This color is a symbol of Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, leukemia, hunger, cultural diversity, humane treatment of animals, and self-injury awareness.
White Ribbon :
Meaning: This color is a symbol of innocence, victims of terrorism, violence against women, peace, right to life, bone cancer, adoptees, and retinal blastoma.
Pearl Ribbon :
Meaning: This color is a symbol for emphysema, lung cancer, mesothelioma, and multiple sclerosis.
Black Ribbon :
Meaning: This color is a symbol of mourning, melanoma, and gang prevention.
Brown Ribbon :
Meaning: This color is an anti-tobacco symbol as well as a symbol of colon cancer, colorectal cancer.
Grey Ribbon :
Meaning: This color is a symbol of diabetes, asthma, and brain cancer.
Silver Ribbon :
Meaning: This color is a symbol for children with disabilities, Parkinson’s disease, and mental illnesses such as severe depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and anxiety disorders.
Gold Ribbon :
Meaning: This color is a symbol for childhood cancer.

Clear Ribbon (see-through):  Lung Cancer. Clear ribbon to represent clear lungs.
Jigsaw Puzzle Ribbon:
Meaning: This style of ribbon is a symbol for autism.
Lace Ribbon:
Meaning: This style of ribbon is a symbol for osteoporosis.
Pink and Blue Ribbon:
Meaning: This style of ribbon is a symbol for miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant death due to SIDS or other causes.
Flag Ribbon:
Meaning: This style of ribbon is a symbol for both the victims and heroes of the 9/11 attacks. It is also a symbol of patriotism and support of our troops. In addition, it is a symbol of fireworks safety.
Rainbow Ribbon:
Meaning: This style of ribbon is a symbol of gay pride and support for the GLBT community and their quest for equal rights.
Yellow with Black polkadots: UK Fibro Awareness ribbon.
Red & Yellow Ribbon: Hepatitis C awareness
Black and White (zebra) Ribbon: Carcinoid
This list is provided for informational purposes only. If you found it helpful, please feel free to LINK to this page. We welcome any opportunity to improve this page so if you see any errors or omissions, please contact us.
Article written by Christine Miserandino, © 2008 butyoudontlooksick.com
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* If you found this list helpful, you may also like:
Helpful Medical Abbreviations

  • Kathalean

    Im so excited to see there is an awareness ribbon for my condition… Intercranial hypertension, or psuedotumor cerebri… most people i have talked to has never heard of my condition and i come across a few sites that show my ribbon, which i will be tattooing on my arm soon!!!!

  • http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com Bob

    A co-worker member of the Michigan National Guard passed out Camo-colored (jungle) wrist bands to signify support for the troops in Iraq (and, I presume, Afghanistan). He had been called up for Desert Storm (1991) and for Iraq, 2004-05.

  • Joyce

    Hi
    Could you tell me if anyone can use the Red or Blue Medical star with staff/snake. if so what does the red mean and what does the Blue mean. Thank you so much for your time.

    Joyce

  • Natasha

    Lime green is Lyme Disease

  • Kimber

    What is the color for PTSD and for Domestic Violence Survivors

  • Emily

    Childhood cancer is not light blue nor pink, the color is gold.

  • Amanda-Beth

    We need more colors or combos so people can tell what ribbon is for so 2 issues don’t share the same ribbon. Not to metion so many things that don’t have ribbion. And on sort of related note why can’t people tell diffrence in liliac and lavender colors.

  • Linda McGuirl

    Purple also stands for ITP. Kindly add that to your list. ITP (immune thrombocytopenic purpura). ITP is a condition in which the blood has a lower number of platelets than normal. Platelets are cells that help the blood clot. ITP is called an autoimmune disease since it is the result of the body’s immune system attacking platelets as if they are foreign cells. A person with ITP is at a higher risk of bleeding.

    Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP) affects almost 10 times as many people as hemophilia, yet most people know nothing about it. This lack of public awareness leaves many ITP patients feeling isolated and alone, and is the main reason why there is so little support for research on ITP and the lack of advancement in treatment. ITP is a growing but little understood health problem that most people (including some medical professionals) have never heard of. It affects individuals of all ages, sexes, and ethnic origins

  • Qbst Johnsplace

    Where do i get a red and yellow ribbon for hep c awareness?

  • Cowens

    What about Down Syndrom???

  • Amanda

    LAM doesn’t have a ribbon, but instead a pink feather.  It is an extremely rare lung disease, causing death with only oxygen, lung transplant as treatments and no cure.  Rapamycin is a possibility as a treatment, but you have to have it pretty bad to get on it.  It causes tumors on other organs and brain tumors.  It will kill you and life span has been bumped from 5-10 years to 29.  Please add this as a “ribbon” on your site.  The feather represents light as air, breathing.

  • Lu Mama12

    So discouraged that you don’t have gastroparesis listed here, I am sick everyday of my life. And now have malnutrition and bone problems and a colon that doesn’t work….Oh, it’s a green (with yellow trim) ribbon. But, Christine we need to be recognized on your sight as chronically ill!!  

  • Kim

    Trisomy 13 ribbon is yellow, pink and green

  • jonesie79

    everything the ms organization has is orange…i would stick with orange…

  • logan

    orange is also for reflex sympethetic dystrophy. its also been listed sometimes hnder red. my bf has RSD and he wears orange along with many other people i know that have this disease.

  • Tonia

    Green (lime green) is for Gastroparesis.

  • Lisa

    Diabetes is blue I think and Celiac Disease is green

  • Angie

    I have heard that the purple ribbon also represents Sjogren’s Syndrom is that correct?

  • Morgan

    My dad as M.S. and we have known it to be orange? but it says pearl… im so confused!

  • Jena

    Purple is also used for cancer SURVIVORS!!!! My mom is a cancer survivor and always wears a purple ribbon.

  • Denise

    I would also like to know the color of awareness for Trisomy 13. My granddaughter die from full Trisomy 13 in May. She lived 9 days.

  • Tracey

    White with Red Polka Dots is for Autoimmune Disease

  • Heather Hoehn

    Is there a color for Trisomy 8? I have looked so many places and have found nothing.

  • Jami

    I have seen the color of ribbons for Trisomy 13 as light blue along with Trisomy 18. They are very different chromosone abnormalities but I believe that light blue is used for both in chromosone abnormalities in general.

  • Nicole

    What is the color ribbon that is worn for people who suffer for Anxiety or a mental illness, different sites are saying different colors ..Thnaks Heaps

  • http://www.facebook.com/TooBeautifulForEarth Carolyn

    I am also looking for Trisomy 13 ribbon color(s). Our daughter was stillborn at 34 weeks gestation from this awful chromosome anomaly.

  • Leticia

    Can anyone tell me the color for Trisomy 13? I make trees of life for autism awareness in rainbow colors ( I followed their specific instructions). They sell these trees to raise funds. But my grandson died at 35 days of age. He had full Trisomy 13 and I would like to make trees of life to raise awareness for this disease. I read that light blue is for Trisomy 18, but that is different from Trisomy 13. If someone has the answer I would appreciate a response.
    Thanks.

  • ARACELI

    LIME GREEN IS ALSO USED FOR LYME DISEASE

  • molly

    purple is also for arnold chiari malformation ( a rare brain condition)

  • http://hamatokameko.livejournal.com HamatoKameko

    Silver is also the color used for Diabetes Awareness.

  • Jodie

    The rainbow is also awarenss of cancer in general.

  • Kimberly

    This is great! I have ITP (its an autoimmune platelet disorder) and from my research its burgundy ribbon if you’d like to add it!

  • The Weasel

    Green is also used for Celiac Disease.

  • Carol Novak

    Green (med) is used for PBC Primary Biliary Cirrhosis

  • Nina

    Black is for POW/MIA

  • Jon Egger

    Purple is also the color for sarcoidosis.

  • http://mybipolarteenagelife.blogspot.com Sarah

    Blue is also School Bullying Awareness (at least when I googled it I got two results saying so, and nothing contradicting them).

  • http://lupiegirl.wordpress.com Eva

    Lime Green is the color for Non Hodgkins Lymphoma — the cancer lupus patients often develop.

  • Kat Scheuerm

    Blue, or blue and black ribbons are also worn when a police officer has fallen.

  • Lisa J

    I’ve read that blue or teal (have read both, though usually see a medium blue) ribbons are also for interstitial cystitis awareness.

  • BarbaraRyan

    Periwinkle is also used for IBS.

  • http://www.invisibleillness.com Lisa Copen

    We use silver when possible, white otherwise, for invisible illnesses – National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week.

  • http://www.mesufferersmalta.org Rebecca Sultana

    Blue Ribbons are being used for ME awareness too :)

  • IB

    In Canada, there are also RED ribbons with MADD (Mother’s Against Drunk Driving) on the ribbon, that are big enough to put on your car antenna. Definitely different than the AIDS awaremess ribbon.
    PURPLE for eye sight awareness and issues as well as childhood abuse prevention.
    Wish some of them that are for mulitple uses, could add a symbol, stripe or something, so then we know that they are for or against what issue.

  • http://dogstaracademy.wordpress.com Cait

    A lot of autistic individuals prefer the rainbow mobious ribbon (in a figure 8/infinity loop) to represent neurodiversity to the puzzle ribbon, which is associated with Autism Speaks, specifically. (A group which has NO autistics on their board and who are somewhat cold to adult autistics.

  • Lindsay

    Also yellow ribbons are used for childhood cancer awareness……..my daughter had leukemia and its was always yellow ribbons used to signify awareness.

  • Lindsay

    LIGHT GREEN: HPV awareness……..this should be used more and more with the problems we are having

  • http://www.chronicchicktalk.com chronic chick

    wow amazing how much awareness can come in a rainbow

  • Sarchie

    Wow, great job pulling that together, Christine!!! I just wish we had run out of diseases before we ran out of colors!!! Any ideas on where we can order different colors, or do you have them all available in your store and I am showing my woeful finances by even asking this question?? For instance, I haven’t ever seen orange bracelets in my local chapter office …. Thanks, Sarchie

  • http://www.mykidney.com Krissi

    I’ve never seen the green ribbon used for anything other than organ donor awareness… no doubt the other causes also use the green ribbon, maybe organ donor awareness should be listed first?
    … but then again, I have a bias toward the topic – I have a transplanted kidney :)