Yellow ribbon to Tie around tree

Tying Ribbons Around TreesOral lore is tradition and culture passed down through storytelling from one generation to another. Yellow ribbons as symbols of absent loved ones have been present in oral tradition since the Civil War.

The custom of tying ribbons around trees gained popularity after a 1938 recording of Round Her Neck She Wore A Yellow Ribbon. It picked up steam in 1949 when John Wayne starred in She Wore A Yellow Ribbon. In 1973, it became much more widely known with ‘s hit song Tie A Yellow Ribbon Around the Old Oak Tree.

During the Gulf War, I remember seeing a lot of yellow ribbons around Oklahoma City. Throughout the long wars in Afghanistan and Iraq I’ve seen more red, white and blue ribbons around trees than yellow. Yesterday, I spotted this trio of red, white and blue ribbons on a big tree on 17th Street in Oklahoma City’s historic Cleveland neighborhood.


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